Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Sport | By Ellis Neal

Canadiens coach defends Pacioretty, shrugs off hit on Price

Canadiens coach defends Pacioretty, shrugs off hit on Price

If the Rangers that played on Tuesday can show up tonight, I like New York's chances to steal a game on the road. The Rangers won Game One and Game Four, while the Canadiens took the middle two games. While I know a good portion of you don't like advanced stats, the table below shows how the Game 4 lines played in the regular season 5v5 and is a good visual as to why the changes were wise.

During Game 4 on Tuesday night, his second goal of the series proved to be the game-winner after he slotted a backhanded effort through Canadiens goalie Carey Price early in the second period to put NY up 2-1.

When asked about the Alexander Radulov slash and Paul Byron cross-check, Smith responded saying: "If you retaliate, normally they call the retaliation". Montreal will host Game 5 on Thursday night.

"It's part of the game". "We're here to protect each other as well".

"He's an exceptional player", Canadiens defenseman Nathan Beaulieu said.

Whenever Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty goes a couple games without a goal, a large portion of the fan base and media around the team begins to point fingers at him - and that criticism becomes laser focused when it's coupled with losses.

Henrik Lundqvist has had a tremendous start to these playoffs, unlike last years' postseason where the Rangers were beaten in five games in round one.

He has answered those criticisms himself many times in his career, pointing out that his biggest strength is his shot, and the front of the net is the one place you're guaranteed to have your stick tied up, but it seemingly falls on deaf ears the next time a mini-slump comes around. "My job is to take the pressure off him while he's getting pressure from elsewhere".

"He's a good player and whether you guys don't think he's done enough, for me internally, I think he's done a lot and he's got an opportunity to be better", said Julien.

"That's how I handle things".

In general, this is a problem in hockey analysis, where uncontrollable results are used as a basis to criticize the process of a player's game.

Jack Johnson and Josh Anderson also scored for the Blue Jackets, who were able to outlast the Penguins when they pushed back hard in the second and third periods and then got a short-handed goal from Jake Guenztel with 27 seconds left in the game. Over small samples like, let's say four games, this kind of analysis is even lazier. The line shake up (Kreider-Zibanejad-Buchnevich, Vesey-Stepan-Nash, Miller-Hayes-Zuccarello and Grabner-Lindberg-Fast) provided NY better overall speed and aided in the improved forecheck, which was a large component in the victory.

Note: Montreal defenceman Alexei Emelin is moving closer to a return after missing four with an undisclosed injury. In Game 5, the Canadiens will be shaking up their defensemen.

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