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The Scouting Report: Montreal Canadiens

Tuesday, 08.10.2013 / 11:25 AM / News
By Aaron Vickers  - CalgaryFlames.com (@aavickers)
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The Scouting Report: Montreal Canadiens
Keep an eye on these players when the Calgary Flames play host to the Montreal Canadiens at Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday.
CALGARY, AB -- A surprise over the shortened season, the Montreal Canadiens finished second in the Eastern Conference a year ago before being bounced in the first round of the playoffs. Starter Carey Price will look to shake off a disappointing post-season performance while the Canadiens hope defenceman PK Subban can replicate his Norris Trophy winning showing last year. How newly signed Daniel Briere fits in his home province will be of particular interest, too.

Two games into the season, the Canadiens have split, dropping a 4-3 loss in their season opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs a week ago before downing the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1 on Saturday.

Last season: 29-14-5, 63 points (2nd in East)
Notable Additions: C Daniel Briere, D Douglas Murray, RW George Parros,
Notable Subtractions: RW Colby Armstrong, C Jeff Halpern, D Tomas Kaberle, RW Michael Ryder, D Yannick Weber

SEASON SERIES

Flames Season Series Record: 0-0-0

WHO'S HOT

LARS ELLER

Playing in five pre-season contests, Eller managed just two assists. Once the puck dropped on the 2013-14 regular season however, the 24-year-old Dane has caught fire, recording two goals and an assist in Montreal’s season opener. He followed that up with another multi-point game. In all, Eller has three goals and five points in just a pair of games this season.

WHO'S NOT

DAVID DESHARNAIS

Tearing up the pre-season with five assists and six points in four exhibition bouts, Desharnais hasn’t been able to translate that success early in the regular season. The 27-year-old is still looking for his first point of the season and is minus-1. The pivot, who notched 10 goals and 28 points in 48 games a year ago, is averaging just over 16 minutes a game of action for the Canadiens.

THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH

ALEX GALCHENYUK

The third overall selection in the 2012 NHL Draft, Galchenyuk is making a case he’s ready for an increased role at just 19 years of age. He had nine goals and 28 points in 48 games as a rookie a season ago and has continued to progress, adding four assists in his two games this season. The 6-foot-1 winger currently sits second in club scoring.

CAREY PRICE

After a rough exit from the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Price will need to rebound to help the Canadiens to another division title. His 3.26 goals against average and .894 save percentage weren’t enough against the Ottawa Senators last June, but Price has been solid early this year with a 2.52 GAA and .918 SV%.

DANIEL BRIERE

Briere joined the Canadiens after the Philadelphia Flyers used a compliance buyout on the 5-foot-9 forward. He spent six seasons with the Flyers before joining Montreal. The Gatineau, QC product is still looking for his first point as a member of the Canadiens, the team he grew up cheering for as a child.