Match against the Devils: a bad streak to curb for the Canadian
Another big challenge awaits the Habs tonight, when the Devils will be at the Bell Centre. Facing the third-best team on the circuit, the Montrealers will have a lot to do if they want to stop their five-game losing streak.
This is the second time this season that the team of Martin St-Louis is experiencing such a long slump. From December 21 to January 5, the Canadian had even experienced a seven-game winless streak. The difference with this one is that he had been downgraded in the majority of the clashes. This time, the five losses conceded by the Habs were by the margin of a single goal.
Recalled Thursday, a few hours before the visit of the Rangers, Anthony Richard had witnessed, during his first stay with the Canadian, this first big trough. According to him, the difference is noticeable.
“The first time was the two weeks when we scored more goals. It was open in the neutral zone. Defensively, it left something to be desired, he recalled. There, I see guys who are trying to play tighter defensively. We give fewer chances to score, there is less space in the neutral zone.”
As for them, the Devils will certainly seek to avenge their failure of 5 to 2 suffered at the hands of the Habs, February 21, in Newark.
“I expect to see a different team, warned the head coach of the Canadiens. We had played a very good match, but they had just come back from a trip to the West. We probably surprised them.
“I am sure they will be more alert and it will be more difficult. It's a Saturday night in Montreal and I'm sure they know we've been playing good hockey lately,” he continued.
Mercer on fire
Since that setback, Lindy Ruff's team has lost only one in seven regular-time games (5-1-1).
During this period, Dawson Mercer in took the opportunity to put his name in the Devils record book. The former Drummondville Voltigeurs player has hit the target in eight straight games. The previous mark was six.
Tonight he will try to extend his streak to 12 games with at least one point. He and Brendan Shanahan are the only two skaters under the age of 22 to have had such a streak in franchise history.
“I have known Merce for a few years now. He is a very good player and a very humble guy. It's fun to see a guy like him, who went a little under the radar, achieve this kind of success,” said Kaiden Guhle, Mercer's international teammate.
It's Jake Allen who will have the mandate to stop the attacks of Mercer and his teammates.