Tuesday, January 22, 2008

History Says Habs Will Rebound vs. Bruins

The Montreal Canadiens are one of the best teams on the road, yet are having an enormous amount of trouble playing the same way in front of their own fans at the Bell Center. After going 3-1 on a 4-game road trip, the Habs returned home on Tuesday to face the Penguins...and got shut-out by a Crsoby-less squad, 2-0.

The schedule continues to be very friendly to the Habs, as it seems that whenever they need a morale-boosting effort, the exact right team seems to be next in line.

And what better team than the Boston Bruins?

Montreal (24-15-8) have gone 5-0 this season versus Boston, and are 8-0 since losing 3-1 in Boston back on March 3rd, 2007, and are 17-4-0 since the start of the 2005-06 season. They have outscored the Bruins 24-10 in those 5 games this season.

The Habs have gone cold on the powerplay recently, having failed to score a powerplay marker in each of their last 3 games, going 0-for-8 in that span.

The Bruins (24-18-5) have gone 3-1-1 in their last 5, with that only regulation loss coming 5 games ago vs. the Canadiens. They have taken points in each of their last 4, including registering back-to-back wins over the Rangers in a home-and-home on Saturday and Sunday. Chuck Kobasew is beginning to emerge as a dangerous goal-scorer, and he leads the Bruins in goals with 17 on the year. He had a short-handed goal and an assist Sunday after netting two power-play goals on Saturday, indicating his ability to score in any situation, a la Patrick Sharp/Mike Richards, though his overall development is not quite the same as that of those two centermen.

Puck drop is scheduled for 7:38 p.m.

- If the Canadiens practice this morning is any indication, expect the forward line to be juggled again tonight. Saku Koivu practiced with Chris Higgins and Michael Ryder on his wings, while Bryan Smolinski centered a line flanked by Sergei Kostitsyn and the returning Steve Begin. The K-P-K line will remain in tact, of course, while the 4th line will consist of Lapierre centering Latendresse and Kostopoulos.

- Patrice Brisebois' MRI revealed two breaks in bones in his left foot, and therefore will miss some time. Mark Streit will likely play defense, which means that Mathieu Dandeneault is expected to be scrated tonight.

As an added bonus, I would like to share a video with you that I just saw posted on habsinsideout.com. It is a video of Alex Kovalev stickhandling and shooting for Warrior hockey gear, and it will definitely get you excited to see Kovalev tonight. This guy is overflowing with talent, here's proof if you haven't had enough already watching him live...

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