Tonight the Philadelphia Flyers will be in Montreal to take on the Canadiens, who are currently the second-worst team in the NHL by the standings. They have, however, been playing better of late, since the hiring of Martin St. Louis as head coach. At the beginning of the season, under Dominique Ducharme, the Habs were 8-30-7 for 23 points. With St. Louis at the helm Montreal is 12-16-4, good for 28 points in 32 games.
Lately those same struggles have returned for the Canadiens as they are currently in the midst of a six-game losing streak. Their last loss was a 2-0 shutout against the Minnesota Wild. For the Flyers, their last time out they were beaten 5-2 by the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Flyers are also currently in the middle of a six-game losing streak.
One bright spot for the Canadiens this season has been the play of Cole Caufield. This has been Caufield’s first season playing full-time in the NHL and he has looked solid considering the way Montreal’s season has gone. In 62 games he ranks second on the team with 18 goals, third with 20 assists, and second in points with 38.
Flyers Projected Lineup
Scott Laughton-Kevin Hayes-Travis Konecny
James van Riemsdyk-Joel Farabee-Bobby Brink
Noah Cates-Morgan Frost-Owen Tippett
Oskar Lindblom-Nate Thompson-Zack MacEwen
Ivan Provorov-Ronnie Attard
Linus Hogberg-Travis Sanheim
Keith Yandle-Egor Zamula
Canadiens Projected Lineup
Cole Caufield-Nick Suzuki-Josh Anderson
Mike Hoffman-Christian Dvorak-Brendan Gallagher
Rem Pitlick-Jake Evans-Ryan Poehling
Rafael Harvey-Pinard-Matthieu Perreault-Tyler Pitlick
Alexander Romanov-David Savard
Joel Edmunson-Jeff Petry
Kale Clague-Chris Wideman
What to Watch for
Nick Suzuki has been the Canadiens’ best player by far this season. In 77 games played he has 20 goals and 37 assists for 57 points, leading the team in all categories. In his last five games he has a goal and two assist while averaging 19:50 in ice time.
Carey Price returned on April 15 after stepping away from the game for personal reasons. Since retuning, the veteran goalie is 0-2-0 with a 2.02 goals against and a .918 save percentage. In his career against the Flyers he is 16-11-2 with a 2.49 GAA and a .922 save percentage.
Linus Hogberg will make is NHL debut tonight for the Flyers. He will be the ninth Flyer to make his NHL debut. In 83 career games with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, Hogberg has two goals and 13 assists. Hogberg is 23 years old, 6’1, 176 pounds and has a good ability to move the puck, something the Flyers have been lacking. He will be eager to prove himself and fans should be excited to see what he can bring the rest of the season.