Casting the first stone

Monday, 11.02.2008 / 3:36 PM / News
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Casting the first stone
MONTREAL – Getting a leg up on the opposition is nothing new to the Canadiens so far this season. More often than not, the Habs grab the lead before their opponents even know what hit them.
Guy Carbonneau’s quick strike offense has seen his team get on the scoreboard in the first period 56 times so far in 2007-08, with only the NHL-leading Red Wings having piled up more first-period goals with 61.

The Habs' first period success has also come at both ends of the ice, with Montreal surrendering only 38 goals the other way.

The news gets even better for the Canadiens when they carry a lead into the first intermission. When ahead after 20 minutes, the Habs are 20-2-3, once again second in the league to only the Red Wings, who lead the way with 31 victories when they're on top after one period.

While the scorching line of Alex Kovalev, Tomas Plekanec and Andrei Kostitsyn has been the talk of the season to date, Saku Koivu has most often been the one normally getting the ball rolling for the Habs. The Canadiens’ captain leads the way with 19 first period points (six goals and 13 assists), ahead of Plekanec with 16 points and Kovalev with 15.

The next time you're at the Bell Centre or watching from home, make sure to handle your snack preparation and address any bathroom needs before the puck drops. Chances are the Canadiens' offense won't wait until you get back.

Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com