It’s been a while since I’ve done a regular game preview. So I think it’s time to call back Shania to introduce us tonight’s opponent . By the way I hope you’re not already fed up with her because I found pictures of her wearing almost every nhl jersey, so this stupid gimmick is not about to end. Oh, and for the record, I’m not a fan of Shania. Not at all. Not in any way. Not even close. But I’m amused by her idea to wear local jerseys to please the home crowd. Anyway.
So according to RDS and Habs Inside Out, here are the lines that Martin used in practice:
Metropolit has the flu, so he could miss tonight’s game. I’m a little surprised to see Kostitsyn playing on the fourth line. I know he hasn’t played well so far this season, but I wonder how exactly playing on the fourth line with Chips and Stewie will help him to score goals. His ice time will probably be reduced, and no offense to Chips, who played a great game against the rangers, but he’s not Plekanec yet… I know the idea is to send Andrei a message, but I’m not sure what the next step will be if he fails to score on the fourth line (and there’s a real possibility he will struggle with less talented players and a more limited role). Regarding Chips, it’s weird to see him paired with Stewie again. It didn’t seem to work earlier in the season, and he seemed more confortable with Latendresse.
Obviously, I’m not in a great position to guess what the optimal lines combinations are, and Jacques Martin has a tiny edge on me here: he’s actually coaching the Montreal Canadiens while I’m typing this on my laptop, 5 500 kms away. But still, he should clearly listen to me next time.
Also, apparently Halak is playing again tonight. I didn’t see that one coming. I understand the idea of playing the goalie that wins games, but it’s a little odd to bench your #1 goalie for 4 consecutive games. And you’d think a game against the Isles would have been a nice occasion to get him back on the ice. Because the next one is against the Pens in the Igloo, and it won’t be the easiest situation if Price has to play there. But we’ll see. And I guess there will be a LOT of discussion about this everywhere until then…
So to sum up: I’m surprised by the lines, and by the goalie choice. It must mean I know my team very well! I’m so smart…
Grrrreg writes another great post about the habs.
(oh, and the title of this post is a small shoutout to the Ookies)