Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Pregame Preview: Canadiens at Ducks (Game #64)

montreal canadiens vs anaheim ducks nhl habs 
Match Up:

The Canadiens (34-22-7) are in Anaheim Wednesday night to take on the Ducks (43-14-5), the NHL's top team at the moment. The game starts at 10:00 and can be seen on RDS and TSN-Habs.

This is the second and final meeting between the Habs and Ducks this season. The Canadiens earned an impressive 4-1 win over the Ducks in October. Tomas Plekanec picked up a goal and two assists in that match while Carey Price posted 31 saves to earn the win.

What to Watch:

With trade season already heating up prior to the 3:00 Wednesday deadline, keep an eye on Marc Bergevin to see if he has plans to bring in any new assets, or perhaps move one of his own. The Canadiens already acquired Mike Weaver from the Florida Panthers on Tuesday, and they picked up Dale Weise in exchange for Raphael Diaz before the Olympic break. The big question surrounding the Habs is whether or not they will move in or out a big piece, or is Marc Bergevin content for the most part with the make-up of his team.

The Ducks have made somewhat of a splash already as the deadline approaches, moving out Viktor Fasth and two-time Stanley Cup winner Dustin Penner, while bringing in veteran defenseman Stephane Robidas. It remains to be seen whether or not Bob Murray has another move left to make, but already the Ducks have been one of the more active teams this trade season.

What's at Stake:

The Habs are in the midst of a 4-game West Coast road trip, possibly their most challenging week of the season. Making matters worse, they played the LA Kings Monday without Carey Price and may not have him ready for Wednesday. The Canadiens are still holding on to third place in the East but with less than 20 games to play, every point is important.

Who's Out:

Aside from Price (lower body), the Habs are also missing Brandon Prust (upper body) and Michael  Bournival (concussion).

The Ducks are missing Sheldon Souray (wrist), who has not played a game this season. New addition, Stephane Robidas (leg) is out as well, but Mathieu Perrault (upper body) may be ready to return to action.

What Else:

Tuesday was a busy day in the NHL with 10 deals being made in advance of Wednesday's deadline. The surprise deal of the day came when the Panthers announced they had acquired Roberto Luongo from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Jacob Markstrom and Shawn Matthias. The Panthers also picked up Forward Steven Anthony as part of the exchange.

The Question Mark:

We want to hear from you, how would you grade Marc Bergevin's performance at the trade deadline?

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

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.


It will be interesting to see how depeleted the roster is after today's trade deadline. While I fully expect Markov and Gionta to stay, we might be losing a Bouillon or even a Tinordi if MB makes a giant splash.

As for the game, could be close or we could get rocked. One thing is for certain: Our dump and chase attack will lead to a beatdown against. If we utilize speed in the zone, we have a chance. I expect the former.

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