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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Pregame Preview: Canadiens at Flyers (Game #33)

Habs vs Flyers
Match Up:

The Canadiens (19-10-3) look to rediscover their winning ways Thursday night when they take on the Flyers (13-15-3) in Philadelphia. The game starts at 7:00 and will be broadcast on RDS and TSN-Habs.

This is the second of three meetings between the Habs and Flyers, Montreal already scored a 4-1 win over Philly on Bell Centre ice at the beginning of the season. Brian Gionta, Brendan Gallagher, Lars Eller and Rene Bourque each posted a goal and an assist in the victory.

What to Watch:

The Canadiens were crushed by the Kings Tuesday night in their most lopsided loss of the season, a 6-0 disaster. Carey Price was pulled for the first time this year after allowing 4 goals in less than 26 minutes of play.

Thursday will be Daniel Briere's first visit to Philadelphia since joining the Habs last summer. Briere spent 6 seasons with the Flyers tallying 283 points and 72 playoff points in 68 post season games.
The Flyers are coming off a lopsided loss of their own against another Western powerhouse, they fell 7-2 to the Blackhawks in Chicago Wednesday night. Jakub Voracek picked up a goal in the defeat, his second in consecutive games.

What's at Stake:

While one regulation loss in their last 11 games is no reason to panic, the dramatic way in which the Kings defeated the Canadiens on Tuesday should have the team looking to prove the loss was not a sign of things to come.

Who's Out:

The Canadiens are missing Rene Bourque (upper body) and Davis Drewiske (shoulder).

The Flyers are without Vincent Lecavalier (back).

What Else:

After starting the season 0-3-0, including the 4-1 loss to the Habs, the Flyers let go of head coach Peter Laviolette, replacing him with Craig Berube. Berube played with the Flyers for parts of 5 seasons and has been amongst their coaching staff since 2004 as an assistant coach and then head coach of the Philadelphia Phantoms, and then as an assistant coach with the Flyers since 2008. Since taking over as head coach, the Flyers have gone 13-12-3.

The Question Mark:

While the Canadiens have been playing to their strengths recently, the Kings certainly exposed some weaknesses on Tuesday. What is the Canadiens biggest weakness right now and how can either Michel Therrien or Marc Bergevin realistically address it?

Let us know what you think by using the #MTLHockey hashtag on Twitter or leave a comment below.

Be sure to tune into the Montreal Hockey Talk Pregame Show an hour before the puck drop and the Post Game Show 5 minutes after the final siren. Join the live conversation by using the #MTLHockey hashtag on Twitter.

11 comments:

Here's a couple of facts about Montreal...With at least Three fowards (excluding Gallagher), being really undersized, arent those fowards supposed to at Least be Skilled?? Martin St Louis has 30 points so far, while the Combined total for Briere, Gionta and Desharnais is 36 Points!! And St Louis is 38 years old..That's where the Habs hurt the most, imagine a power foward on the Pacioretty line, and Prust on a Third line with fowards like Couturier and Matt Read.. That's why a team like L.A goes intoYour house and trounces you 6-0.

@Guy Smith. Why even bother talking sense on any Canadien's sites, they had their glory days Years ago, as long as the 7 Canadian based teams draw full houses every night, those organizations have No Incentive to ice a Stanley Cup contending team.

Here's a list of Habs first rounders since Trevor Timmins arrived.
Kostitsyn, Chipchura, Price, Fischer, Pacioretty Kristo, Leblanc, Tinordi, Beaulieu, Galchekyuk McCarron....I see three I like alot, and the rest are either Busts or still pending...Shouldnt either Tinordi or Beaulieu have already Made the team, after all, Boullion, Diaz and Gorges arent that good. And to Think of the foward Timmins Passed up in those dratts, especially when the Top free agents don't want to play in Montreal.

Anonymous, What you Should also do is go on a site like Hockey DB and look at the players Montreal COULD of had. Kostitstyn over Getzlaf, Corey Perry, ike Richards, We could of had Kopitar, Giroux instead of David (where is he now) Fischer, Chris Kreider over Louis Lebust, and that's just naming a few, already fans are calling Mike McCarron a Major disappointent.

You guys are all right...except that Bergvin isn't trying to build a team that has a chance this year, he's building a team that will have a chance every year.

And, considering the problems and mistakes over the last 20 years, that takes time.

So, yes, the Habs are flirting with the top spot in the East...but there are still a bunch of problem spots on the team.

As for players lik Tinodri and Beaulieu, again, what's the rush to bring them up if they're not yet ready. Both players, at least for now, can use more seasoning.

Slow and steady.

Kamal...If Timmins had drafted better, the Habs would Probably Already been a contender, and signing Danny Briere is Not the sign of a GM doing a good job early, or extending the contract of Desharniais, Wake up, Enabler.

I was on a couple of Canadiens sites today, RDS (Canadiens blog as well as Habfans.com and this is very interesting,
There are 22 players in the NHL that are 5ft9 and under..There are 18 in the Eastern conference and only 4 in the West..Montreal has 5 (five) of those players. Enuf said.

@Guy: Well hang on a second there...there are bunch of different issues in what you're mentioning.

Firstly, Timmins has THE highest percentage of draft picks who have gone on to play in the NHL over the last decade. THE highest. That means, you stack the draft records of all 30 NHL teams side by side, and Timmins has selected more players who have played in the NHL than any of the others over the last decade.

I'd say that's a pretty strong testament to his selection skills.

Where Timmins has faltered, however (and subsequently the reason many fans feel he sucks) is that he hasn't hit very many 1st round homeruns.

Aside from Price and Pacioretty, it's been pretty dodgy.

As for Bergevin, I'll wholeheartedly agree that he has had some missteps. The Moen signing...the Briere signing...

But Desharnais was a different story. When he was signed, he was coming off a 65 point season, started the season slow, but was then having a resurgence.

Personally, I don't think the Habs will EVER have long term success with DD as a top-6 forward. I also feel that he was overpaid at $3.5 per...so to me, that was a misstep too.

But what I like about Bergevin so far is that love him or hate him, you have to respect that it is clear he has a plan and is sticking to it. For good or ill, he is unwaivering...at least so far.

So for sure, he's had some bad calls, imo, but show me an NHL GM that hasn't...!

I think Camel is sniffing the toes..Timmins high percentage of players are mostly third and fourth liners on other teams that even Montreal doesnt want, like Higgins, Chipchura, Komisarek etc..No top line players..If Montreal drafts so well, why did they have to acquire a player like Parros?? You mean to tell us that in 12 Drafts, Timmins couldnt find the Habs a Fourth line enforcer, wow.

Camel LMAO Montreal needs to do something, we are nowhere near a Cup, I can think of at least 6 players I dont want on this team, and if we were to make a mage trade and sweeten the pot, I would also ship Lars Eller out, he plays well at home and when he Wants to play. Disappears alot. He reminds me of the early years of Andrei Kostitsyn. This team also needs to draft more OHL players, we have so few.

The fans of the 7 Canadian based teams suffer for being so loyal. Our arenas sell out every night, so whats the Incentive for these teas toice a contender? Theres your problem. Oh, and Trevor Timmins is way overrated.

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