1. The Canadiens lineup without P.K. Subban is downright weird.
Every single game the one name I expect to see penciled in is Subban, the lineup card without him on there doesn't seem right. That doesn't even include the fact he's the best player on this team not named Carey Price, and losing him is a crippling blow for a struggling team. I'm all for giving the prospects a chance, I just wish they didn't come at the expense of the health of the best defenceman in the league
2. The power play without Subban is about as threatening as a small kitten.
The Canadiens power play at the best of times is predictable, every team knows that the puck is going to Subban at the point for the big slapshot. With him out of the lineup, the power play was a disorganized mess all night, and that's a problem. A team with this many offensive weapons should not have to rely on a single player to drive the man advantage night in and night out. The bigger issue being that, even with Subban playing, the power play is still mediocre at best. Changes were needed long ago, but there don't appear to be any in sight.
3. It was a trial by fire for Darren Dietz.
All credit to Dietz, who was thrust into a tough spot: one day of practice and thrown into the lineup alongside Victor Bartley against the Wild. He's been solid for the IceCaps all year, and despite not putting up a ton of points, Dietz remains a solid depth addition in the Canadiens' system. It's clear he isn't acclimated to the speed of the NHL game, but that's not something to worry about, given the fact he's been in Montreal for less than two days.
4. Charles Hudon should never see another day in the AHL.
It was clear during his time in the NHL this pre-season, it was clear during his first call up, and it's clear now, Hudon is ready to be a full time NHL player. He's relentless on the puck, never quitting on a play, and he fills that void left by Brendan Gallagher. I understand he's up on an emergency recall, but even when Lars Eller returns from injury it'd be worthwhile to give the rookie forward a shot.
5. Why is Mike Brown in the lineup?
I don't get it, he botched premium scoring chances, and just isn't good at hockey. With his temperament he's liable to go off at any time, and is it really worth having him in over Stefan Matteau? Also what in God's name was he doing on the power play?
6. Michael McCarron is going to be a nightmare for teams in the future.
Standing 6'6'', the 2013 draft pick is proving why the Canadiens selected him in the first round, he's going to be a monster pain-in-the-ass for opposing teams. Players try to move him from the front of the net, and fail miserably. Someone lines him up for a big hit, and they're the one lying on the ice after contact. If he can showcase more of his offensive talents in the NHL, he's going to be that mythical "Big Center" that Habs fans have longed for.
7. Mark Barberio is the best signing Bergevin made in the off-season.
Conan the Barberio registered a goal tonight with great puck-tracking and a well-timed pinch. However, since he was called up from St. John's, he's been solid throughout the lineup, whether it be on the top pairing or playing third-pairing minutes. He's more than earned a contract extension, and the sooner Bergevin gets on that the better. Barberio will be an RFA this summer, and will draw interest across the NHL.
8. I don't understand NHL officiating.
Alexei Emelin got drilled from behind right into the boards, and for the second time in the last few games, the on-ice officials looked at it and deemed that to be a legal hockey play. For all the talk of making the game safer, allowing hits like that seems counter-intuitive.
9. No P.K.? No problem for Markov ... yet.
Andrei Markov played over 26 minutes against the Minnesota Wild, and looked outstanding all game. The General clearly has plenty left in the tank, but it's still a bad situation for him to be leading a team in ice time. Thankfully, it looks like Subban will be back sooner rather than later, so the Habs don't have to rely on the 37-year-old like they did tonight.
10. The Minnesota Wild are boring.
I struggled to stay awake during that game, that was New Jersey Devils level of Zzzzz.