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Canadiens Pre Game

Canadiens Game 20: Habs Need To Bounce Back, Roster Shuffle ?



Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens (9-9-1) will look to dust themselves off and get back to winning when they face the Columbus Blue Jackets (7-10-1) on Wednesday night at Nationwide Arena. The puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. EST.

The Montreal Canadiens will look to bounce back quickly after a humbling 7-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres.

It certainly won’t be easy, as they’ll be playing in a back-to-back setting, while the Blue Jackets will be nice and rested as they wait for the Canadiens to arrive in Columbus.

If the Canadiens are going to have any chance of bouncing back quickly, they’ll need Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield to stand up in a big way. The pair continues to be the life force of this team offensively, but they need help.

After a disastrous outing for Jake Allen, Samuel Montembeault will likely get the start tonight, as he wasn’t called to replace Allen last night after allowing any of his seven goals against. Montembeault has shown a little bit more consistency than Allen so far this season, posting a 0.915 save percentage and a 2.83 goals-against average.

If Allen continues to play as poorly as he has the last few games, a strong performance from Montembeault tonight could go a long way in getting him more starts down the line.

Although it’s not yet confirmed, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Arber Xhekaj and Jonathan Kovacevic draw in tonight for Jordan Harris and Chris Wideman, who were the extras skating this morning. Martin St-Louis likes to cycle his extras into the lineup whenever he can, and this will be a good opportunity for Xhekaj to show he needs to stay in the lineup at all times.

On the flip side, the Columbus Blue Jackets are the definition of inconsistent so far this year, but you can’t really blame them with that long injury list that continues to grow by the day.

You have to give them credit though. Despite playing without their No.1 goaltender, forward and defenceman, the Blue Jackets have won four of their last six games

Many of their role players have stepped up in a big way as of late, most notably Boone Jenner and Sean Kuraly, who have taken on bigger roles on the club with all the injuries.

Columbus is keeping things close with better teams by outworking them and pouncing on opportunities, which was the case when they defeated the Canadiens by the score of 6-4 last week.

If the Canadiens are as disorganized tonight as they were Tuesday night at the Bell Centre, this should be a very back-and-forth game between two underperforming clubs.

The difference is, Columbus has much more momentum as of late and nothing to lose, which gives them the edge.

Canadiens Injuries

  • Jonathan Drouin (upper-body injury, 4-6 weeks)
  • Carey Price (LTIR)
  • Paul Byron (LTIR)

Blue Jackets Injuries

  • Patrik Laine (IR)
  • Zach Werenski (IR)
  • Elvis Merzlikins (1-2 weeks)
  • Jake Bean (day-to-day)
  • Jakub Voracek (IR)
  • Adam Boqvist (IR)
  • Nick Blankenburg (IR)
  • Justin Danforth (IR)

Montreal Canadiens Projected Lines

Cole CaufieldNick SuzukiJuraj Slafkovsky
Brendan GallagherAlex NewhookJoel Armia
Jesse YlonenJake EvansJosh Anderson
Michael PezzettaChristian DvorakRafael Harvey-Pinard
Mike MathesonJustin Barron
Lane HutsonDavid Savard
Jordan HarrisLogan Mailloux
Samuel Montembeault
Cayden Primeau

Columbus Blue Jackets Projected Lines












Special Teams

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Game Notes:

  • With a goal in the Canadiens’ 7-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres, Cole Caufield is now the leading goal scorer on the team.
  • Unsurprisingly, Johnny Gaudreau leads the Columbus Blue Jackets in scoring with 18 points in 18 games.

How to Watch Or Listen




Canadiens: TSN 69098,5FM