Pregame Preview: Canadiens vs Blues (Game #16)

montreal canadiens vs st-louis blues nhl

Match Up:

The Canadiens (8-7-0) are back home Tuesday to host Jaroslav Halak and the Blues (8-2-2). The game is set to start at 7:30 and will air on RDS and TSN.

This is the first of two meetings between the Habs and Blues. The last time these teams met, Halak turned in 19 saves to shut the Habs out in his first game back in Montreal.

What to Watch:

There are two interesting story lines to keep a watch on Tuesday night. The first is the goaltending duel between Halak and Carey Price. Price has won 91 games since the trade in the summer of 2010, while Halak, who struggled with injury during the 2012-2013 season, has only seen 129 games of action in that span. But Halak is an impressive 7-2-1 this season, while Price is 6-6-0.

While Price and Halak will battle from 180 feet apart, Lars Eller will have the opportunity to get much closer to the former Habs netminder. Eller has improved year after year since the trade, piling up 30 points in 46 games last season. The Danish center, has 5 goals and 4 assists this year, but just 2 assists in the last 10 games.

What’s at Stake:

A win on Tuesday will keep the Habs above .500 and help them keep pace in their division. While they’re playing their sixteenth game, the Canadiens are playing their twelfth against a Western Conference opponent, more than any other team in the East.

Who’s Out:

The Canadiens are missing Brandon Prust (upper body), Alexei Emelin (knee), Daniel Briere (concussion), Travis Moen (face) and Davis Drewiske (shoulder).

The Blues are without Magnus Paajarvi (upper body) and Brenden Morrow (upper body).

What Else:

Coach Michel Therrien has been letting his disappointment in certain players show publicly in the last week, making it a point to call out David Desharnais and PK Subban. Therrien let Desharnais sit for long stretches of the third period Saturday night in Colorado and judging by his line combinations in practice, may have him sit out the entire game against the Blues. Subban meanwhile will still see action on Tuesday, but the coach continues to criticize him in public, using Saturday’s post game press conference as an opportunity to lay the blame for the loss squarely at PK’s feet.

The Question Mark:

With Therrien ready to shuffle his lines, who would you play as the Habs’ first line?

Let us know what you think, leave a comment below or send us a tweet using the #MTLHockey hashtag.

Be sure to tune into the Montreal Hockey Talk Pregame Show an hour before the puck drop and the Post Game Show 5 minutes after the final siren. Join the live conversation by using the #MTLHockey hashtag on Twitter.

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About Rob Elbaz

Rob Elbaz has written 313 post in this blog.

Montreal Hockey Talk Pregame Show Panelist and all around good guy.

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