Canadians @ Ducks: Start Time, Tale of the Strip, and How to Watch
Montreal Canadiens @ Anaheim Ducks
How to watch
Start time: 4:00 p.m. EDT / 1:00 p.m. PDT
In the Canadiens region: TSN2 (English), RDS (French)
In the Ducks region: Bally Sports SoCal / San Diego
Diffusion: ESPN +, NHL Live, RDS Direct, TSN Direct
The Canadians have had an interesting road trip so far. It started with their very first meeting with the Seattle Kraken on Tuesday, in what wasn’t a great performance for Jake Allen in a 6-2 loss. Two nights later, Allen put on one of the best performances of his life, repelling 45 shots against the San Jose Sharks in a pretty impressive 4-0 win. On Saturday afternoon, there were few good performances for the Canadians on the road as they fell 5-2 to the Los Angeles Kings.
All the defensive problems were exposed in yesterday’s game. The blue lines failed to protect the slot and the attackers were unable to follow the players sneaking up to the top of the circles. The struggles were most noticeable on the penalty kill as Montreal allowed three more power play goals, bringing its season tally to 12, the league’s worst in just nine games, and dropping its effectiveness to an abysmal rate. 64.7%.
Playing an Anaheim Ducks team with a 24.0% power play is probably not what the Canadiens need to get the win, but at least it’s a chance for the coaching staff to do some much needed adjustments.
Tale of the Band
|47.1% (24th)||Score-odds-for%||45.5% (28th)|
|1.89 (29th)||Goals per game||3.00 (14th)|
|3.33 (26th)||Goals against per game||3.56 (29th)|
|9.4% (30th)||PP%||24.0% (12th)|
|64.7% (30th)||PACKAGE%||82.1% (18th)|
|1-0-0||H2H Record (19-20)||0-0-1|
The obvious answer is simply to take fewer penalties, but that’s hard to do when attackers are forced to chase attackers who beat defenders. The five-on-five positioning is a big deal, and it only gets worse when the team loses a man.
It is encouraging that Joel Edmundson will be back with the squad soon after the Canadiens return to Montreal, although the exact timing of this with the need for practice time is not yet known. His presence has been greatly missed at the back (along with that of Shea Weber), and the team will be very different when they return to the lineup. But that will not happen today.
One task they have in front of them is to prevent Ryan Getzlaf from taking sole possession of Teemu Selanne’s franchise points record. Keeping him off the scoreboard is a test the other six teams they’ve faced haven’t handled well, as he has up to six assists this season.
It only ranks sixth on the team’s scoring list for this year. The Ducks are led by 24-year-old Troy Terry, who is better than a point-per-game player in his eight games, with a 23.5% shooting percentage. That mark is unlikely to be lasting throughout the season, but if the Habs give him as much room as they allowed the Los Angeles forwards yesterday, he may well continue his momentum.
On the flip side, Anaheim is one of the worst defensive teams in the NHL, so Montreal can probably survive a defensive gap or two. The Ducks are playing the same high-level style that this current iteration of the Canadiens was designed for, and we’ll see if they can pull themselves together long enough to finish with two more points in the standings.