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Canucks vs. Montreal Canadiens

Monday, Feb. 1, and Tuesday, Feb. 2

You remember the Habs, don’t you?

Yes, those Canadiens who came into Rogers Arena last week and mostly had their way with the Canucks?

The Habs flew home last Sunday and didn’t play again until Thursday night, where they carried on with their strong play and defeated the Calgary Flames in the first of a two-game set.

The Canucks haven’t beaten Montreal in regulation time since 2015. If they’re going to win in Montreal for the first time since December 2011, they’re going to have to play better defensively than they did last week.

Canucks goalie Braden Holtby, who was in net for Thursday’s win against Ottawa, said he’s seen great improvement in the team’s defensive structure in front of him. The Senators fired plenty of pucks his way, but he said the Canucks’ defenders were busy doing far more important things: taking away passing options, forcing the Sens into taking shots and giving him a chance to get properly set to face the shot.

“Shot quantity can be pretty misleading at times and I think our guys did an awesome job through this three game set of making things simplified,” he said.

Canucks vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

Thursday, Feb. 4, Saturday, Feb. 6, and Monday, Feb. 8

The Canucks’ tough trip wraps up with a three-game series in Toronto to face the Leafs.

The Canucks have just two regulation wins against the Maple Leafs since 2014, both at Rogers Arena. The Canucks haven’t won, period, in Toronto since 2011.

How will the Canucks be feeling to be in the Big Smoke but confined to their hotel? How will the whirlwind of games they’ll have played by then — upon their return home after this road trip the Canucks will finally have two days off between games for the first time this season — affect them?

pjohnston@postmedia.com

twitter.com/risingaction

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