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Canadiens vs. Bruins 10 Takeaways: Paul Byron rises to the occasion

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Once again, the Canadiens were outshot, and once again they pulled out the win.

Boston Bruins v Montreal Canadiens Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images
  1. Who needs shots anyhow?

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the Canadiens were once again heavily outshot despite winning the game. Though an early power play to Boston did not help, the Canadiens were outshot to a tune of 14-5 in the first period alone! In fact, the Bruins double up on the Canadiens - outshooting them to a tune of 43-23. The Bruins controlled just over 60% of even-strength shot attempts throughout the game.

2. But at least they didn’t get off to a slow start.

Despite getting outshot in the first period, the Canadiens did start out strong. Unfortunately, the Canadiens only managed to not allow an overabundance of shots against a little over halfway into the first. The Bruins dominated in that regard throughout the rest of the game.

3. The first line was the only line that wasn’t caved in possession wise.

Speaking of even-strength shot attempts, only one line managed to put up positive shot differential numbers and that was the top line of Paul Byron, Alex Galchenyuk and Alex Radulov. Head coach Michel Therrien’s gamble paid off in a big way and the trio combined to produce 2 goals and 6 points, with all three members finding themselves on the scoreboard. The line also controlled just over 58% of even strength shot attempts when on the ice.

4. Alex Galchenyuk is red hot!

Alex Galchenyuk is continuing to put up points. The young centre men had scored 4 goals and 11 points heading into yesterday’s game, and he added to his totals against the Bruins in style. Galchenyuk scored off a pass from Alex Radulov and assisted on Paul Bryon’s game winner to give Montreal the win. With 5 goals and 13 points, the forward is scoring at a point per game pace and now leads the Canadiens in points.

5. Byron rose to the occasion

There’s something to be said about taking advantage of the opportunity presented, a that’s exactly what Byron has done this season. He’s not a player that will produce every night, but seeing as some key players aren’t scoring at the moment, his offense is quite timely.

6. The Canadiens are fairly totally dependent on Carey Price.

Carey Price had to make 41 saves during this game and put up a sterling .953 SV% to help the Canadiens win this match. Price stood on his head during this game, even made a key save with his noggin in the second period. Over the last four games Price has had to make a 154 saves and has only allowed 7 goals in that time span. But the Canadiens shouldn’t keep expecting their star goaltender to keep bailing them out. The team needs to start playing better in front of Price and at least work on limiting the amount of shots and scoring chances he faces on a nightly basis.

The Habs don’t have to apologize for having the best goaltender in the world, they just have to keep working on their weaknesses even though Price tends to mask the vast majority of inefficiencies in their play.

7. Speaking of which, the Canadiens really need to start putting more shots on net!

During the last four games, the Canadiens have only managed to put 91 shots on net, while their opponents have combined to put 161 shots. In that span Canadiens are averaging around 22 shots per game, while their opponents are averaging nearly double that (40 shots per game). Granted this is a small size, but it is worrying nonetheless. Opportunistic scoring has allowed the Canadiens to grab three wins in those four games, but it is not a sustainable way to win.

8. The power play improved...slightly.

Going into this game, the Canadiens had the 17th ranked power play that converted on 18% of its opportunities on the man advantage (7/39). Shea Weber’s opening power play marker slightly improved Montreal’s odds and the Canadiens have now converted on just over 19% of their power play opportunities.

9. How did Daniel Carr look?

Daniel Carr drew into the lineup for an injured Artturi Lehkonen and played alongside David Desharnais and Andrew Shaw on the third line. Unfortunately for Carr, despite setting up Desharnais for a glorious scoring opportunity, the line struggled. Carr’s 32 CF% last evening was a rough start following his demotion to the AHL. He’ll need a little time, and patience from the coaching staff, to get comfortable.

10. Another win for the good guys!

The Canadiens and Bruins have met 735 times, and Montreal possesses a 359-266-103 record against their foes. Scratch that, with yesterday’s win, the Canadiens now have a 360-266-103 record against the hated rivals.