Previewing the East: Montreal
Better puck possession is a must if Carey Price is to equal last season's career year
Sure you are.
The Red Wings don’t open training camp until Sept. 19 in Traverse City, but over the next eight weeks DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose will preview the 15 teams in the Eastern Conference, including the Red Wings’ Atlantic Division rivals in Boston, Tampa Bay, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Florida and Buffalo. This week it's the Montreal Canadiens:
Coach: Michel Therrien
Last Year: 46-28-8, 100 points (fourth in Eastern Conference)
Detroit vs. Canadiens: 2-2-0
5-on-5 Goals: 136 (14th in Eastern Conference)
Power Play Efficiency: 48-for-279, 172 percent (13th in Eastern Conference)
|2013-14 Stats||Vs. Red Wings|
|IN THE CREASE|
|vs. Red Wings|
Regular-Season Games vs. Red Wings: Oct. 21 (at MON); Nov. 16 (at DET); Feb. 16 (at DET); Apr. 9 (at MON).
ARRIVALS: Forward P.J. Parenteau, Manny Malhotra; defenseman Tom Gilbert; and goalie Joey MacDonald.
DEPARTURES: Forwards Thomas Vanek, Daniel Briere, Brian Gionta, Ryan White, George Parros, Louis Leblanc, Nick Tarnasky, Mike Blunden; and defensemen Josh Gorges, Francis Bouillon and Douglas Murray.
SEASON SCOPE: It was important for the Canadiens to fill the roster with complimentary pieces to fit with valuable stalwarts like Pacioretty, P.K. Subban, Alex Galchenyuk and goalie Carey Price, who is coming off an outstanding career year. The obvious first order of business for GM Marc Bergevin was to get Subban locked up to a long-term deal. The Habs also made the decision to re-sign Andrei Markov. The 35-year-old veteran is a solid puck-possession defenseman who has definite value on the power play. Montreal will need both to step it up if the team is to do a better job at retrieving and possessing the puck, which was a huge problem for the Canadiens last season.
The Habs are coming off their second 100-point season since 1993, as well as their second trip to the Eastern Conference finals in five years. Acquiring P.A. Parenteau in a trade with Colorado for older Daniel Briere was a slam-dunk move for the Habs, who get an upgrade with the 31-year-old winger, who registered 33 points in 55 games for the Avs last season.
|2014-15 EASTERN CONFERENCE PREVIEWS|
|Atlantic Division||Metropolitan Division|
|Buffalo (July 24)||Carolina (Aug. 7)|
|Boston (sep. 11)||Columbus (Aug. 21)|
|Florida (July 29)||New Jersey (Aug. 14)|
|Montreal (Sep. 2)||NY Islanders (July 31)|
|Ottawa (Aug. 12)||NY Rangers (Aug. 28)|
|Tampa Bay (Sep. 4)||Philadelphia (Aug. 26)|
|Toronto (Aug. 5)||Pittsburgh (sep. 9)|
|Washington (Aug. 19)|