Connect with us

Canadiens Pre Game

Habs Game 77: Primeau Faces Huge Challenge Versus Rangers



Montreal CAnadiens New York Rangers

The Montreal Canadiens (29-35-12) are set to face the New York Rangers (52-21-4) at the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Gardens. The puck drop is scheduled for 7 pm ET.

Montreal is fresh off a 4-2 loss against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Bell Centre on Saturday night. The Leafs were the better team, cruising to a well-deserved win, but we’d be remiss if we did not praise the play from the team’s top line.

Once again, it was Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield, and Juraj Slafkovsky leading the offensive charge for Canadiens head coach Martin St-Louis. Both Suzuki and Caufield scored, while Slafkovsky pushed his season totals to 45 points.

Of course, to win in the NHL you need more than just one line that can produce.

The Canadiens aren’t quite there yet. On any given night, a player like Joel Armia, Alex Newhook, or Brendan Gallagher may shine, but it’s not a regular feature in the lineup.

Seeing as Samuel Montembeault was pulled after Toronto’s fourth goal of the game, it will be Cayden Primeau who will start against the Rangers.

It’s unclear whether Kaiden Guhle or Arber Xhekaj will return to the line. The two defencemen missed Saturday’s game with upper-body injuries, and are both considered day-to-day.

Given the team already struggles from a defensive standpoint, losing two of their best blueliners is certainly a difficult situation for Montreal’s blueline. We will have to wait until the pre-game skate to confirm which defencemen will be in the lineup.

MUST READ: Canadiens Analysis: Suzuki’s Breakout Year & Future Projections

As for the Rangers, they present a rather difficult challenge for the Canadiens.

They’re currently the best team in the league, not to mention they’ve won eight of their last 10 games, which means they’re not just accumulating a lot of points in the standings, they’re playing excellent hockey of late.

Ageless wonder Artemi Panarin continues to be a dominant force. The 32-year-old has produced over 100 points for the first time in his career, with 45 goals and 66 assists in 77 games this season.

There’s a significant gap between Panarin and the next closest player, Vincent Trochek, who has 25 goals and 50 games.

Beyond those two, the Canadiens will have to keep a close eye on Chris Kreider, Adam Fox, and of course, Mika Zibanejad. Saint-Eustache native Alexis Lafreniere has finally found his rhythm, as evidenced by his 26 goals and 28 assists.

Any way you cut it, the Habs will be outgunned by the Rangers, making this a great game to test the team’s mettle. On top of being in first place in the NHL, the Rangers did not play on Saturday, which means the Canadiens will also have to deal with a well-rested team.

Montreal Canadiens Injuries

  • Carey Price (IR)
  • Chris Wideman (IR)
  • Kirby Dach (out indefinitely, ACL/MCL)
  • Christian Dvorak (day-to-day)
  • Joshua Roy (4-6 weeks)

New York Rangers Injuries

  • Joel Edmundson (out)
  • Timothy Liljegren (out)
  • Matt Murray (IR)
  • Calle Jarnkrok (IR)
  • Ty Voit (out)
  • Jake Muzzin (IR)
  • John Klingberg (IR)


Montreal Canadiens Projected Lineup

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


New York Rangers Projected Lineup

Kreider – Zibanejad – Roslovic

Panarin – Trochek – Lafreniere

Cuylle – Wennberg – Kakko

Vesey – Goodrow – Brodzinski


Lindgren – Fox

Miller – Trouba

Gustafsson – Schneider




How to Watch