I can’t remember whether or not its good luck for me to miss games. I’ve lost track since the last time. I wont be watching this one due to life interfering with my hockey schedule, but I will be looking closely at the box score tomorrow for a couple of things.
The first will be shots. For obvious reasons it matters how much of a difference (if any) there is between the Canadiens’ shot totals and the Thrashers’. If Kovalchuk is allowed to fire at will, it will require another superhuman effort on the part of a Habs goalie to win the game. If Montreal can mange to force the issue with puck possession and offensive pressure, there may be another 2 points to be had tonight.
I’ll also be looking at the TOI (Time On Ice) of each of our defenders as I hope that Martin will be able to limit Markov to somewhere around 19 or 20 mins of ice time. It would be very tempting to let MVC (Most Valuable Captain as coined by HI/O’s Boone), play huge minutes following a fantastic performance on Saturday night. I really hope that the Habs treat Markov gently in the next few games to avoid re-inhuring/aggravating an injury that Markov managed to recover from almost TOO fast.
Finally, I’ll be looking to see that the Canadiens limit the Thrashers powerplay opportunities. As good as we’ve been at killing penalties, there is no easier way to lose winnable games than to give the opposition too many man advantages.