Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Snapshot Preview: Habs VS Bruins - February 6th 2013

Montreal Canadiens (6-2-0) vs  Boston Bruins(6-1-1)
Puck drop is at 7:30pm EST (RDS, TSN)

The Boston Bruins have arrived in Montreal and are eagerly waiting their matchup with the Montreal Canadiens. To the surprise of noone, the Bruins are off to a great start this season notching 13 of a possible 16 points, the surprise however comes from their opponent Michel Therrien's Montreal Canadiens. The Habs are also off to a hot start collecting 12 of the same 16 points. First place in the North-East division are up for grabs at Montreal's Bell Centre.

The Bruins come in to Montreal looking for their fifth straight win against the Canadiens. Tuuka Rask, who will start in goal for Boston however was not a part of those victories. Tim Thomas who won all five of those games is off in the wilderness somewhere leaving Rask to try to beat a Canadiens team that has given him fits over his career. Rask has won only one time in eight career starts against Montreal - including five straight losses.

On the other side of the ice Carey Price looks to continue his strong start by going for his 16th career regular season win against these Bruins. Price has been spectacular at the Bell Centre especially, posting a 5-1 record to go along with a sterling 1.82 GAA and .933 save percentage. Over the weekend, Price stopped 62 of 64 shots he faced en route to two wins over Ottawa and Buffalo respectively.

Ryan White and Lars Eller rotated at the fourth line centre position in practice, however while White certainly adds more jam to the lineup, I expect to see him sit. Colby Armstrong has scored 15 or more goals on 3 occasions in his career, and I expect he will form a formidable trio with Eller and Travis Moen. The latter two had some success together last season. The line combines some size, with some skill and some jam. Both Armstrong and Moen can handle themselves physically, while having the ability to create offense.With Therrien having last change on home ice, I expect the Canadiens to keep this line intact and have four balanced lines with the ability to score on all 4.

Nathan Horton has been a Hab-killer his entire career posting 21 points, including 7 goals in 30 contests against the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge. Rich Peverly has also put up strong numbers with 6 goals and 14 points in only 17 games.

Noted fan-favourite Zdeno Chara always brings his A-game to Montreal putting up 143 Penalty Minutes and 184 shots on Goal in 72 contests. He has scored 13 goals and has a +14 rating against the Canadiens and his alleged arch-nemesis Max Pacioretty.

Max Pacioretty returned over the weekend from a short layoff after having an appendectomy and looked like he hadn't missed a beat. He picked up an assist.

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