Upcoming Road Trip Will Reveal A Lot About Habs
The Montreal Canadiens have been a better than expected team to this point in their season. Now, that isn’t saying a lot because absolutely nothing was expected of them this year.
By better than expected, we are talking about a team that is 3-4-0 and sitting last in the Atlantic Division. Still, things have actually gone better than most fans would have guessed.
First of all, the fact they were able to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs and Pittsburgh Penguins was something unexpected. Even their losses to the Minnesota Wild and Dallas Stars showed plenty of positives.
Young players are looking good, Cole Caufield is scoring goals, Kaiden Guhle looks like a future top pairing guy, Arber Xhekaj looks like he belongs at the NHL level, Nick Suzuki is over a point per game and Jake Allen has been incredible.
The only area where the Habs may need to really clean up their act is on the road. They are 3-2-0 at home, losing to Dallas and Minnesota who are two strong western conference teams. On the road they are 0-2-0 and played their two worst games of the season.
Their first road game of the season was their second game of the year and they were dominated. The, not-very-mighty Detroit Red Wings fired 25 shots on the Habs goal in the first period alone. They were all over the Canadiens all night as the Habs barely mustered a scoring chance through the first two periods of the game.
The final score was 3-0 Red Wings which was kind of flattering for the Canadiens who were completely overmatched at Little Caesar’s Arena.
The next night the Canadiens faced the Washington Capitals on the road and would lose 3-1. Nick Suzuki scored a nice goal on a wraparound, but it was all the offence the team has been able to put together in 60 minutes of hockey away from home this season.
There will be no easy games on the upcoming road trip. The Habs face the Buffalo Sabres tonight and they are off to an impressive start. It seems like the Sabres always start the season well, but never finish the same way, but they are playing good hockey right now.
The Canadiens will head to St. Louis to face the Blues on Saturday night. The Blues have only played four games so far this season but are 3-1-0 and have a deep, talented veteran team so they will be a formidable opponent.
After two nights off, the Canadiens will have a rematch with the Wild, this time in Minnesota. Traditionally, the Wild have been a great team on home ice and though they aren’t off to their best start, they have a great roster that will be motivated to improve their record after a head-scratching 1-3-1 start.
The Canadiens trip wraps up on November 3rd when they travel to Winnipeg to face the Jets. The Jets have been a strong team on home ice ever since they returned to Manitoba. They are 2-1-0 on home ice so far this season.
The Canadiens young roster has shown lots of promise early on this season, but most of the positives were witnessed on home ice. When they don’t have the matchup advantage on the road, they have looked overmatched.
It has only been two road games, but if things don’t change quickly when the team is not at the Bell Centre this road trip could be a long one.
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