Montreal Canadiens vs. Winnipeg Jets: 3 things to watch
The Habs will try to salvage their 4-game road trip in Winnipeg after losing 3 in a row
Neither the Montreal Canadiens nor the Winnipeg Jets appear playoff bound this season but with pride on the line the pair will clash tonight at the MTS Centre.
Here are three things to watch as the Habs take on the Jets.
1. Something has gotta give
The Montreal Canadiens don't have much mojo away from home recently.
The Habs are 1-6-1 away from the Bell Centre since the All Star break and in those eight games they have been outscored by their opponents 34-20. So you can understand if Habs fans are a little weary about putting any faith behind the team to beat the Jets.
But wait! There is hope because the Winnipeg Jets are even worse at home than the Habs are on the road.
The Jets are 0-5-1 on home ice since the All Star break and the organization appears to be in full "restructuring mode" — which is of course a polite way of saying they're tanking for a better draft pick.
Something has to give tonight. Will it be the Habs finding a "W" away from the Bell Centre or will the Jets finally give the home fans their money's worth with a win on home ice?
2. Gaffe factory
In Los Angeles, the three goals the Kings scored were a great metaphor for the Habs season.
To recap: the first goal was thanks to Max Pacioretty losing his skate blade and leaving his teammates short handed while he tried to hop back to the bench on one leg. The second goal was off a face off where it appeared most of the Habs weren't ready to play yet. The third goal was because P.K. Subban caught an edge at centre ice, fell down and gave up a break away.
Doesn't that just sum up the Habs whole season nicely? As a team on one leg that isn't ready when the puck drops and falls down at the worst possible moment?
Add Lars Eller's whiff on an open net in overtime the night before in Anaheim to the lowlight reel and you have to wonder what creative gaffe will the Habs accomplish next?
3. The kids are all right
Tonight's game should feature a lot of young players trying to make an impression and the Habs Stefan Matteau is among them.
Matteau is a former first-round draft pick but he had clearly not been living up to the billing because the Devils gave him up on deadline day without much of a fight.
Marc Bergevin then sent a clear message that Matteau would be on a short leash in Montreal when he explained to reporters that it is now up to Matteau to prove that he can be an NHL player.
Matteau has played two games in a Habs uniform since the trade but he has yet to be involved in a goal. Watch to see what Matteau and the other young players bring tonight.