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Ten Takeaways from the Canadiens vs. Predators game: Beaulieu proves his worth

The Habs lose again, this time to the Nashville Predators

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

1. The deadline looms.

With the trade deadline less than a week away, you have to wonder what Bergevin is planning, and what he's instructing Therrien to do. My gut says a lot for the former, and nothing for the latter. The lineups and usage we are seeing are pretty consistent with what we have experienced all season; Michel Therrien is still trying to win games.

I look at the Toronto Maple Leafs and their strategy; how they upped the ice time of players they wanted to move in order to pump their tires. This is what Bergevin needs to be doing. The only issue is that Therrien already gives the players they should be moving a ton of ice time. It's just that the Habs don't want to move those players.

I don't think there is a disconnect between Therrien and Bergevin, but I do see a misplaced sense of asset importance.

2. When the Habs figure it out, Nathan Beaulieu is going to be an important part of their future.

I say "when" and not "if" because I need to hang on to some optimism in this mess. I was really impressed with Beaulieu last night. He was incredibly active on the transition, spurring most of the little offense the Habs were able to muster.

The best play was his first one; a puck in his feet that turned into a high danger scoring chance. He skated through all three zones before beating Pekka Rinne. Unfortunately the puck trickled just wide, but I'd count that as a goal in terms of Beaulieu's development. I think he also played on his off-side and with Alexei Emelin quite a bit, which is even more of a credit to him.

3. Mike Condon always seems to make the wrong play with the puck.

I've mentioned this before, and I thought it would get better with video sessions and coaching, but I still notice the glaring errors. I don't know what it is, but he never takes the obvious option.

I get the notion of not making the obvious play in order to confuse forecheckers, but when he plays the puck into a 50/50 puck battle instead of passing to a wide open defender, it is frustrating. Part of the issue is communication with the defence, but the Canadiens need to improve that aspect of Condon's game.

4. Their second shot of the game came with 6:38 left in the 1st period!

Insane. That's just insane. Up until their goal, you got the sense that the Habs were just going through the motions. I don't understand why they go through these massive, in-game ebbs and flows. When they're on, they're on, and when they're off, they're the worst team in the NHL.

5. Jacob de la Rose is a positional genius.

If you notice the little things about de la Rose's game, then you notice that he is always in the right place at the right time, especially on the defensive side of the puck. One thing I really like about his game is his ability to be right on the puck carrier at the opposing blue line.

When the centre takes the pass from his winger, de la Rose is right there disrupting the flow the breakout and, more often than not, causing a change in possession. That's what Michel Therrien likes about him.

6. The top six was edited again.

Max Pacioretty was moved back with Tomas Plekanec and Brendan Gallagher. Alex Galchenyuk found himself back on Lars Eller's wing flanked by Sven Andrighetto. I don't think there is a wrong combination between these six players, I just think Therrien is trying to find the right one.

Pacioretty-Plekanec-Gallagher had a ton of success early on this season. Eller and Galchenyuk showed good chemistry as well.

7. Another one about Beaulieu.

I love Beaulieu along the wall in the Offensive Zone. He has the rare ability to open up his skates with speed, and breeze by his man, while keeping possession. He makes this move in one stride, and it allows him to assess his options while forcing the defensive opposition to converge on him.

This really opens up a lot of options. He can pass the puck to the slot if there's a gap in coverage, or go down low and let his teammates find an opening. He's strong enough to power through down low, and skilled enough to get the pass off.

8. If I was a scout in attendance I wasn't impressed with any potential rentals.

Devante Smith-Pelly and Tomas Fleischmann were non-factors. Hopefully Bergevin can get something for them, anything.

9. The Predators broadcast crew did an interview with their backup goalie while the game was going on.

If you're a Habs fan, you know that the opposing backup goalie has to sit in no-man's land while the rest of his team gets to sit, and play, together. I've been watching Habs games on opposing feeds for two years now, and I've never seen that. It was incredible.

10. A point is better than two points, right?

The tank rolls on. Hoo boy!