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Canucks - Canadiens Game Preview

Canucks (34-18-2)
Canadiens (25-25-6)
AT Habnots 

Time 4:30 PST
TV Canucks PPV
Season Series 1-0 Canucks
Last Meeting 7-1 Canucks (Oct. 7)
The Enemy Eyes On The Prize  
Canucks Category Canadiens
3rd Conference Position 10th
7-2-1 Last 10 3-4-3
3.26 (3rd) Goals Per Game 2.48 (28th)
2.41 (5th)) Goals Against Per Game 2.68 (12th)
1.40 (2nd) 5 On 5 GF/GA .79 (28th)
21.4% (5th) Power Play 25.6% (2nd)
81.6% (15th) Penalty Kill 84% (7th)
29.8 (15th) Shots Per Game 27.7 (29th)
28.8 (7th) Shots Against Per Game 32.7 (27th)
77.8% (7th) Winning % When Scoring First 70.8% (14th)
85.7% (5th) Winning % When Leading After 1 63.2% (23rd)
95.8% (3rd) Winning % When Leading After 2 94.1% (5th)
51.4% (8th) Faceoffs % 48.9% (20th)
15.7 (26th) Least PIM's Per Game 12.3 (13th)
+37 (2nd) + / - GF/GA -18 (26th)

Update: Salo in, Baumgartner out.

Update: This morning, Alain Vigneault gave Kyle Wellwood and especially Steve Bernier a well-deserved roasting. "Bernie is sensitive; he really takes things seriously. He has got to relax a little bit, calm down and go out and play hard."

“Kyle, Bernie and Pav — he gets the benefit of the doubt because he was out for so long, but those two other guys don’t — need to play better.” -National Post.


Raise your hands if you don't mind the Habs. Really? Yeah, you deserve a beating. Ok, so I don't mean that all too seriously, but I have never liked the Habs. Wait a minute....I didn't mind them beating the Kings in the 1993 Finals to win their last Stanley Cup. Damned Kings. Damned Barry Melrose with that smug little look on his face and that greasy mullet. However, Hab hatred is what happens when you grow up cheering for/watching the Leafs like I did. I still don't like all. It is rooted deep inside of me. Personal grudge, moving on.

But this isn't about a Leafs-Habs rivalry. It's about a Canucks-Canadiens matchup that hardly smacks of any animosity at all. The only real animosity that I've seen, in general, comes from that fact that there are so many Habs fans in B.C.

Oh yeah, you know them. They are the ones that rub their 24 Stanley Cup wins in your face any chance you get into a hockey argument with them. Curse them. Curse them all. This is still an East vs West hatred in general, but it may not have the same intensity of hatred because the Habs were never in the Western Conference like the Leafs were. The Canucks have not played Montreal in the playoffs since the 70's. All we have to go on mostly is the present. The Canucks are 5-1 against the Habs since November 2003. Yeah, that is it. They are 2-1 in Montreal in that span with their last game there being a 3-0 loss. More memorable is the game from October 2009 where the Canucks spanked, then pillaged Bob Gainey's sad bunch 7-1. More on that in the videos below.

So what have the 500 Habs been up to lately? Well, losing Michael Cammalleri for 6-8 weeks from a knee injury for starters. Calamari had 26 goals and 48 points in 56 games before that happened this past Saturday. Beyond him and Tomas Plekanec (who some of us would like to have on out team by the way), you can see why the Habs are 28th in the NHL in goals-for.  A big difference in this game, compared to the 7-1 defacing, is that Montreal will have Andrei Markov manning the point this time. That guy, for a googly-eyed looking Ruskie, (or maybe this thing) is no slouch and can kill you on the power play.

Les Habitants are 2-2-1 in their last 5 and are fighting to get back into a playoff spot. In that 5-game span:

-Michael Cammalleri had 3 goals and 7 points. Ooof!

-Tomas Plekanec had 2 goals and 5 points

-Benoit Pouliot had 3 goals

-Brian Gionta had 1 goal and 3 points

-Scott Gomez had 1 goal and 1 assist. See? Fail!

-Andrei Markov had 3 assists.

-Sissy Spacek and M(issing in A(ction) Bergeron had 2 assists each.

Cammalleri is a huge loss indeed. But, we shall see who steps up for Montreal. They are not a very big team but can sting if given the space. The Canucks had better get off to a better start than they did against the Leafs. The Habs don't give up too many leads when leading after 2 periods, but that isn't quite the case when they lead after 1, as you can see above.

The Canucks have eradicated their former lousy road record and are now 11-11-1. Road warriors they now are. Will Sami Salo return from his groin injury? Who cares? This team is still rolling without 3 of their top defencemen.

The winning streak is at 7 games. Is it about to end? Not if the Burrdins have something to say about it.

Here are a couple of videos for your viewing pleasure:

5 of 7 goals scored on the backhand. Hmm... Hey! Way to embarrass Carey Price in front of his friends and family!

Rypien vs Gill. David vs Goliath. All Rypper needed was a stone and a sling.

OK, want to see some serious vintage Habs-Canucks hockey? How about the 1975 playoffs? Wow!

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3