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Rangers Pregame: Scouting the Canadiens

Let's take a look at tonight's opponent, the Montreal Canadiens: Canadiens-logo_medium

Montreal Canadiens

Head Coach: Jacques Martin

Home Arena: Bell Centre

Current Record: 4-5, 4th place, Northeast Division

Last Season vs. Rangers: 2-2

SBNation Home of the Montreal Canadiens: Habs Eyes On The Prize

Who's In:

Scott Gomez via trade from New York Rangers, Mike Cammalleri (free agent, Calgary Flames), Brian Gionta (free agent, New Jersey Devils), Jaroslav Spacek (free agent, Buffalo Sabres), Paul Mara (free agent, New York Rangers), Travis Moen (free agent, San Jose Sharks), Hal Gill (free agent, Pittsburgh Penguins), and Curtis Sandford (free agent, Vancouver Canucks).

Who's out:

Christopher Higgins, Doug Janek, Alex Kovalev (signed with Ottawa Senators), Saku Koivu (signed with Anaheim Ducks), Mike Komisarek (signed with Toronto Maple Leafs),Tom Kostopoulos (signed with Carolina Hurricanes), Alex Tanguay (signed with Tampa Bay Lightning), and Mathieu Schneider (signed with Vancouver Canucks).

Leading Scorer:

Tomas Plekanec

#14 / Center / Montreal Canadiens



Oct 31, 1982

G A P +/- PIM
2009 - Tomas Plekanec 2 6 8 2 4

Things to watch for tonight:

Even Strength: Montreal only has 12 goals in games at even strength, 24th in the league. Rangers have scored 21 goals at even strength, that is good enough for 7th in the league.

Rangers PK vs Montreal PP: Habs power play is 22nd in the league, Rangers PK is now 5th in the league.

First Goal: Montreal is 1-4 when they give up the first goal, Rangers are 5-1 when they get on the board first.

Old friends: Scott Gomez has 5 pts so far for the Habs, as does Paul Mara.

More after the jump.......

A few notes from Habs Inside Out:

Hab fans like to boast about their prospect list, but the Rangers are right up there with them. In fact, they’re ahead of Montreal is this important aspect of the game. New York has no less than five young pivots in the system that could make the big team one day. Artem Anisimov (6'4", on the team), Eveny Grachev (6'3", will arrive soon), Chris Kreider (New York’s answer to Louis Leblanc), Ethan Werek (good old Stouffville boy), and David Kveton (sleeper) are all decent prospects. Who the hell needs Gomez when these guys are in the pipeline?

Speaking of kids, the defense is brimming with great prospects, some of whom are already with the big club. My player to watch tonight is Michael Del Zotto. Born and raised in Stouffville, this guy has burst onto the scene and has added a much needed punch to the anemic Ranger PP. Del Zotto has four goals and five assists with three PP goals (shoots L). Not that fast on the blades, but he can really move the puck around. Soft hands and a great shot make him a perfect point man. Could be better in his own end but who cares? That’s somebody else’s job! Wears #4.

A few more stories on Les Habitants:

Scott Gomez caught in rumour mill (Montreal Gazette)

Bob Gainey's tenure with the Habs has been ruled by panic (Montreal Gazette)

Here is a review of the Habs win over the Islanders from Habs World.