Last game : MTL 1 CAR 3 F The Habs finished 2019 with their third straight loss. The bigger loss is Brendan Gallagher who will be out indefinitely with a concussion. It was a close game til the final whistle but the Habs weren’t able to generate offense. Lindgren played extremely well and should remain with the team.
Tomas Tatar Tatar is leading the Habs offensively and with the loss to Gallagher, he’ll need to put the team on his back.
Nick Cousins No one has a bigger opportunity than Cousins who will be promoted to the top line. Already short a number of top wingers, the Habs need Cousins to step up. Julien seems to have confidence in him. It will be up to the winger to prove himself to fans.
Carey Price Charlie Lindgren’s start against Carolina allowed Price to get some well-earn rest. Price will be back in net tonight and should be between the pipes for Pittsburgh on Saturday and Winnipeg on Monday at the Bell Centre.
Keys to Victory
Limit giveaways The Habs had a lot of turnovers last week against the Bolts, tonight they have to be a lot more careful and make smart decisions with the puck.
Goals from the bottom six With the injuries piling up the Habs need someone besides their top guys to score. The third and fourth lines are fully capable of scoring and it’s time they do.
Use their speed The Habs need to get back to the basics. They’re a speed team that do their best in transition.
Statistical Matchup by All Habs
Bell Centre, Montreal, QC | January 2, 7:00 PM ET | TV: TSN2, RDS, SUN
“I’m not trying to replicate what (Brendan Gallagher) can do, nobody can replace what he can do. I’m just going to bring my skill set and not try to overcomplicate things. Those two (Tomas Tatar and Phillip Danault) have been playing together for two years now so I’m just trying to bring my game to that line and see what we can do.”
Projected forward lines, defense pairings and goaltenders by All Habs
Palat – Point – Kucherov Killorn – Cirelli – Stamkos Maroon – Paquette – Johnson Gourde – Stephens – Verhaeghe
Record: 16-13-3 GAA: – 3.03 Sv%: – .901 SO: 1 Alternate: Charlie Lindgren
What to Expect by Sam Gerber
It was a terrible end to 2019 for the Habs but lots to look forward to in 2020. The Habs have some ground to make up and are still are in the playoff hunt but they have to make a move now. It’s important to start 2020 with a win giving the Habs a bit of a fresh start with the new year.
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