Pittsburgh Penguins vs Montreal Canadiens - stats & writer's commentary

Updated: Sep 24, 2020


Pittsburgh

36-34-7

PP% 19.91 (16th) | 3.25 GF/G (10th)

PK% 82.11 (10th) | 2.84 GA/G (24th)

Goalies:

Tristan Jarry 20-12-1, .921, 2.43

Matt Murray 20-11-5, .899, 2.87

Key Players:

Evgeni Malkin: 74 Points

Bryan Rust: 56 Points

Sidney Crosby: 47 Points




Montreal

31-31-9

PP% 17.65 (22nd) | 2.99 GF/G (20th)

PK% 78.67 (19th) | 3.11 GA/G (14th)

Goalies:

Carey Price 27-25-6, .909, 2.79

Charlie Lindgren 2-4-0, .888, 3.33

Key Players:

Tomas Tatar: 61 points

Max Domi: 44 points





Players for thought:

- The dynamic duo Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby are healthy, and they will be a force to be reckoned with.

- Bryan Rust has a history of clenching those deciding games. He has stepped up as a point-per-game player and beat his career high by 18 points this past season.


- Max Domi is one of the Habs’ best players, however it is uncertain if he’ll be playing due to health concerns. If he doesn’t play, big adjustments will need to be made in the lineups.

- F Jonathan Drouin and D Victor Mete will also be returning from their injuries.



Notes for PIT:

- Matt Murray needs to bounce back. Jarry’s game is good but Murray’s is slightly better. He needs to overcome his playoff nerves and not struggle like he did last year. - Tristan Jarry also needs to improve his game and be able to step in when necessary. If PIT is ahead in the series (which will most likely happen), that’ll be a good opportunity for him to get his feet wet. - John Marino stays consistent on defense. He’s had a good year – hopefully the hiatus didn’t break any momentum for him. - If Jake Guentzel fully recovers from his shoulder surgery, he can help beef up the pens’ offense.



Notes for MTL:

- Carey Price needs to be at his best. If he doesn’t stand on his head in this series, they’re screwed – unless Charlie Lindgren manages to surprise. - Montreal’s top player Tomas Tatar will return from his injury. If he can brush off the dust from his recovery and this hiatus, he can be a big help for them.

- If MTL can adjust to any lineup challenges that may come their way.



Conclusion:

Montreal is clearly the underdog against Pittsburgh; therefore, they have nothing to lose. The pens need to be careful not to sleep on them, or the tables could turn.

With that being said, if it’s uncertain that some of Montreal’s players will be in their best shape or can’t play due to COVID reasons, things will not look good for them – and the entire series cannot rest on the shoulders of their goaltender alone.

Statistically, Pittsburgh is the better team and with their best players healthy and prepared since before the hiatus, this looks like an easy 3-0 for them.


Prediction

Pittsburgh in 3


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