Montreal Canadiens Game Day: Discontent in Habsland With LA Kings in Town

If you were to read reports and headlines from across the city of Montreal over the last few days, you would be convinced that the Canadiens were the worst team in the NHL.

They have an overpaid second-line center who is taking a lot of heat for his lack of production. They have a head coach who was uncharacteristically snippy and sarcastic with the media. They have yet to find a suitable winger, through 21 games, on their second line. They have a starting goaltender who looks like he will get voted into the All-Star game, but whom fans feel will be better served by staying at home. And all of these problems and complaints are surfacing while the Canadiens sit atop the Northeast Division with 27 points in 21 games.

Moreover, the Canadiens have the best penalty kill in the league (90.8 percent), they are second overall for fewest 5-on-5 goals against (30 goals for a 2.00 GAA) and have a starting goaltender who has a 2.05 GAA (fifth overall), a .932 save percentage (fifth overall), four shutouts (tied for first overall) and 12 wins in 20 games (tied for first overall).

So maybe things are not all bad after all.

The Habs, still in the wake of their 3-2 collapse against the Flyers, were worked hard by Coach Martin at practice yesterday. Despite calls by many—myself included—for Scott Gomez to be dropped to the third line, he was still at center on the second line with Travis Moen.

Carey Price will get his 21st start of the season and with back-to-back games on Friday against the Thrashers and Saturday against the Sabres, you'd have to think that we would soon be seeing Alex Auld in the net.

The Kings look like they will be countering with Quebec native, Jonathan Bernier.

Los Angeles, one of the top teams in the West, has a young, speedy team that is sure to act as an excellent yardstick for the Habs. If the Canadiens want to be contenders, they must...

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