San Jose Sharks vs Montreal Canadiens pregame thoughts and predictions
The Sharks couldn’t have come much closer to extending their season-opening point streak than they did against the Boston Bruins. David Krejci scored with less than a second remaining in regulation to hault San Jose’s point streak at eight. They’ll be looking to get back on track tonight against the Montreal Canadiens.
A fiery, bounce-back win is in order for the Sharks as they try to maintain their early season momentum instead of back sliding like they did last season. Until they prove that this year isn’t like 2012-13, pundits will continue to discredit the Sharks and their winning ways in October.
Not that the pundits should matter much to the boys in teal right now.
Game Number: 10
Opponent: Montreal Canadiens
Opponent Record (Last 10): 6-4-0 (One game winning streak)
Offense: Hot (Nine goals in last three games)
Defense: Mildly chilly (Gave up seven goals in last three games)
Power Play: Hot (25.6% conversion rate—sixth in the NHL)
Penalty Kill: Mildly chilly (82.9%—13th in the NHL)
Players to Watch
The Sharks will be tasked with slowing down the most aggressive offensive-defenseman in the NHL in P.K. Subban. He’s been nothing short of a monster so far this season. The Canadiens are going to have to pay this kid a boatload of dollars at the end of this year, and he’s clearly fired up to duplicate his Norris Trophy-winning 2013 campaign.
Up front, the Habs are a bit smaller than they’d normally be. No Brandon Prust, Max Pacioretty or George Parros means there’s a lot less sandpaper in the lineup than usual. There are several youngsters worth keeping an eye on though—namely Alex Galchenyuk. He is beginning to show flashes of the brilliant player that he is, and is becoming a nightly scoring threat.
Brendan Gallagher will have more than one run-in with Antti Niemi. While Lars Eller has cooled off after a hot start, it’ll be interesting to see if he has any insights prior to the game tonight.
Carey Price will get the call for Montreal this evening. He slowed down a formidable Anaheim Ducks offense last night, allowing only one goal. Whether or not he can perform the same way against the Sharks could be the difference between victory and defeat for the Canadiens.
Carey Price vs Sharks
— Marc Antoine Godin (@MAGodin) October 25, 2013
He’s been his typical hot and cold self. Sometimes showing up and only allowing no goals on 36 shots, and on other nights allowing four goals on 32 shots. Antti Niemi is *yawn* back in net for the Sharks as he maintains his strangle hold on San Jose’s net.
Antti Niemi ce soir contre les #Habs
— Guillaume Lefrançois (@GLefrancoisRC) October 26, 2013
Predictions (for fun)
- Subban will be held pointless for only the fourth time this season
- The Sharks will chase Price with two early goals
- Matt Irwin has a two-point night
- Marleau or Pavelski scores a shorty
Final Score prediction: San Jose 4 – Montreal – 2