All Habs Headlines: Tuesday December 22, 2015  

On this day in hockey history 1920 — Hamilton became the first NHL team to post a shutout in it’s debut, when the Tigers (relocated from Quebec City) beat the visiting Montreal Canadiens 5-0.  1996 — Mark Messier scored two goals and had two assists to become the 5th player in NHL history to register 1,500 career points in the Rangers’ 7-3 win against the Florida Panthers, at MSG. 
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(Photo by Bruce Bennett / Getty Images)

► Game day!

  • The Canadiens hope to halt their losing skid as they take on the Wild on Tuesday night. You can find our Game Day preview for the matchup here: GAME DAY | Canadiens – Wild: Preview, Lines, Goalies, TV, Fantasy
  • Michael McCarron was returned to the St. John’s IceCaps to make way for Devante Smith-Pelly who was removed from the injured reserve list. Smith-Pelly is expected to be in the lineup.
  • Jeff Petry will be a game-time decision.
  • In the carousel of backups, Mike Condon will get the start in goal.
  • The Canadiens lost 5-1 to the Predators on Monday night. You can read our game recap here: RECAP | Canadiens – Predators: Have the Habs Hit Rock Bottom?

Forward lines, defense pairings and goaltenders

Pacioretty – Desharnais – Weise
Carr – Eller – Galchenyuk
Fleischmann – Plekanec – Byron
Flynn – Mitchell – Smith-Pelly
Andrighetto

Beaulieu – Subban
Emelin – Markov
Tinordi – Gilbert
Petry – Pateryn

Condon
Tokarski

► So goaltending is the problem?

  • Following the Canadiens’ 5-1 forfeiture at the hands of the Nashville Predators Monday night, head coach Michel Therrien diagnosed his team’s deficiency.
  • “We outshot them, we outchanced them, but things didn’t go our way,” Therrien told the media after Monday’s game. “Our goaltending has to be better and it seems that every game we play, their goaltender is the No. 1 star.”
  • Over the past four games prior to last night’s tilt with the Minnesota Wild, the Canadiens goaltenders have been beat 16 times.
  • However, in that same time span, the offence has only produced four goals for this lamenting Habs squad.

► Tough times in Habby land

  • Through the Canadiens’ struggles, David Desharnais has been an allegory with his one point in last 13 games but the forward wasn’t timid to speak about the room’s collective nature.
  • “Ya, it’s tough, nobody likes losing. Everybody’s miserable right now, listen nobody’s ‘feel sorry for ourselves’, but nobody’s going to say, that sucks for the Canadiens right now,” he told the media.
  • Michel Therrien attributed the loses to not having Carey Price between the pipes and Desharnais gave his opinion on the comments “Ya, for sure. Nobody Can replace Carey [Price], but as a group we need to be better, we have to give [the goalies] a lead and something to work with.”

► The elder Tinordi speaks up

  • Jarred Tinordi played his first NHL game since the preseason but his father, Mark, is nevertheless frenetic about his son’s situation.
  • “Jarred needs to play 15-20 minutes and with the organization’s confidence,” the forever NHLer said “Something that he obviously doesn’t have at this point.”
  • Tinordi played 15:31 in his first game of the season against Nashville on Monday night. While he was a minus-3 the stat is misleading driven by poor goaltending and missed forward coverage. Michel Therrien described his play this way, “[Jarred Tinordi] was not responsible for scoring chances against. I thought he did well.”
  • Mark Tinordi has been outspoken in the past about how he perceived the team is misappropriating his son within the organization. On one occasion he stated he didn’t think it was possible for his son to play 15-20 minutes with the Habs and might be able to elsewhere.

► Bowman headed overseas

  • Former Montreal Canadiens farmhand Drayson Bowman, was released by Carolina’s AHL affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers, and has signed a contract with Düsseldorf of the DEL.
  • Bowman spent the a large conglomeration of his time in the Canadiens organization in the AHL with the Bulldogs where in 62 games he recorded 14 goals and 33 points.
  • He also played a trio of games with the Habs where he failed to tally anything, not even a penalty minute.
  • Düsseldorf is currently third in the league, only behind the Eisbären Berlin and the Iserlohn Roosters.

► Spurgeon signs a four-year deal

  • The Minnesota Wild have signed defenceman Jarred Spurgeon to a four-year, $20.75 million contract that will pay the blueliner $5.1875 million annually.
  • The Edmonton, Alberta native is in the midst of his fifth unassailable season in the NHL, to this point he’s racked up 31 goals and 118 points in 327 games.
  • This season, the former sixth round pick has five goals and 17 points in 32 games as the lone right handed shot in the team’s top four.
  • After playing the beginning of the season with lefty Jonas Brodin, Ryan Suter publicly stated that he’d rather play with a right handed shot, and subsequently Spurgeon is now paired with Suter.

► Talbot suspended two games

  • The NHL Department of Player Safety has suspended vehement forward Maxime Talbot for two games following his check to the head of New Jersey Devils forward Jiri Tlustly.
  • Tlustly gave put the puck down low and as was revolving towards centre ice, in an attempt to re-engage in the play. As he was turning Talbot drove through his chest and head.
  • Tlustly was not injured on the play and finished the game.
  • According to Chris Johnson of Sportsnet, Talbot will lose $19,354.84 in salary over the pair of games he’ll be watching from the press box.

► That’s hockey now Torts

  • Nobody thought John Tortorella would change when he was hired as head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets, that intuition would be correct.
  • When the Penguins and Jackets played Monday night Columbus assistant captain Boone Jenner delivered a knee-on-knee hit to ‘Pens star forward Evgeni Malkin, surprisingly, much to the chagrin of John Tortorella.
  • “I don’t think (the hit) was too hard,” Torts told reporters after the game “He got up, didn’t he? It’s like he was dead, and then he was out the next shift.”
  • To the coach’s point, Malkin went on later on in the game and scored into the empty net to seal a Penguins victory.

 

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