The Canadiens might want to bring their A game, if they have an A game, when they meet the Vancouver Canucks tonight.
This is a fine squad paying a visit, a team that went to the Cup finals last year, and who could have won the whole thing if they had played like they did during the regular season. But alas, they sort of skidded to a halt and those dastardly Bruins deservedly won. But the Canucks had the team to do it. They just didn’t, that’s all.
So yes, Montreal will have their hands full. This isn’t some lowly team like the Columbus Blue Jackets that they can have their way with. (Oh wait, the Columbus Blue Jackets beat them the other night. Never mind).
The problem for the Canadiens is that the Canucks have only just recently begun to look like the Canucks of last year. It wasn’t that long ago that they had the same amount of points as Montreal, so you know they weren’t playing well for awhile.
The Sedins might pose a problem. Daniel has 33 points and Henrik has 30. Our top point-getter, Tomas Plekanec, has 23. They also have guys like Ryan Kesler, Alex Edler, and a couple who are quite familiar with the Bell Centre - Maxim Lapierre and Chris Higgins. Higgins has 17 points, the same as Kesler, and Max has 8, the same as Lars Eller and twice as many as Scott Gomez.
The Vancouver Canucks also enjoy a true luxury. They have two first-string goalies. If Roberto Luongo isn’t going good, Cory Schneider comes in and stands on his head. Imagine if the Habs had two Carey Prices’? But then again, we don’t need two Carey Prices’. We need guys up front who can score on the power play. And score even strength. And not take dumb penalties. And not trip over the blueline.
These two teams have several differences. Unfortunately for Habs Universe, Vancouver’s are mostly positive.