The Montreal Canadiens (4-2-1) are set to host the Winnipeg Jets (4-3-0) at the Bell Centre on Saturday Night. The puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.
Despite an unreasonable amount of criticism, Canadiens captain Nick Suzuki has earned six points in seven games, not to mention a positive share of the expected goals (52.1 xGF%).
The team is yet to find the ideal solution to play with Suzuki and Cole Caufield on the top line, though it should be noted that Rafael Harvey-Pinard has endured a terrible streak of bad luck. Don’t be surprised if he manages to inscribe his name on the scoresheet against the Jets.
— MoneyPuck.com (@MoneyPuckdotcom) October 28, 2023
Defenceman Mike Matheson has found the back of the net in back-to-back games and will look to stretch his scoring streak to a third game.
Fans should also pay particularly close attention to the third line, which features Sean Monahan, Tanner Pearson, and Brendan Gallagher. The three veterans have done a great job this season, albeit in limited action. Head coach Martin St-Louis prefers to use them in short, intense bursts, allowing the aging players to provide value while mitigating some of the risks that come with giving them too much ice time.
Jake Allen will be given the start versus the Jets, with Samuel Montembeault serving as his backup. Allen has looked great to start the year and currently sports a .929 save percentage.
There was some good news ahead of the game against Winnipeg. It was announced that defenceman Kaiden Guhle would play. Both Guhle and Joel Armia have been inserted into the lineup, whereas Jesse Ylonen and Gustav Lindstrom are expected to sit.
After missing the last 4 games with an upper-body injury, Kaiden Guhle will return to the #Habs line-up tonight vs. Winnipeg.
— Priyanta Emrith (@HabsInHighHeels) October 28, 2023
Head coach Martin St-Louis did not run lines at practice, which means we’ll have to wait until the pre-game skate to get a better idea of the Canadiens’ lineup.
The Jets are off to a rather encouraging start, especially when we consider the drama that occurred in Winnipeg this offseason.
Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, the team’s MVP over the course of the last few years, finally decided to re-sign, however, his numbers this season are far from what we’ve come to expect from the talented netminder. He has a 4-2 record, but his .899 save percentage is well below his career average of .916.
Kyle Connor, Mark Scheifele and Josh Morrissey have all registered seven points in as many games, and thus share the team lead in points.
Winnipeg dominated the Detroit Red Wings 4-1 in their last matchup and will look to build upon their momentum during their visit to Montreal.
Montreal Canadiens Injuries
- Christian Dvorak (week-to-week)
- Carey Price (IR)
- Chris Wideman (IR)
- Kirby Dach (out for season)
- Kaiden Guhle (day-to-day)
Winnipeg Jets Injuries
- Gabe Vilardi (IR)
- Ville Heinola (IR)
Montreal Canadiens Projected Lineup
|Cole Caufield||Nick Suzuki||Juraj Slafkovsky|
|Jake Evans||Sean Monahan||Josh Anderson|
|Tanner Pearson||Christian Dvorak||Brendan Gallagher|
|Joel ARmia||Mitchell Stephens||Jesse Ylonen|
|Mike Matheson||Gustav Lindstrom|
|Kaiden Guhle||Justin Barron|
|Jayden Struble||Johnathan Kovacevic|
Connor – Scheifele – Iafallo
Perfetti – Namestnikov – Ehlers
Niederreiter – Lowry – Appleton
Barron – Kupari – Gustafsson
Morrissey – Demelo
Dillon – Pionk
Samberg – Schmidt