•   
  •   
  •   

Sports Canadiens Game Day: Carey Price gets third straight start vs. Canucks

01:55  11 march  2021
01:55  11 march  2021 Source:   montrealgazette.com

Stu Cowan: Players forced Canadiens GM's hand in firing of Julien

  Stu Cowan: Players forced Canadiens GM's hand in firing of Julien This is the third column I have written in the last two weeks about the Canadiens firing Claude Julien, but the first to be published. When the Canadiens cancelled a scheduled practice two Mondays ago and announced that GM Marc Bergevin would speak with the media at noon, I was pretty sure Julien was gone, so I had the column written that morning and ready to hit publish when the news broke. I was wrong. It seemed like the perfect time to make a coaching change because the struggling Canadiens had a six-day break in the schedule and it would have given the new coach time to work on changes he might want to make to the system, or the lines, during what would be like a mini-training

Carey Price will be back in goal when the Canadiens play the Canucks Wednesday night in Vancouver (11 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM).

a man riding skis down a snow covered slope: Canadiens goalie Carey Price has a 7-4-4 record with a 2.69 goal-against average and a .903 save percentage heading into Wednesday night’s game against the Canucks in Vancouver. © Provided by The Gazette Canadiens goalie Carey Price has a 7-4-4 record with a 2.69 goal-against average and a .903 save percentage heading into Wednesday night’s game against the Canucks in Vancouver.

This will mark the first time this season that Price will start three consecutive games. Price has allowed only one goal in each of his last three starts and now has a 7-4-4 record with a 2.69 goal-against average and a .903 save percentage.

Head coach Dominique Ducharme will switch up his forward lines for the game, putting Brendan Gallagher with Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Tyler Toffoli, while Joel Armia will take Gallagher’s regular spot on a line with Phillip Danault and Tomas Tatar.

By the numbers: Canadiens' identity a riddle wrapped in an enigma

  By the numbers: Canadiens' identity a riddle wrapped in an enigma Who are the Montreal Canadiens? In the wake of the axe falling on head coach Claude Julien and associate coach Kirk Muller on Wednesday, it might be a little while longer before we find a solid answer. With a newly minted interim head coach tag, Dominique Ducharme has an opportunity to resuscitate a season that has gone from a promising 7-1-2 start to a dreadful 2-4-2 slide heading into Saturday’s game against the Jets in Winnipeg (10 p.m., SN, SN360, CBC, TVA Sports, TSN690 Radio, 98.5 FM). The start of the season for the Canadiens was always a bit of a mirage. No team is going to average 4.

“I’m excited, Toffoli said after Wednesday’s optional morning skate about getting Gallagher as a linemate. “Gally’s obviously a great player. He works hard. KK and I have played together for the majority of the season so we’re going to go out there and work hard and try and maintain possession of the puck and just play the right way and do some good things.”

Toffoli, who leads the Canadiens with 15 goals, said he has been impressed with Kotkaniemi’s work ethic both on and off the ice.

“That’s obviously a positive thing for a young guy coming into the league,” Toffoli said. “I think throughout the season he’s been getting better and better every day. That’s a positive and I’ve said It before, he’s a big part of the team.”

Kotkaniemi has 2-10-12 totals in 24 games and is plus-7 while averaging 14:02 of ice time and winning 47.3 per cent of his faceoffs.

Stu Cowan: Rebuilding Senators lay traps for Canadiens

  Stu Cowan: Rebuilding Senators lay traps for Canadiens The Canadiens and Ottawa Senators have different goals this season as NHL franchises. Heading into the third year of Marc Bergevin’s “reset”, the Canadiens GM spent right up to the NHL’s US$81.5-million salary cap during the off-season, adding forwards Josh Anderson and Tyler Toffoli, defenceman Joel Edmundson and backup goalie Jake Allen. This is a rebuilding season for the Senators, who had three first-round picks at last year’s NHL Entry Draft and have stockpiled 10 first-round picks since 2015.

Gallagher has also been impressed by Kotkaniemi’s performance this season.

“I think everyone’s been pretty impressed with how he’s grown as a player all over the ice,” said Gallagher, who has 10-6-16 totals. “The skill and the talent level has always been there. I think he’s added a lot of little details to his game that are helping. He seems to be stronger on the puck, he seems to be winning battles, and when you do all those things the talent takes over. So for me, my job is simple, work hard, make their lives easier, try and put the puck on their stick, get to the net and hopefully as a line we should be able to have some success.

“I know KK when he has the puck in the middle of the ice he’s very dynamic moving it both sides and creating opportunities for his wingers,” Gallagher added. “I’m obviously looking forward to that. Hopefully the three of us can contribute and just do what we’ve been doing as a team here lately and that’s every line been clicking and you have that accountability within the lineup. It’s going to be on us to play well tonight.”

Stu Cowan: Canadiens need to revive dormant offence

  Stu Cowan: Canadiens need to revive dormant offence Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin is hoping a new goalie coach will help Carey Price get back on track. But firing Stéphane Waite and replacing him with Sean Burke won’t help the Canadiens’ struggling offence. The Canadiens scored 44 goals in their first 10 games this season while getting off to a 7-1-2 start. After losing 4-3 in OT to the Winnipeg Jets Thursday night at the Bell Centre, the Canadiens are 3-5-4 in their last 12 games while scoring only 27 goals over that span. They have scored less than three goals in seven of their last 12 games. The Canadiens have scored 10 goals in their first four games with Dominique Ducharme as head coach and have a 1-1-2 record.

This Game Day notebook will be updated after Wednesday night’s game.

The lines

Here’s how the Canadiens’ forward lines and defence pairings are expected to look against the Canucks:

Drouin – Suzuki – Anderson

Toffoli – Kotkaniemi – Gallagher

Tatar – Danault – Armia

Byron – Evans – Perry

Chiarot – Weber

Edmundson – Petry

Kulak – Romanov

Forward Artturi Lehkonen will be a healthy scratch for the third straight game and the fifth time this season. Defenceman Victor Mete, who has only played five games this season, will be a healthy scratch for the 20th time this season.

Breaking up

Ducharme said he liked the way the Tatar-Danault-Gallagher line played the last few games and noted he can go back to that trio if he needs to.

Canadiens Game Day: Carey Price gets second straight start in Vancouver

  Canadiens Game Day: Carey Price gets second straight start in Vancouver Head coach Dominique Ducharme won’t make any changes to his lineup when the Canadiens face the Canucks Monday night in Vancouver (10 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 609 Radio, 98.5 FM). That means Carey Price will be in goal for the second straight game. Price has won his last two starts, allowing only one goal in each game, and now has a 7-4-3 record with a 2.83 goals-against average and a .898 save percentage. The Canadiens are coming off a 7-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets Saturday night at the Bell Centre in which Price made 28 saves. The Canadiens are in fourth place in the all-Canadian North Division standings with an 11-6-6 record, while the Canucks are in sixth place with an 11-15-2 record.

“I think it’s a matter of making our young centres grow,” the coach said about his line changes. “Combinations and looking at what Armia can bring that is different than Gally. He’s a different player, obviously. When Army’s on his game he’s really strong down low, he protects the puck well. So I think it can be also a very good combination.


Video: 9 angry goalies...in 90 seconds (cbc.ca)

“We might see some movement on the right side within games, from one game to another,” Ducharme added. “You guys should expect maybe a little bit of movement on the right side … more than on the left side.”

The reason Ducharme has more options on the right side is because Toffoli is a right-hand shot who can play on either wing.

“We have a right-shot playing left wing right now, Toffolli,” Ducharme said. “I feel that right side with Gally, Anderson and Armia — and you can add Toffoli — they’re not the same players. They’re really different, they bring something different in their game. They have success differently. So sometimes that’s a feel of what a centre can need more, how can they fit together and within a game how can this impact the situation.”

Gallagher said his regular line with Danault and Tatar hasn’t been as consistent this year as it was the two previous seasons.

In the Habs' Room: Ben Chiarot lands a blow, injuring his own hand in the fight

  In the Habs' Room: Ben Chiarot lands a blow, injuring his own hand in the fight Will Shakespeare offered some sage advice in Henry IV Part 1 when he wrote: “The better part of valour is discretion.” Ben Chiarot ignored that advice Wednesday when he accepted J.T. Miller’s invitation to drop the gloves and the result was bad for Chiarot and the Canadiens. There was a shadow cast on Montreal’s 5-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks because Chiarot injured his right hand in the fight, which ended after each player landed a blow. There was no immediate word on the extent of the injury, but coach Dominique Ducharme said Chiarot would not play against the Flames Thursday in Calgary (9 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN-690 Radio).

“But there’s been nights where we’ve been playing fine and pucks don’t go in, little things like that,” he added. “It’s hard to say that we won’t be back together as well. But I think for the time being for me, just focusing on what you have now and try to make it work with KK and Toff.”

Gallagher a sparkplug

When Michel Therrien was coaching the Canadiens he liked to juggle his lines regularly and Gallagher moved around the lineup a lot.

During the last two seasons with Claude Julien as head coach, Gallagher was almost always with Danault and Tatar.

“I know personally the way I was used with Michel, he kind of used me around the lineup to spark a guy here or there, help a guy out if he was struggling,” Gallagher said. “With Claude, I think what he found with me, Phil and Tuna, we were just able to be consistent and have success and there was really no reason to split us up. I think right now within our lineup you can try some different things. It’s just kind of the nature of the sport. As players you just got to be ready to do your job when you’re put on the ice regardless of who you’re with and make it work. I think I have a pretty good relationship with every single guy in that room that I’m comfortable playing with them. The battle level will be there for me.

“I’ve said this, regardless of who I’ve been playing with my game is pretty simple and can translate to whoever I’m playing with and I just try to help the guys I’m playing with and make their lives easier,” Gallagher added. “If I can do that, hopefully as a line we can have success.”

Canadiens Notebook: GM Marc Bergevin says it's unlikely he'll be making trades

  Canadiens Notebook: GM Marc Bergevin says it's unlikely he'll be making trades Don’t hold your breath waiting for Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin to make a deal before the NHL trade deadline on April 12. As of Tuesday afternoon, the Canadiens only had $65,398 of current salary-cap space, according to CapFriendly.com . During a video conference Tuesday, Bergevin stressed that he has very little financial flexibility to make any significant moves before the trade deadline, but he didn’t totally rule out the possibility. Bergevin added that he expects Ben Chiarot will return to the lineup before the end of the regular season after the defenceman had surgery Monday to repair the right hand he fractured during a fight with the Vancouver Canucks’ J.T. Miller.

No changes on defence

Ducharme will stick with the same defence pairings for the seventh straight game since taking over as head coach from Julien.

The coach spoke last weekend about how he wants to let his defence pairs grow together, especially the third pairing of Brett Kulak with rookie Alexander Romanov.

“A guy like Romanov, I think he’s shown some good improvement,” Ducharme said on Saturday. “We got to help him out taking another step and growing. We want to put him in successful situations so that he keeps growing and builds his confidence also and so on. So there’s many things to take in consideration.”

After Wednesday’s morning skate, Ducharme spoke about what he has seen so far from his defence pairings, which include Jeff Petry with Joel Edmundson and Ben Chiarot with Shea Weber.

“Jeff is skating well and he likes to jump into the offence when it’s time,” the coach said. “Eddie is defending well, he’s hard to play against. Weby and Benn, when we saw them in the playoffs they are hard to play against. They give hard minutes to the forwards on the other side. Romanov and Kulak, those two are skating well. They can be able to jump on both sides. It’s a matter of letting Romy grow and taking it step-by-step. Right now, we feel that’s the way we need to play.”

Standings getting tight

Heading into Wednesday night’s game, the Canadiens were in fourth place in the North Division standings, only three points ahead of the fifth-place Canucks with the top four teams making the playoffs. The Canadiens do hold five games in hand on Vancouver.

Canadiens Game Day: Jake Allen will start in goal against Vancouver

  Canadiens Game Day: Jake Allen will start in goal against Vancouver Jake Allen will be in goal for the Canadiens when they play the Vancouver Canucks Friday night at the Bell Centre (7 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM). That’s the only change Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme will make to his lineup following Wednesday night’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Jets in Winnipeg. That means foward Artturi Lehkonen and defenceman Victor Mete will be healthy scratches again. Carey Price had started the last three games in goal for the Canadiens. This will be Allen’s first start since a 2-1 loss to the Flames in Calgary on March 11. Allen has a 4-3-3 record with a 2.66 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage.

Gallagher said the Canadiens aren’t feeling pressure when they look at the standings.

“No pressure,” he said. “It’s going to get really fun. When you look at the start of the year and you see the way the season was set up with the North Division you knew how competitive it was going to be and no team is going to fall out of it. You can look at the standings, teams are going to be going on winning streaks, losing streaks. Throughout the year it’s going to bounce around. You just got to make sure you’re taking care of your own business.

“It’s going to get fun,” Gallagher added. “These points are going to be so hard to come by. It’s going to be competitive. I hope the fans are going to enjoy it because I know as players we’re definitely going to.”

Perry earns his spot

After starting the season on the taxi squad, Corey Perry has earned a regular spot in the lineup and on the power play.

The 35-year-old has 3-5-8 totals in 17 games and is plus-5 while averaging 12:13 of ice time. The only player on the Canadiens averaging less ice time is Jake Evans with 11:40.

“The schedule is something that we consider, for sure, but we like what Corey brings,” Ducharme said when asked about his usage of Perry. “He’s one of the best around the net, whether it’s on the power play or we’ve seen him six-on-five the other night. He’s got experience, he’s a great presence in the locker room, on the bench. His decisions on the ice … the guy went through so many things. He’s won everywhere, so he’s got a lot to bring to our young guys and our group and, like I said, he’s one of the best net-front.”

Related

What’s next?

The Canadiens will fly to Calgary after Wednesday night’s game and play the Flames Thursday night (9 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM) and again on Saturday night at the Saddledome (7 p.m., SNE, CITY, TVA Sports, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM).

Next week, the Canadiens will play the Jets in Winnipeg on Monday (8 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM) and Wednesday (9 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM), before returning to Montreal for six straight games at the Bell Centre.

scowan@postmedia.com

twitter.com/StuCowan1

Canadiens Game Day: Jake Allen will start in goal against Vancouver .
Jake Allen will be in goal for the Canadiens when they play the Vancouver Canucks Friday night at the Bell Centre (7 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM). That’s the only change Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme will make to his lineup following Wednesday night’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Jets in Winnipeg. That means foward Artturi Lehkonen and defenceman Victor Mete will be healthy scratches again. Carey Price had started the last three games in goal for the Canadiens. This will be Allen’s first start since a 2-1 loss to the Flames in Calgary on March 11. Allen has a 4-3-3 record with a 2.66 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage.

usr: 0
This is interesting!