MONTREAL, QC. — The Montreal Canadiens have two games left to close out the year, and tonight they face-off against the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are not having a great season so far themselves.
The Lightning went to the conference finals last season only to be eliminated by the eventual Stanley Cup champions, the Boston Bruins. Expectations were high this this season but so far, it has been quite a disappointment, as they find themselves two points behind the Canadiens, and sit 13th in the Eastern Conference.
As for the Canadiens, they won their last game against the Ottawa Senators following a five-game losing streak, and will try to extend their winning streak to two games tonight against the Lightning.
The win came with mixed feelings from Canadiens’ fans, who once again, as always have split up into two camps.
In the first camp, we have fans who want to see the Canadiens get back on track, win games, make the playoffs, and make a run for the Stanley Cup. (I laughed as I wrote this.)
In the other camp, we have fans who would prefer to see the Canadiens tank, continue to lose games, and have high priced veterans like Mike Cammalleri and newly acquired Tomas Kaberle shipped off to others teams with their salaries. Oh and there’s Gomez too. A guy can dream no?
Here are a few stat bullets for tonight’s game:
- Record of 4-5-1 in their last ten games.
- Won their last game against the Philadelphia Flyers, 5-1. (In Tampa)
- Current Home Record: 9-5-0.
- Record of 3-5-2 in their last ten games.
- Won their last game against the Ottawa Senators, 5-1. (In Ottawa)
- Current Road Record: 9-9-1.
For tonight’s matchup, the Habs will have Carey Price in the net, while his opponent will be Mathieu Garon for the Lightning. Here is your goalie matchup:
Both goaltenders are coming off of 5-1 victories, and both are looking to extend their team’s winning streaks to two games. If you look at their stats, they are very comparable for the season, Price having a slightly better GAA and Sv%.
Garon has done a lot of travelling in his career. He was initially drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the 2nd round (44th overall) of the 1996 NHL entry draft. He stayed in the Canadiens’ organization until the 2003-04 season, and had accumulated only 43 games played at that point.
On June 26, 2004, he was traded to the Los Angeles Kings with the San Jose Shark’s 3rd round choice (previously acquired, Los Angeles selected Paul Baier in 2004 Entry Draft) for Radek Bonk and Cristobal Huet.
He would go on to play for the Los Angeles Kings, Edmonton Oilers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and was with the Columbus Blue Jackets the last two seasons before signing as a free agent in Tampa Bay, July 1, 2011.
If you are into goalie masks and paint jobs, here’s a look at Mathieu Garon’s Tampa Bay Lightning mask, provided by Scott Slingsby of INGOAL magazine:
If you haven’t met our resident mascot, Puck the Bunny, who also predicts the outcome of hockey games, I invite you to check out his latest as he predicts the outcome of tonight’s matchup between the Canadiens and the Lightning. [Video available here]
(Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images North America)