MONTREAL -- Up for the Habs this week: The Habs head to Boston to battle for division supremacy before returning home to take on the Islanders and Leafs at the Bell Centre.
Canadiens @ Boston – Wednesday, February 9 @ 7:00 PM
The Habs kick off their week with a visit to Beantown for another four-point game, this one against the Bruins. Thus far in 2010-11 the Canadiens have shown a knack for toppling teams close to them in the standings and will try to stay perfect versus the Boston squad in their fourth run-in of the season.
Look for Habs’ captain Brian Gionta
to keep his strong start to the month rolling on the road as he represents the Canadiens most effective offensive weapon against Boston this season with a goal in each of the clubs’ three meetings. The Bruins on the other hand will have to make due without the services of Marc Savard who Boston announced Monday will miss the remainder of the season due to concussion.
A win by the Habs would vault them into a tie with Boston for first place in the Northeast Division and third overall in the Eastern Conference, with the Bruins still holding a game in hand.
Canadiens vs. Islanders – Thursday, February 10 @ 7:30 PM
The Habs head home Thursday night to host the Islanders at the Bell Centre, wrapping up their third consecutive set of back-to-back games. Count on the Canadiens to be out for revenge after suffering a 4-1 loss at the hands of the New York squad during their last encounter on Dec. 26.
The Habs’ latest tilt against the Islanders also pits defenseman James Wisniewski against his former club for the first time since being traded to Montreal. Wisniewski represented one of the Islanders’ top blue-liners at the time and was responsible for a power-play goal in the teams’ last meeting.
While the Islanders had a rocky month of January, winning only four of their 13 games played, they’ll be looking to bounce back in February having already collected four of a possible six points in their first three games.
Canadiens vs. Maple Leafs – Saturday, February 12 @ 7:00 PM
The Maple Leafs pay a visit to Montreal for the clubs’ second Saturday night game of 2010-11 on Bell Centre ice. Despite sitting in 12th place in the Eastern Conference and 11 points out of a playoff spot, the Leafs have still managed to lead their season-series against the Habs, winning two of their three encounters to date.
Look for the Habs to try and duplicate their performance from the Leafs last appearance at the Bell Centre in which the home-team walked away with a 2-0 shutout that saw Carey Price
stone the Toronto squad on all 30 shots thrown his way.
While Phil Kessel managed to pot goals in both Toronto’s wins over Montreal this season, it should be noted that the All-Star Game’s last-picked player has been held goalless in his last 10 contests, having not lit the lamp since Jan.11.
Justin Fragapane is a writer for canadiens.com.SEE ALSOVintage commercial - Vincent DamphousseFeeling trapped Devils 4, Canadiens 1