Five points of interest ahead of puck-drop
1. In the last meeting between these two teams Carey Price was excellent. I realize that description can be applied to many outings by the Habs netminder this season, but he was a big part of the 3-0 shutout loss the Canucks suffered, making 42 saves. Chris Tanev also aggravated an ankle injury in a collision with Paul Byron in front of the net. Tanev originally suffered the ailment in the fifth game of the season in Los Angeles and has seemingly played through pain all year. Following the game against the Canadiens, the ankle would keep Tanev out for the next 20 games.
2. The Canucks have lost 306 man games to injury this year. Tanev did not take the morning skate, but is expected to play tonight. The same cannot be said about Loui Eriksson. The 31-year-old left the game in Anaheim early in the first period, following what looked like a knee-on-knee collision with Chris Wagner. Eriksson could miss the next 1-2 weeks, according to Willie Desjardins. It marks yet another veteran that has been out of the lineup for an extended amount of time.
3. The hole beside Sven Baertschi and Bo Horvat will be filled by Nikolay Goldobin tonight. The outspoken, vibrant, bubbly Russian has captured the hearts of Canucks fans and will make his home debut. While Eriksson seemed like a fit that could work into next season on the right side of Horvat, Goldobin is out to prove he deserves a higher spot in the lineup and that he will make the most of this kind of opportunity granted. Goldobin scored in his Canucks debut, but has played only four games in the NHL this season. The former San Jose Shark will also receive minutes on the second power play unit.
4. Reid Boucher and Goldobin were teammates before each joined the Vancouver Canucks. The pair even played on the same line. It was 2012-13 in Sarnia, with the Sting, of the Ontario Hockey League. That year something special would occur and Alex Galchenyuk would end up captaining the Sting, thanks in part to the NHL lockout. The Canadiens' first-rounder would join Boucher and Goldobin on a line and help Boucher break Steven Stamkos’ single season goal record (58) as the line caught fire. Boucher recorded 62 goals and 95 points that season.
5. The Canadiens have been one of the NHL’s busiest franchises this season. After making the trade for Shea Weber, the club would also conduct a coaching change in February and bring in Claude Julien. The Habs were active at the deadline as well and hope it adds up to success in the playoffs this year. One player that has been a constant is Carey Price. Price has taken off since the bye-week break (5-2-0) and takes aim at his fifth straight win tonight. No doubt, the play of the B.C. native will determine how far Montreal can go, after all the change this year.
Game Time: 7pmPT with @HockeyAbbs /@DTSN1040
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