GAME PREVIEW | Penguins – Canadiens: Scandella to Make Habs Debut

Game Preview by Sam Gerber
Last game : MTL 1  TBL 2  F   One bad giveaway was all Tampa Bay needed to beat the Habs. It was a much more defensive game and the Habs put up 39 shots but failed to finish and went 0-for-3 on the power-play.

For a complete game recap: Habs Finish First Half Season With Loss

Players to watch

  • Max Domi
    With all the injuries piling up Domi has stepped up his offensive game with points in his last eight. Given his defensive liabilities, it’s time to transition him to the wing.
  • Marco Scandella
    Scandella was the least used defenceman in Buffalo so was shipped to his childhood team. Scandella won’t be flashy and is suspect defensively but he adds a little more size to the back end and should make a positive impact. 
  • Carey Price
    Despite Victor Mete fumbling a breakout, Price played an excellent game against Tampa and was the goalie who faced the much tougher shots. Prior to the last game, he was presented with the Molson Cup for December. 

Keys to Victory

  • Keep focused
    Staying focused on every play will be key, one relaxed play can easily end up in the back of the net and the Habs have been learning that the hard way.
  • Scoring from throughout the lineup
    With both teams suffering injuries to top players the team who’s depth players find the back of the net should be the winner.
  • Get a strong start
    The Habs can’t expect to win games giving up early goals and need to have a much better start.
Statistical Matchup by All Habs
Bell Centre, Montreal, QC | January 4, 7:00 PM ET | TV: CITY, SNE, TVAS, ATTSN-PT

2019-20 statistics

53 (5th) Points (rank) 42 (24th)
24-11-5 Record 18-17-6
8-7-2 Away/Home 8-9-3
7-2-1 Last 10 4-6-0
3.40 GF/G 3.17
2.67 GA/G 3.22
18.8 PP% 22.9
80.7 PK% 76.0
52.61  CF% 54.09
Pre-game quotes
Claude Julien

  • “The guys are competing hard. We came out of the last game without a point even though we probably deserved two. So there’s some frustration, but when you see that your general manager is trying to help the team in bringing in some small changes and a bit of help here and there it’s encouraging.”
Projected forward lines, defense pairings and goaltenders by All Habs
Galchenyuk – Malkin – Rust
Simon – McCann – Hornqvist
Aston-Reese – Blueger – Tanev
Kahun – Blandisi – Di Pauli
Tatar – Danault – Cousins
Lehkonen – Domi – Suzuki
Poehling – Kotkaniemi – Weal
Vejdemo – Thompson – Weise
Johnson – Letang 
Pettersson – Marino
Riikola – Ruhwedel
Chiarot – Weber
Mete – Petry
Scandella – Fleury
Out of the lineup
Scratched: Czuczman
Injured: Crosby, Bjustad, Dumoulin, Guentzel, Lafferty, Schultz
Scratched: Kovalchuk, Folin, Kulak
Injured: Drouin, Byron, Armia, Gallagher, Peca
Matt Murray Carey Price
Record: 11-6-4
GAA: – 2.96
Sv%: – .894
SO: 1
Alternate: Emil Larmi
Record: 16-14-3
GAA: – 3.00
Sv%: – .901
SO: 1
Alternate: Charlie Lindgren
 What to Expect by Sam Gerber
The Habs playoff window is getting very small, with just a 12 percent chance of seeing the post-season. Bergevin is already trotting out the excuses saying that injuries are the reason for their fate. But look no further to the Penguins who have lost a number of key players, including Sidney Crosby, yet are fifth overall in the league. Bergevin has made a few minor moves but results of the next couple of weeks will decide whether the general manager is a buyer or a seller at the trade deadline. 
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