Perhaps it was the lack of a training camp that slowed down the New York Rangers. New York puts a great deal of emphasis on a system play, and it’s possible that it just took time for their defense-first strategy to come back to them. The cold start could have been the result of poor chemistry with new lines that resulted from the acquisition of Rick Nash. Regardless of why the Rangers started out slow, they’re back playing like contenders again.
Also playing like contenders again are the Habs. After a miserable season last year, the Montreal Canadiens are locked in a heated battle atop the Northeast Division. Carey Price is playing well, the defensive corps are deep and talented, and the offense has done enough to win all year.
Carey Price must be watched closely as he recovers from flu-like symptoms. If he plays, the Habs are capable of beating anyone. If not, the Montreal Canadiens face a tall task on the road on Tuesday.
The Canadiens will be playing in the second game of a back to back, and the Rangers will be home waiting for them. Given the strong performances on both sides of the ice from the New York Rangers of late, the Canadiens will likely get the short end of the stick as fatigue wears them down on the road.
New York Rangers 3 – Montreal Canadiens 2