Sports Golden Knights at Canadiens: Five things you should know
Canadiens Game Day: Habs sticking with same lineup for Game 1 vs. Jets
Head coach Dominique Ducharme confirmed after his team’s morning skate in Winnipeg that he will be keeping the same lineup for Game 1 of the North Division final against the Jets Wednesday night (7:30 p.m., CBC, SN, TVA Sports, SN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM) that he used for the Canadiens’ Game 7 win over Toronto on Monday that eliminated the Maple Leafs. This marks the first time the Canadiens and Jets will ever meet in a playoff series. The Canadiens had a 3-3-3 record against the Jets in the regular season this year. The Jets swept the Edmonton Oilers in their first-round playoff series, winning the last three games in overtime, including a triple-OT victory in Game 4.
Here are five things you should know about Game 3 of the Montreal Canadiens-Las Vegas Golden Knights best-of-seven Stanley Cup semifinal series at the Bell Centre Friday (8 p.m., CBC, SN, TVA Sports, TSN-690 Radio, 98.5 FM).
Home-ice advantage: One of the keys to success in the playoffs is to win a game or two on the road and the Canadiens accomplished that with a split of the first two games in Las Vegas. The Golden Knights were the dominant team in Game 1 with a, but the Canadiens bounced back Wednesday with . The split gives the Canadiens the home-ice advantage for the series with three of the remaining games scheduled for the Bell Centre. Quebec health authorities have raised the cap on attendance from 2,500 to 3,500.
Stu Cowan: Don't bet on Canadiens to win in Vegas
I’d love to predict the Canadiens will beat the Golden Knights in their Stanley Cup semifinal series that begins Monday night in Las Vegas (9 p.m., CBC, SN, TVA Sports, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM). A trip to the Stanley Cup final would be a great boost for the city of Montreal as it starts to come back to life after COVID-19 lockdown with bars and restaurants re-opening, and for a Canadiens franchise that hasn’t been to the final since winning its record 24th championship in 1993. It would also be great for hockey in this country, since no Canadian team has won the Stanley Cup since the Canadiens 28 long years ago.
Canadiens on a streak: Tyler Toffoli was Montreal’s leading scorer in the regular season and he’s also leading the way in the playoffs. Toffoli scored his fifth playoff goal Wednesday and extended his consecutive-game points streak to eight games. He has five goals, including two game-winning tallies, and six assists in that run. But Toffoli isn’t the only Canadien riding a streak. Cole Caufield showed great awareness as he set up Toffoli in the high slot and he has points in four consecutive games and five of the past six games. Caufield earned a reputation as a goal-scorer in the USHL and the University of Wisconsin but he has displayed great vision on the ice and uses his skating and stick-handling abilities to make strong entries and create space.
Stu Cowan: Former Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty is happy in Vegas
Life has been very good for Max Pacioretty since the Canadiens traded him to the Vegas Golden Knights three years ago. After the trade, Pacioretty signed a four-year, US$28-million contract extension with the Golden Knights that runs through the 2022-23 season. During his first season in Vegas, Pacioretty was limited to 66 games because of injuries but still managed to score 22 goals and then added five more goals (along with six assists) in seven playoff games as the Golden Knights were eliminated by the San Jose Sharks in the first round. Last season, Pacioretty scored 32 goals in 71 games, hitting the 30-goal mark for the sixth time in his NHL career.
Danault an essential worker: General manager Marc Bergevin should be putting together a new contract offer for centre Phil Danault, who is living proof that offensive numbers aren’t always a measure of a player’s value. Danault hasn’t scored a goal in the playoffs and has only two assists, but he has made his contribution by shutting down the opposition’s offensive players and winning key faceoffs. In this series, his line has limited high-scoring wingers Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty to a combined five shots on goal and no points. He won 17 of 28 faceoffs Wednesday and logged 20:42 of ice time.
Timing is everything on faceoffs: The Golden Knights have the best faceoff record in the playoffs but the Canadiens had the edge in each of the first two games. But, as coach Dominique Ducharme noted, the Canadiens have made a habit of losing defensive zone faceoffs, which have led to four of the six Vegas goals. It happened on both Vegas goals Wednesday. Nick Suzuki, who won nine of 17 faceoffs Wednesday, lost draws after the Canadiens were guilty of icing and Alex Pietrangelo made the Canadiens pay with a pair of goals.
About Last Night: Habs dealt 4-1 loss by Vegas in Game 1
The Montreal Canadiens were given a rude welcome by the Vegas Golden Knights in their first game of the season on American soil. The Golden Knights handed the Habs a 4-1 loss in the opener of their third-round series . Marc-André Fleury made 28 saves in the Game 1 victory. Vegas also received offensive contributions from their blue-liners, with Shea Theodore, Alec Martinez and Nick Holden scoring goals. In the opening 10 minutes, things appeared a little more even. With Jeff Petry out of the lineup with a hand injury, Alex Romanov made his presence felt early with an open ice hit on Alex Pietrangelo. Rue barrée. ❌#GoHabsGo pic.twitter.
Mind the outside: The Canadiens defence likes to push the opposition to the outside and will often concede shots from long range. But they may have to the rethink that strategy. With Pietrangelo’s brace Wednesday, the defence has accounted for five of the Golden Knights’ six goals. While the defencemen have been loading up from the outside — they combined for 18 shots in Game 1 and 13 Wednesday — Vegas has made it difficult for Carey Price by piling bodies in front of the net. On Pietrangelo’s first goal Wednesday, there were three Vegas players and two Montreal defencemen impeding the goaltender’s vision.
Golden Knights at Canadiens: Five things you should know about Game 6 .
Here are five things you should know about Game 6 of the Canadiens-Golden Knights Stanley Cup semifinal at the Bell Centre Thursday (8 p.m., CBC, SN, TVA Sports, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM): A chance to advance: The Canadiens return home with a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series after a 4-1 win over the Golden Knights Tuesday in Las Vegas. A win would move the Canadiens into the Stanley Cup final for the first time since they last won the Cup in 1993. While the Canadiens will be on home ice and acting head coach Luke Richardson will have an opportunity to match lines, there are no guarantees.