Vancouver Canucks @ Montreal Canadiens
4:30 PM PST
|2.43 (25th)||Goals/Game||3.08 (5th)|
|2.36 (7th)||Goals Against/Game||2.31 (6th)|
|6.4% (30th)||PP||29.4% (1st)|
|87.9% (5th)||PK||85.4% (T-11th)|
What To Watch For
> Price V Luongo: Both often-critized netminders hold the hopes for their teams this season (Price’s GAA of 2.45 and S% of .911% is slightly better that Luongo’s 2.75 and .909% respectively). Whereas Luongo has a good track record against the Habs, Price has only played Vancouver once and it was a disaster: a 7.00 GAA and S% of .788%. Price will also has to deal with the league’s best PP aiming at him whereas Vancouver will have to solve the 5th best PK in the league (they did manage to torch Detroit a few times and they’re a top ten PK as well).
> Rome V Ballard: Around this time last season Rome wasn’t even in the league. But injuries last year (and ironically an injury to Keith Ballard this season) have given Rome a time to shine: he’s worked his way onto the second PP unit, he’s averaging about 2:30 more TOI than last year and – with Dan Hamhuis finally returning tonight – it’s Ballard who gets the night off. A wealth of defensive options is never a bad thing, but how long will/can VAN sit a $4.5 million dollar player (and may we add one who has a NTC to boot) in favor of a $700,000 player? Answer: as long as they’re playing this strongly, forever. Thankfully Grabner and Bernier aren’t lighting the world on fire or MG’s critics would be all over this.
> East V West: This is the first of three road games against Canadian squads, which of course means the eastern media gets to pay attention to Vancouver for a change. It also means you’ll see a fair share of Sedins barbs, Luongo slams and the general zero Cups retorts all week. Advice for this evening: smile, nod politely and ask who they got in exchange for Halak. If that still stings, just remind our friends that the vaunted Gomez-Gionta duo represent a cap hit of $12.4 million. Then run.