•   
  •   
  •   

Sports Canadiens at Sabres: Five things you should know

14:40  26 november  2021
14:40  26 november  2021 Source:   montrealgazette.com

Canadiens Game Day Notebook: Some fantastic advice for Cole Caufield

  Canadiens Game Day Notebook: Some fantastic advice for Cole Caufield Alex Belzile was 28 when he finally made his NHL debut with the Canadiens during the 2020 playoffs. After playing three seasons with the QMJHL’s Rimouski Océanic and never getting selected at the NHL Draft, Belzile started his pro hockey career with the ECHL’s Gwinnett Gladiators. It was the first of five ECHL teams Belzile would play for, including the Alaska Aces, Idaho Steelheads, Fort Wayne Komets and the Colorado Eagles. He has also played for three AHL teams — the Hamilton Bulldogs, San Antonio Rampage and finally the Laval Rocket before playing his first NHL game.

Attendance is down across the NHL, but no franchise has had as many empty seats as the Sabres at the KeyBank Center, where they are averaging only 8,047 fans a game. © Provided by The Gazette Attendance is down across the NHL, but no franchise has had as many empty seats as the Sabres at the KeyBank Center, where they are averaging only 8,047 fans a game.

Here are five things you should know about the Canadiens-Sabres game at KeyBank Center Friday (7 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN-690 Radio, 98.5 FM).

The matchup: This is the second of four games between these Atlantic Division rivals and the Sabres have a 1-0 edge after beating the Canadiens 5-1 in Buffalo on Oct. 14. Both teams are coming off losses. Montreal began a three-game road trip Wednesday with a 6-3 loss to the Washington Capitals in a game that wasn’t as close as the score indicated. Buffalo lost 5-1 at home to the Boston Bruins the same night. After a promising start, the Sabres have lost four straight and are 2-7-1 in their last 10. Despite the swoon, the Sabres are six points ahead of the Canadiens in the division standings and they have two games in hand.

Game Day Notebook: Canadiens' Brendan Gallagher will play 600th game

  Game Day Notebook: Canadiens' Brendan Gallagher will play 600th game Brendan Gallagher will play his 600th career NHL game with the Canadiens Thursday when the Pittsburgh Penguins are the visitors at the Bell Centre (7 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM). Gallagher has experienced many ups and downs during his 10 seasons with the Canadiens. There was the high of making it to the Stanley Cup final for the first time in his career last season, followed by the low this season with the Canadiens getting off to a 4-12-2 start and sitting in 29th place in the overall NHL standings heading into Thursday night’s game.

The puck stops here — maybe: In a season marked by inconsistency, Canadiens goaltenders have had more bad nights than good ones and it will be interesting to see how Dominique Ducharme divides the work this weekend with a back-to-back set that concludes Saturday in Pittsburgh. Jake Allen has more experience and the better numbers, but he gave up six goals Wednesday night, while Sam Montembeault is coming off his first win of the season Saturday against Nashville. Craig Anderson had a very good start to the season — a 4-2-0 record and a 2.50 goals-against average — but the 40-year-old is out with an upper-body injury and Montreal will be facing former Canadiens backup Dustin Tokarski.

Is Eddy the answer? The question is what will it take to turn Jeff Petry’s season around and the answer might lie with the return of Joel Edmundson, who has yet to play a game this season because of an undisclosed injury. Petry and Edmundson lined up together in a practice Thursday and Ducharme was optimistic that Edmundson would be in the lineup at some point this weekend. Petry was among the top-scoring defencemen in the NHL last season with 12 goals and 42 points. This time around, he has been limited to two assists in 21 games. Edmundson ranked third among defencemen last season with a plus-28 rating.

Game Day Notebook: Ryan Poehling starting to fit in with Canadiens

  Game Day Notebook: Ryan Poehling starting to fit in with Canadiens Heading into Wednesday’s game in Washington against the Capitals (7 p.m., SNE, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM), Ryan Poehling had scored seven goals in the 34 games he had played with the Canadiens. Five of those goals came in two games. Poehling had a hat-trick and added another shootout goal in his NHL debut on April 6, 2019, a 6-5 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs in the final game of the season at the Bell Centre. Poehling started the next Five of those goals came in two games.

Building without Eichel: When the Sabres picked up Jack Eichel as the consolation prize in the 2015 Connor McDavid draft, he was viewed as the key to a bright future. But while Eichel averaged nearly 28 goals a season over his first five years in Buffalo, the team didn’t make the playoffs and he literally became a pain in the neck. Eichel is gone and GM Kevyn Adams says the Sabres are in the midst of a rebuild with one of the NHL’s youngest teams, if you don’t count their three 30-something goaltenders. Tage Thompson leads the team with eight goals and 13 points, while fellow 24-year-old Rasmus Asplund has five goals and 12 points. Rasmus Dahlin, the No, 1 overall pick in 2018, has emerged as a top defenceman and he’s only 21.

Where have all the people gone? Attendance is down across the NHL, but no franchise has had as many empty seats as the Sabres. Normally, there would be close to a full house for this game, with Canadiens fans streaming in from southern Ontario, but the easing of COVID testing requirements at the U.S. border will come too late to affect attendance Friday. The Sabres are averaging only 8,047 fans a game and the border is only one factor in the drop-off in interest. The Buffalo Bills have been generating more interest, although they have cooled off and it’s hard to attract hockey fans who haven’t seen a playoff game in 10 years.

Dreadful second period sinks Canadiens in 4-1 loss vs. Sabres

  Dreadful second period sinks Canadiens in 4-1 loss vs. Sabres The Canadiens had another case of the second-period blues as the Buffalo Sabres scored twice in the second period to take control of the game en route to a 4-1 victory Friday night at the KeyBank Centre. Montreal was outshot 14-2 in the second period and gave up a short-handed goal during a four-minute power play. Sam Montembeault stopped Victor Olofsson on a breakaway early in the second, but he had no answer midway through the period when the Sabres regained the lead at 2-1. Cody Eakin carried the puck into the Canadiens’ zone and then worked a give-and-go with Vinnie Hinostroza, who moved in from the left side and used a backhand pass to find Eakin on the far side.

phickey@postmedia.com

twitter.com/zababes1

Related

About Last Night: Habs still searching for the first win of the Jeff Gorton era .
I’m going to talk about the game, I promise, but first I want to talk about something personal. Way back in, I want to say 2008, I was working on finishing up university when I discovered this website called HI/O that was building a community of Habs fans. Before long, Mike Boone’s liveblog and About Last Night were like caffeine straight to the veins of this early-20’s Canadiens-crazed political science student. After a year of screaming about how awful the Scott Gomez trade was, I started my own little blog, based on the encouragement of Boone himself.

usr: 5
This is interesting!