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Canadiens vs. Wild 5 Takeaways: It wasn’t as bad as it looked

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The Minnesota Wild extended their winning streak against the Habs to seven games in one that was easier than it should have been

NHL: Minnesota Wild at Montreal Canadiens Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

1. Shake that Etch-a-Sketch

The Habs outshot their opponents 33-26 on Thursday night, with a slight edge on attempted shots as well. Montreal out-possessed, out-played and out-shot the Minnesota Wild for a majority of the game but came up empty-handed, giving Devan Dubnyk his first shutout of the season in the 3-0 loss.

The Canadiens also had two goals turned back, one for a high stick and the other for goaltender interference. Both were questionable decisions by the referees. All in all, this was a game that the Habs should largely be proud of, and move on from quickly.

2. Understudies put on good show

Carey Price. Shea Weber. Jonathan Drouin. Ales Hemsky. OK fine, Hemsky doesn’t matter, but the fact is that the Habs played a game while missing a notable player at each forward, defence and in net.

The team still played pretty well, considering - and while the absence of those players being simultaneous presents problems for the Habs, it appears, after one game at least, the effects are minimal. Loss aside, Montreal put up a good fight when they had every excuse not to.

The injuries on all fronts don’t seem to be long-term so the Canadiens get the bonus of having a boon when they do come back to the lineup.

3. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

The referees were the target of some ire on Thursday night, as the Bell Centre’s customary boo-birds were in full swing. Early in the game there was the disallowed goal by Karl Alzner that probably should have counted. There was some questionable judgement with regards to penalties, a phantom tripping call on Joe Morrow being the most egregious example.

Finally when Charles Hudon’s goal was challenged and eventually overturned for extremely mild goaltending interference, the crowd had had enough and pelted the zebras with boos, and kept it up for every subsequent offside and perceived missed call that could have gone against Minnesota. Montreal fans are quick to judge you, sometimes too much so - but sometimes the organized hate of 21,000 people is awe-inspiring.

4. Wild... Gone Wild!

Seven. The Minnesota Wild have beaten the Habs seven straight times, with Montreal’s last win against the Wild three years and two days into the past, November 8, 2014. Over that span of games, the Canadiens have been outscored 28-9.

Whatever the reason, if one even exists, Minnesota is riding a seemingly untouchable streak of wins against the Habs. Fans will have to wait until at least the Stanley Cup Finals (ahem) or next season to find out if/when Montreal can snap the cold front from the midwest.

5. Claude Julien is fun to watch

So far since taking over behind the bench for Montreal, Claude Julien has had his team playing pretty good hockey, often outshooting their opposition and when they do score, scoring in bunches.

Turns out, Claude Julien is also fun to watch on nights like Thursday’s frustrating loss to the Wild.

He got into it on the second disallowed goal as well.