We’ve had some nice coverage of today’s upcoming Flyers-Canadiens tilt. Here’s the game preview and a story about the so-far-huge effect of home ice advantage on the series. To give you a little more information going into the game, I thought I’d throw some math at you.
Some are simple but some are a little more interesting. Let’s have a little fun with numbers. Some of them come from this game preview.
- So far for the playoffs, the Flyers have 47 goals for and 34 goals against (+13) while the Canadiens have 44 goals for and 50 goals against (-6).
- The Flyers scored 17 goals on the powerplay while allowing 10 shorthanded (+7) while the Canadiens allowed one more (13) on the kill than they scored with the man advantage (12).
- Michael Cammalleri leads the playoffs with 13 goals. That’s fourth all-time among Montreal Canadiens players in the playoffs. He’s really good.
- Like I mentioned in that home ice advantage post, the home team outscored the road team 14-1 in the three games of this series so far.
- Two years ago, the Flyers also led their best-of-7 series against Montreal, 2-1, before winning Games 4 and 5.
- Scott Gomez – yes, that Gomez – is the Habs’ penalty minute leader with 25. Philly’s PIM leader is predictably Dan Carcillo (30).
- Mike Richards hasn’t been far behind Cammalleri, points wise, with 18 to Cammalleri’s 19. Those totals lead their teams, by the way, although Briere is tied with Richards with 18 as well.
- Jaroslav Halak is still without a shutout, which seems like the only thing the Slovakian goalie can’t accomplish in these playoffs. Meanwhile, Michael Leighton already has 2 SO’s and only played in six games so far.
- Somehow the rough-and-tumble Flyers and small-but-scrappy Canadiens average the same amount of PIM per game (12).
- One thing we can be certain of: at least one of these teams won’t be undefeated in games that they can be eliminated. Unless the world ends before they play a hypothetical Game 7 … (not ideal)
If nothing else, the New Jersey Devils seem like they won’t be the sort of team a contender can essentially mark off as a “W” on their calendars.
The Montreal Canadiens may not be in a position to take opponents lightly with Carey Price on the shelf, but whatever the case may be, they saw their four-game winning streak end in frustrating fashion on Saturday.
After falling behind 2-0, the Devils scrapped their way back into it, eventually riding a John Moore overtime goal to a 3-2 OT win.
If Montreal needs an obvious bright side to look on considering this hiccup, Alex Galchenyuk‘s hot weekend may be a good thing to look at.
Tonight’s loss may smart a bit anyway, however.
If you want to summarize the Capitals – Maple Leafs game in one sentence, you could do worse than:
“Washington is hot as Jonathan Bernier is cold.”
The Caps reeled off a 4-2 win against Toronto on Saturday, giving them five straight wins. They also jumped into first place in the Metropolitan Division today, as they keep climbing while the New York Rangers are experiencing some growing pains.
Again, James Reimer can’t get healthy and back in Toronto’s net too soon:
With this win, Washington is now 17-5-1, leading the Metro by one point with 35 standings points. They also hold a game in hand against the Rangers, and no other Metro team even has 30 right now.
Measuring stick stretch begins
Tonight’s game began a “prove-it” month-and-change for Washington.
This contest began a three-game road trip, and they’ll also play six of seven away from Washington.
It’s pretty rough through the start of 2016, really. The Capitals will only enjoy three home games through Jan. 9.
In other words, the Capitals seem like a convincing East contender, but look out if they remain hot through the next 5-6 weeks.
Yes, there’s a lot of drama surrounding the Pittsburgh Penguins, whether it’s founded on serious problems or merely speculation.
It’s easy to get swept up in all of that and ignore the fact that, hey, they still have Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. Those two can really heal wounds with their on-ice play, and in Saturday’s case, Malkin is taking over against the Edmonton Oilers.
His spin-o-rama goal above was a real jaw-dropper. He also scored Pittsburgh’s second tally:
These highlights feel like Malkin’s way of saying “It’s going to be just fine.”
Update: It wasn’t enough for a win, however, as the Oilers beat the Penguins 3-2 via a shootout.
Fighting is down more or less across the board in the NHL, but the Tampa Bay Lightning might be the franchise least interested in dropping the gloves.
Ryan Callahan vs. Kyle Okposo already has some name recognition to it, yet it gets some bonus points for being the Bolts’ first fighting major of 2015-16.
It … probably loses those bonus points in being run-of-the-mill.
Hey, be fair; the Lightning are clearly out of practice.