How bad are the Rangers?
They started the season with nine games on the road.
Returning home for the gala opening of a renovated Madison Square Garden, the home team suffered the ignominy of a 2-0 shutout.
And the guy hanging the goose egg was Peter Budaj, the Canadiens' backup goaltender ... who is perfect in his two starts this season. Budaj has a GAA of 0.50 and a save percentage of .982.
Tomas Plekanec scored his sixth goal during a second-period power play.
And with the Rangers pressing, Alex Galchenyuk's skate ticked in a Lars Eller pass to make it 2-0.
Ecah team had 27 shots in a mostly dull game that saw a parade to the penalty box: six minors to the Canadiens, seven to the Rangers.
Galchenyuk scores the dagger
Alex Galchenyuk's second goal of the season came in for review because it went in off his skate.
And good game for the Canadiens.
Finally, a goal
The most boring game of the young season came to life more than 16 minutes into the second period.
On the Canadiens fourth power play, hard-working rookie Michaël Bournival tied up two Rangers defenders, Marc Staal and Taylor Pyatt, allowing Tomas Plekanec to skate unimpeded to the front of the net, whence he beat Henrik Lundqvist with a backhander.
The home team had a 14-11 shot advantage.
No score ... or much of anything
Each team blew two power-play opportunities.
Shots were 7-7.
Best scoring chance was a shot that ticked off Peter Budaj's glove and ticked off the goalpost.
Your Montreal Canadiens are usually the home when trumpets blow and spotlights shine.
Michael Farber, of Sports Illustrated and TSN, says there are two institutions that get ceremony right: the Canadiens and the House of Windsor.
On Monday night, we'll see how the New York Rangers do, pomp-wise.
After three years of construction costing a cool $1 billion U.S., the renovated Madison Square Garden opens for business. The Rangers, who opened their season with nine games on the road, play host to the Canadiens in an historic game.
MSG upgrades include two 600-square-foot high-def video screens and, of course, new luxury suites.
But is the team on the ice any better?
Under new coach Alain Vigneault, the Rangers have six points and a goal differential of minus-18. They are seventh in the Metropolitan Division, 14th in the Eastern Conference.
The Canadiens are fifth in the Atlantic Division, sixth in the Conference. Their plus-11 goal differential is best in the east.
The Canadiens won all three games against the Rangers last season and 10 of the last 13 against the Blueshirts, who will be missing Rick Nash and Ryan Callahan.