Big game tonight in Montreal, as the Canadiens (winners of their last 3) face off against San Jose (victories in 5 of their last 6) in what many people thought might be a Stanley Cup preview back at the start of the year. While the Sharks have managed to live up to those lofty expectations so far this season (not that regular season success is anything new to them), the Canadiens have taken a slightly rougher road through their first 62 games. After a prolonged Western slump the Habs seem to have things back in order though, and look to keep it going tonight against one of the top teams in the league.
Key to the recent success has been the resurgence of the once vaunted powerplay with the acquisition of Mathieu Schneider, who tallied two points on the PP last night including the game winner in OT. Jaroslav Halak has also become a stabilizing presence in goal, and Tomas Plekanec has been absolutely on fire with 9 points (6 goals) in the 5 games played since returning from his 2-game suspension. Alex
"L'Artiste" Kovalev has been equally hot of late, totaling 7 points in the three games back after his team-imposed exile.
With the deadline looming it will be interesting to see how management decides to go about tinkering with the roster, since the quality of play lately has been very solid. With Alex Tanguay and Guillaume Latendresse due to return before too much longer there will also be improvements available from within the team itself, although that hasn't stopped people from talking about the availability of Keith Tkachuk and Olli Jokinen to fill some needs up front. Needless to say it should be an eventful few days leading up to the March 4 deadline, and we'll do our best to keep you completely up to date on all of the important news.
Enjoy the game tonight everybody!