Everything Else

expos vs evil empire

Game Time: 6:00PM Central
TV/Radio: WGN Ch. 9, SportsNet, WGN-AM 720
I Get It, French Class: Habs Eyes On The Prize

Once again in the NHL’s infinite brilliance, with the unbalanced divisional schedule in place, they are wiping out an interconference rivalry within the span of 72 hours. And even this time, two teams with ACTUAL history in the Hawks and Habs (apologies to any of the olds now having ’65, ’71, or ’73 flashbacks) as well as some of the most telegenic threads in the sport not getting a national American audience. Better to keep everyone talking about this John Scott waste-of-breath-from-every-conceivable-angle than to actually promote the product using two heritage franchises with history who both have Championship aspirations.

Everything Else

Andrew Berkshire is on Twitter @AndrewBerkshire. Laura is @TheActiveStick.

So the Habs, at the time of writing, have won 5 of 20. People are panicking. Has fans think the team is falling apart. We can’t help but see the best goalie in the world hurt, a terrible shooting percentage and other bad luck. Which is true or is it a blending of the two?

Berkshire: What’s going on right now with the Habs is very weird. Montreal has been one of the best possession teams in the NHL this year, the whole season. The shooting percentage is obviously not reflective of their play, and eventually they will bust out of this slump, but the longer it goes the harder it is to believe it’s just luck.

There are little things about the Canadiens’ system that you can identify fairly easily as problem areas that hurt them. Their breakout is terrible, the worst in the league in terms of keeping possession while exiting their own zone. Their tendency to dump the puck off the wall to clear the zone leads to a ton of turnovers and scoring chances against. Combine that with very little east-west movement in the offensive zone and you have a team that plays well in terms of shots for and against, but give up more goals and score less than league average.

Laura: From my perspective, it’s a blending of the two. Initially, the team was playing well and was getting burned by the goaltending. The Habs didn’t abandon the process at that point, but were hit by some really bad luck, so it turned into what I call “not winning” as opposed to losing (sometimes badly). Then they started playing badly. In the last two games (vs Chicago and St.Louis) they seem to have been playing well and running into bad luck again, but the coach is unfortunately showing signs of his patented inexplicable line-blending. We shall see.

Everything Else

250px-Ozymandias vs. 15452729736_ffba7f9e29_b

PUCK DROP: 6:30pm Central

TV/RADIO: CSN for the locals, NBCSN for the outer rim, WGN Radio

THE QUEBECOIS: Habs Eyes On The Prize

Habs Stats

Habs War On Ice

The Hawks will take their scorching performance art piece on the road the next two nights, and into the cradle of hockey. If you don’t believe it is, just ask the citizens of Montreal and Toronto. It’s an Original 6 week for the Hawks. What they’ll find when they get to “The Keg” is a team and fanbase that’s been pulling it’s hair out for so long and so aggressively parts of their brain are flicking out of their scalps. No one does panic quite like the Canadiens.