#MTLHockey Preview

HabsAvs

Match Up

The Canadiens (4-1-0) welcome Patrick Roy and the Avalanche (1-3-1) to town Saturday night. The second home game of the season is set to start at 7:00 and will be broadcast on TVA-Sports, City and Altitude TV.

This is the first of two games between the Habs and Avs this season. Last year each team won the match they hosted handily in the two game season series. Thomas Vanek scored a hat trick in Montreal’s 6-3 victory when the teams last met, and Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais each collected a pair of assists.

What to Watch

After 4 games without a power play goal, the Habs went 2-for-3 with the man advantage against the Bruins Thursday, although the second was scored into an empty net. Jiri Sekac lit the lamp in the home opener for his first career NHL goal. His parents and girlfriend were in the stands to cheer him on.

Jiri Sekac Sr. reacts to his sons first NHL goal

The Avalanche come to town with Daniel Briere, Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan McKinnon, Jarome Igilna, Ryan O’Reilly, Matt Duchene, and one of the coldest offenses in the league. Colorado has only managed to put up 7 goals in 5 games and have already given up 17 goals against.

What’s at Stake

The Canadiens are off to a hot start and their 4-1-0 record has them on top of their division and in a tie with the New York …wait for it… Islanders for first place in the Eastern Conference. The Avalanche come to town light on goaltending and the Habs will want to take advantage of that.

Who’s Out

Alexei Emelin returned to the lineup Thursday from the upper body injury that forced him to miss two games. Nathan Beaulieu and Dale Weise were the healthy scratches when the Habs played their home opener, it will be interesting to see whether they draw back in for Saturday’s game.

Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov (groin) is already on injured reserve and now back-up Reto Berra (neck) is questionable for Saturday’s game after leaving early in Colorado’s 5-3 to the Senators on Thursday. This means that Calvin Pickard could get his first NHL start Saturday night. Jesse Winchester (concussion) is also missing for the Avs.

What Else

The first period continues to hurt the Canadiens, the team has been out-shot in the first period of each of their first five games. Thursday’s home opener was the first game this season the Habs didn’t head to the locker room trailing after 20 minutes.

The Question Mark

He’s got a year of NHL coaching experience under his belt and a Jack Adams Award to show for it, but would you want Patrick Roy to coach the Canadiens?

Tonight’s Show

Join host Steven Hindle along with Kosta Papoulias and Rob Elbaz for the Montreal Hockey Talk Pregame Show as we go live at 6:00 Saturday night to preview the Canadiens and Avalanche.

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