Brian Wilde: Not so fast on Habs' recent success
The Montreal Canadiens have been stringing wins together trying to save the season amidst the longest homestand of their campaign.
After a dreadful start to October, the Habs rolled into November going 4-2-0 with a record of 7-3-0 over their last 10 games.
Sports analyst Brian Wilde joined Global’s Laura Casella and Kim Sullivan to talk about the team’s recent success and how fans should remain cautious.
“Sometimes you get some really good results because you’re playing at home,” said Wilde.
“But they put themselves into such a giant hole, it’s hard to get out.”
The Habs sit 25th in the NHL’s overall standings, 24th in goals scored and 27th in goals against.
The Canadiens still remain in the lower echelon of the 31-team league following their historically poor start to the season.
But if there’s any explanation to the team’s recent climb, it’s coming from the team’s third-string goaltender, Wilde said.
“It’s all about the goalie, [Charlie Lindgren] his save percentage is .964 when Carey Price and Al Montoya were in the net it was .864”
“No one in the world is a .964 goalie.”
Price has been sidelined since Nov. 2 when he was injured during a warmup before giving up five goals in a 6-3 loss to the Minnesota Wild.
Price updated his status Tuesday morning before the Habs’ practice saying that the lower-body injury was minor and he could take the time to heal with Lindgren playing so well.
Lindgren is 3-1-0 while holding a 1.24 goals against average during this span of starts for the Habs.
At the other end of the rink, the Habs are now scoring at a higher rate compared to their lack of offensive output in the first few games.
“They had a two per cent scoring percentage when the season started, which is unheard of,” said Wilde.
“Now it’s up between seven and eight, which is normal … Last year they were 15 ranked out of 30 teams offensively, right now they’re 24th.”
Defensively, the Habs dropped from fourth best in the league last year to the current 27 spot.
The Habs’ off-season saw them cut ties with defensive pillar Andrei Markov a day after signing free agent and now-retired Mark Streit among other tweaks to their blue line.
“When I’m awesome at something I don’t change it, when I’m terrible at something I change it,” said Wilde about their defensive moves.
Wrapping up the six-game home-stand:
The Habs are in action Tuesday against the Colombus Blue Jackets and puck drop is at 7:38 p.m.
The NHL’s last-place Arizona Coyotes visit the Bell Centre Thursday.
Saturday night features a historic match-up between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens to celebrate the NHL’s 100th anniversary.
Weekend-long activities are planned around the Bell Centre, including the NHL Centennial Fan Arena along with a visit from the elusive Stanley Cup.