Juraj Slafkovsky will not face the Stars injured in the upper part of the body

Juraj Slafkovsky will not face the Stars injured in the upper part of the body

Undefeated at the Bell Center since the start of the season, the Canadiens will try to stretch their winning streak to three. A streak that has only experienced once in the season. With Martin St-Louis newly in charge, the Habs had even enjoyed five straight wins from February 17-26.

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After the visit of the Coyotes, who turned out to be easy prey, the Montreal team may face a slightly bigger challenge. Winners of three of their first four meetings, the Dallas Stars have yet to suffer a loss in regulation.

Their fairly tight defense has only allowed six goals since the start of the campaign. In goal, Jake Oettinger, and his .966 save percentage, is no stranger to this situation. Consequently, the troops of St-Louis will have to be insistent in the opposite zone.

“We will have to be patient in attack and stretch our time of possession in their territory. If you can avoid risk games, they will have to defend themselves longer. When that happens, it creates more offences, it provides opportunities and it can encourage them to take punishment,” explained Martin St-Louis.

To face the leaders of the Central division, St-Louis will make only one change in its formation. Rem Pitlick will return to the roster after being sidelined for the last three games. He will take the place of Juraj Slafkovsky, who is injured in the upper body.

Habs said the rookie’s health status would be reassessed daily. Without speaking of certainty, we can think that the check that Josh Brown handed him, just before scoring his first NHL goal on Thursday night, had more consequences than it seemed.

One more gun below a man

Since St. Louis always sees the glass as half full, he was quick to point out that having Pitlick on the roster would allow it to have a player more capable of playing defense.

However, he acknowledged that the 25-year-old Ontarian’s situation must not have been easy to live with over the past week.

“It is true that not playing is not pleasant,” he said. Last year, there was less traffic at this position. We had more injuries and less depth. There it is the other way around: we are healthy with a lot of depth. So that cuts down on everyone’s usage time a little bit.”

Gathered in the locker room, the main stakeholder, who had been sidelined just once in 47 games for the Habs, last season, admitted he sometimes found it hard to be satisfied with the role of spectator. But that he was trying to maximize every opportunity.

“I love hockey, so for sure I prefer to play. But I try to learn from all situations. For example, the other night Sidney Crosby was here. I hadn’t really noticed how he moves on the track or noticed his technique in the corners. These are little details that I can add to my game.”

The Joels are getting a little closer

In addition, Joel Edmundson and Joel Armia have taken a new step in their rehabilitation process. Both Joels were training with their teammate for the first time. However, they were both wearing a colored sweater that kept them apart.

“Eddy (Edmundson) is a big guy. I told Roby (Stéphane Robidas): “Hug, he’s big,” St-Louis laughed.

The day Edmundson returns to training, the Canadian will surely be able to boast of betting on one of the strong defensive squads in the NHL.

“It’s fun to watch him skate with us. He has quite an imposing presence on the track. He has a reputation for him throughout the NHL. He is a difficult guy to deal with. He will help us win even more matches,” said David Savard.

Not to mention that the return of Edmundson could normalize a little more the time of use of certain backs of the Canadian, including Savard who spends, on average per game, 22 min 42 s on the ice.

Caufield-Suzuki-Monahan

Dadonov-Dvorak-Gallagher

Drouin-Dach-Anderson

Pitlick–Evans–Hoffman

Guhle Savard

Harris Kovacevic

Xhekaj-Wideman

Allen

Montembeaut


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