Novak Djokovic: ‘Alex and I are not in a relationship after what he said about me’ – Tennis World USA
Montreal Canadiens v Boston Bruins
Despite managing to win the final game in overtime against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the highly injury-plagued Montreal Canadiens are likely to face their biggest test of the season as they face their bitter rival, the Boston Bruins, Thursday night at the Bell Center.
|44.6% (26th)||Odds of Scoring-for %||54.7% (4th)|
|2.57 (29th)||Goals per match||3.80 (1st)|
|3.64 (28th)||Goals against per game||2.02 (1st)|
|15.0% (31st)||PP%||27.0% (3rd)|
|74.0% (26th)||PK%||87.1% (1st)|
|0-3-1||21-22 H2H record||4-0-0|
When they received the news that Cole Caufield would be sidelined for the rest of the season with a right shoulder injury requiring surgery, the Canadiens were naturally stunned. Many players and fans were shocked. The 22-year-old Hobey Baker Award winner had caught the attention of Montreal this season, scoring a career-high 26 goals in his first 46 games. While the team as a whole wasn’t necessarily successful in this rebuilding year, Caufield was someone who brought his A-game every night and made fans jump out of their seats with his electrifying performances, night after night.
He joins Jake Evans, Juraj Slafkovský, Brendan Gallagher, Kaiden Guhle and others on an extensive list of players in the infirmary.
This had the advantage of promoting the Laval Rocket’s forwards Rem Pitlick and Rafael Harvey-Pinard. Both played an important role in the overtime victory. Harvey-Pinard pocketed his second career goal past Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov to tie the game at two apiece. Then Pitlick, who had fluctuated between Montreal and Laval all season, got to play the hero, as his second goal in as many games proved to be the winner just over two minutes into extra time.
While Toronto has been quite successful this season, no team has compared it to the big, bad Boston Bruins. Their record of 37-5-4 (78 points) leads the league by a large margin and they look set to lead the way for the President’s Trophy. Their closest opponent is the Carolina Hurricanes, at 66 points.
They enter the Montreal shed after winning their last five in a row, outscoring the opponent by a 21-5 margin. The Bruins currently top the standings in almost every category, with both goals for (3.80) and against (2.02) leading and on the verge of reaching record goals.
Goaltender Linus Ullmark, a sixth-round pick for the Buffalo Sabers in 2012, currently stands at a 25-2-1 record in his first 29 games this season. Ullmark’s career-high in wins was 26 last season in Boston, but he played 11 more games. The 29-year-old Swede set an NHL record for fastest 25 wins to start a season. His three losses came on November 5 (2-1 to Toronto), December 15 (2-1 in overtime to Los Angeles), and January 12 (3-0 to Seattle). It seems like the words “Vezina” and “Ullmark” go together well this season, bar one major upset.
The Bruins top line that has been dominant in recent seasons is unstoppable. Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak and former NHL number one enemy Brad Marchand have collectively terrorized opponents all season. Pastrnak leads the way with 36 goals and 65 points, good enough for fourth place in the league scoring. Marchand has 15 goals and 44 points, and Bergeron, the five-time Selke winner for best defensive forward in the league, has 17 goals and 37 points.
David Krejci, who spent the entire 2021-22 season in his native Czech Republic, has returned to Boston with a vengeance. The 36-year-old just played career NHL game number 1,000 last week and currently ranks fourth in scoring with 11 goals and 37 points, tied with Bergeron.
Montreal really didn’t fare well against Boston last season, losing all four games and being beaten 18-8. In three of the games, Boston scored five goals and easily coped with Montreal’s defensive core, which has only gotten younger this season.
Leading the charge for Boston last season was Marchand, who scored five goals and three assists in the series, including a hat-trick on January 12, 2022. The top scorer for Montreal will probably surprise you: Michael Pezzetta, who scored two goals and one assist .
It will have to be an excellent 60-minute clear run for Montreal to play this game on Tuesday, but if you’ve watched the team lately you know they’ve been sneaky and might have an incredible trick up their sleeve. The magic happens tonight at the ice rink.