The Habs are limping home to host the Flames at the Bell Centre, less than 24 hours after taking a 5-0 walloping in Ottawa. Will a friendly crowd help the Habs get back in the win column? Here are three things to watch as Montreal hosts Calgary.
1. Get Shorty
The Habs added a regretful page to the franchise history books last night in Ottawa by allowing three short-handed goals in a 5-0 loss to the Senators. The Habs power play has been, at best, a work in progress for the past several seasons. But giving up three goals with the man advantage is a new low. Montreal's power play isn't the same when P.K. Subban isn't in the line up, and he won't be again tonight as he recovers from a neck injury. How coach Therrien plans to fix the power play woes without Subban is anybody's guess.
2. Defensive decimation
Victor Bartley is the latest Habs blue-liner to go down with an injury. The team says he is day-to-day with a lower body injury after playing in Ottawa last night. Bartley joins Jeff Petry, Tom Gilbert, P.K. Subban and Mark Barberio on the growing list of Habs defencemen who are out of action. Montreal has called up Joel Hanley from the AHL as an emergency recall to fill out tonight's line up.
3. Looking for leadership
This season certainly hasn't gone the way newly crested Habs captain Max Pacioretty hoped for. With 10 games to play this season, the Habs are long gone from the playoff picture. And with the amount of injuries recently, it could be easy to throw up your hands and say that there is nothing that can be done about it.
Pacioretty's leadership qualities are always under the microscope in this city. But with nothing to play for it will be interesting to see how, or if, he can motivate what is left of this team for the remainder of the season. Will the Habs continue to fade or can captain Pacioretty get some grind'em-out results from this rag-tag group?