The Habs will have to completely flip last Saturday's effort inside-out to have a chance against the Islanders on Long Island tonight.
Montreal (22-14-8) are 1-1 through two of their four straight games on the road, and both 1's represent polar differences (apart from the fact that one means a Win and one means a Loss).
The Habs victory last Thursday in Boston represented a hockey team that was driven and determined to dominate in every aspect of the game, including shooting, scoring, passing and hitting. Playing that way is what gets good teams not only through the regular season, but it gets good teams through the post-season gauntlet as well. However, any team can perform the way the Habs did last Thursday...but any GREAT team knows how to carry over such a performance on a nightly basis, defining the word "Consistency", and the Habs were most certainly not consistent in their transferred efforts from Thursday's win to Saturday's loss in New York (to be more accurate in my vocabulary use, the Habs were INCONSISTENT.)
Rest assured, this isn't English class, but I feel it had to be stressed that what we saw on Saturday must never be seen again if we hope to make it to the post-season.
If history is any reference, the Habs should definitely impress us once again. They were able to hammer the Islanders 4-1 in a game where the Isles outshot Huet and co. 45-33. And, as always, Chris Higgins found success in that game back on November 21st, notching his first road goal of the season. Chris has 7 goals in 8 games versus his hometown team, with 4 of them coming on the road at Nassau Coliseum, and we would definitely love to see continued domination over the Isles from Higgins as he is looking to score goals more regularly, with just 2 in his last 13 games.
Also native to Long Island; Mike Komisarek. The man who can do no wrong lately, Mike is developing into one of the premier defensive defensemen in the league. He leads the league in blocked shots, and ranks 3rd overall in hits with 147 dished out (behind 1st place Dustin Brown; 206, and, tonight's opponent, Trent Hunter; 150). The 25 year old has broken out this season, responding as well as possible to all the added responsibilities bestowed upon him. Playing alongside 1st time All-Star Andrei Markov, Mike knows his role is to shut down the streaking forwards in opponent colours, and man the line when Markov gets offensive. Mike's punishing play has drawn interest from the staff, the fans, and the rest of the league.
Sources indicate that Patrice Brisebois will be scratched tonight as a result of an injury. He took a puck off the inside of his left foot and will undergo X-rays tonight. It is expected that Mark Streit will take his place on the blue line, and Tom Kostopolous will dress and figure in on the fourth line.
Puck drop is scheduled for 7:08 P.M.