Mike Hoffman Returns to the Habs Lineup vs. Rangers

It took an injury to Jake Evans, but Mike Hoffman is returning to the Montreal Canadiens lineup. In a translated tweet, J-F Chaumont confirmed that Hoffman draws in against the New York Rangers on Sunday, with head coach Martin St. Louis deploying 12 forwards and six defensemen.

Further, Chris Wideman is unavailable, and Sam Montembeault starts in net.

Hoffman has been in and out of the lineup this season, recording 12 points in 29 games. Although he’s only been modestly productive, analytically, Hoffman has been the best player on the Habs. The 33-year-old leads the team in expected goals-for rating at five-on-five and is one of only six Canadiens players with a positive Corsi rating.

Hoffman should replace Evans, centering the Habs’ third line. 

Wins haven’t been a priority for Montreal as they bolster their chances in the Connor Bedard lottery. 

That’s reflected in their current betting price, with the Canadiens listed as +290 underdogs, per FanDuel Sportsbook, in their Original Six matchup.