5 Keys to Montreal Canadiens vs. Carolina Hurricanes

By Lissa Albert

5 Keys to Montreal Canadiens vs. Carolina Hurricanes

Montreal Canadiens vs Carolina Hurricanes
Getty Images

The Montreal Canadiens and Carolina Hurricanes are set to meet for the first time in 2014-15. Both teams have advantages and disadvantages to consider in this game. What are the key factors in this matchup?

5. Goalies

Cam Ward, Carolina Hurricanes
Getty Images

5. Goalies

Cam Ward, Carolina Hurricanes
Getty Images

Cam Ward will be playing his 21st game this season, while Carey Price has played 25. Ward has 49 goals against while Price has 59. Both goalies are solid, and looking at the numbers, they are almost evenly matched. It might just come down to the teams playing in front of each netminder to determine this goaltending battle.

Advantage: Slight edge to Price, playing on home ice.

4. Special Teams

Montreal Canadiens
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

4. Special Teams

Montreal Canadiens
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Again, the teams are almost evenly matched. Carolina is 19 percent on their power play while Montreal is 15 percent. On the penalty kill, Carolina is 81 percent while Montreal is 84 percent. In a case like this, it will again depend on the discipline of each team, luck, the referees and how urgently the teams play when there is a penalty called.

Advantage: Carolina, whose power play is slightly better than that of the Habs.

3. Streaks

Carolina Hurricanes
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

3. Streaks

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports Losing streak 2
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Hurricanes have lost their last five games, while Montreal has won two of their last f. The Habs are on a tenuous winning streak, having returned home from a tough road trip to pay tribute to Jean Beliveau. Carolina will no doubt be hungry for a win, especially at the Bell Centre.

Advantage: Habs, who will use the passion of their fans and continued emotion to keep winning.

2. Home-Ice Advantage

Montreal Canadiens
Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

2. Home-Ice Advantage

Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports Habs 2
Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

It's never a guarantee, but home ice, especially at the raucous Bell Centre, is always nice to have. The Habs will want to show the fans they're back on an upswing, while the Hurricanes lost their one visit to the Bell Centre last season.

Advantage: Habs, with a crowd of more than 21K, history and the winning streak on their side.

1. Top scorers

Max Pacioretty, Dale Weise, Montreal Canadiens
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

1. Top scorers

Max Pacioretty, Dale Weise, Montreal Canadiens
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The teams are not evenly matched as far as points are concerned. Max Pacioretty is a top goal scorer for the Habs with 13, while the Canes' top player is Jiri Tlusty who has 10 goals but only 13 points. The player with the most points for Carolina is defenseman Justin Faulk, at 17.

Advantage: Habs, with power players on both forward and defense.

Lissa Albert is a Montreal Canadiens writer for RantSports.com. Follow her on Twitter @LissaRantSports. “Like” her on Facebook and/or add her to your network on Google

You May Also Like