MONTREAL (CBSMiami) – It’s no surprise that the Florida Panthers have stumbled out of the gate.
With a new coach behind the bench teaching a new style to a group that has several new players, there is absolutely going to be an adjustment period.
The Panthers (3-4-0) have shown they can be an explosive offensive team but putting together a well-rounded effort on both sides of the ice has proved difficult.
Even in their last game, a 4-1 road win over the Washington Capitals, goaltender James Reimer had to come up with 41 saves to preserve the victory.
Florida will look to turn in a strong, two-way effort on Tuesday when they wrap up a brief road trip against the struggling Montreal Canadiens.
Montreal (1-6-1), expected to contend for the Atlantic Division crown, has dropped seven straight after opening the season with a win.
Scoring goals has been a major issue for the Habs, which comes as a surprise considering the team is unusually healthy compared to recent years.
Currently Montreal ranks dead last in the NHL in scoring, having netted just 13 goals through eight games.
Also uncharacteristic for the Canadiens are the struggles of All-Star goalie Carey Price.
His goals against average (3.94) and save percentage (.881) don’t even rank among the league’s top 40 goaltenders.
Price’s frustrations hit a boiling point after giving up a goal during Montreal’s loss in Anaheim on Friday, breaking his stick in half with a couple of good chops on the goal post.
- The last time Montreal lost seven consecutive games was in 1940.
- Panthers forwards Jared McCann (lower-body injury) and Colton Sceviour (upper-body injury) missed Monday’s practice and are considered day-to-day.
- Florida goalie Roberto Luongo (hand) was placed on IR last weekend and is not eligible to return until Saturday’s game against Detroit.
- Panthers forward Jonthan Huberdeau has scored at least one point in six of seven games this season.
- Montreal’s power play is ranked 28th in the league (09.4%) while Florida’s penalty kill is tied for 29th (72.4).