NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2015-16 campaign tonight when the Minnesota Wild host the Montreal Canadiens at 8:00 p.m. ET. If you want to watch the game online, you can do so here.
December hasn’t been kind to the Montreal Canadiens. The Habs are 2-8-0 this month and they’ve scored more than two goals just once during that stretch.
Montreal has been forced to use several players from their AHL affiliate because of all the injuries they’ve had to endure.
They’ve been without star goaltender Carey Price for two long stretches this year, while the loss of forward Brendan Gallagher has also been huge.
With Gallagher, they are 16-4-2, but since he broke two fingers after blocking a shot on Nov. 22, they’re 4-8-1.
The Canadiens are beyond frustrated at this point. They’ve carried the play in most of their losses, but that’s no consolation prize for the team.
“I’m saying the same thing every day,” captain Max Pacioretty said after a 6-2 loss to Dallas on Saturday. “Just look at my interview for the past 10 games. It’s the same f—ing thing … it’s a joke.”
How did Montreal respond?
They dropped a 5-1 decision in Nashville last night.
Like Montreal, the Wild have dropped games to the Stars and Predators since Saturday, but as a whole, December has been kinder to them.
Minnesota has a 6-2-2 this month and they currently own the first Wild Card spot in the Western Conference.
The Wild are a deep team and they’ve been getting offensive contributions from several different players on the roster.
Zach Parise has 10 points in his last eight contests, Nino Niederreiter has four points in his last four games, Mikael Granlund has 13 points in his last 16 and even Jason Pominville has found his offensive touch after going 21 games without a goal to start the season.
But one player who always seems to fly under the radar is Ryan Suter.
The 30-year-old has five goals and 24 points while averaging 28:18 of ice time in ’15-16.
Following that game, NBCSN will have the late game between the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings. You can watch that game by clicking here.
The Sharks are back on the West Coast after going to Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa and Chicago.
The trip was somewhat of a success, as they beat the Habs and Leafs, but lost to the Senators and Blackhawks (in overtime).
The Kings and Sharks split the first two meetings of the season. San Jose won 5-1 in the regular season opener, but Los Angeles responded with a 4-1 just over two weeks later.
Both teams are led by elite defensemen.
San Jose’s Brent Burns had been a force offensively this year. The 30-year-old has 12 goals (on pace for 30) and 28 points in 33 games this year.
Drew Doughty‘s offensive numbers aren’t as high, but the all-around defenseman 19 points this season while averaging over 27 minutes per game.
These two teams are the one and two seeds in a weak Pacific Division.
The Kings currently hold an eight-point lead over the Sharks.