1.Line-up adjustments pay off
Claude Julien and co. decided to make some necessary adjustments to the Canadiens’ line-up ahead of game number three. Andreas Martinsen and Nikita Nesterov were the odd men out, allowing Torrey Mitchell and Brandon Davidson to step in on Sunday night.
Alex Galchenyuk slid in alongside Artturi Lehkonen an Andrew Shaw, moving up in the line-up and switching to centre.
The lines seemed much more balanced, with the fourth line contributing much more defensively, and, perhaps unsurprisingly with Mitchell back in the swing of things, some offensive flair as well.
2. Alex Galchenyuk trending upwards
Galchenyuk looked absolutely revitalized on Sunday night. He had over three minutes in powerplay time, won 67% of his face offs, and helped with an assist on the Shea Weber goal in the third period.
Galchenyuk finds Weber to give the #Habs a crucial PP goal. 2-0. pic.twitter.com/2gRDmWd9SN— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) April 17, 2017
Coach Claude Julien said this before the game,
“Sometimes people don’t understand from the outside what we’re doing. He (Galchenyuk) had the right attitude. Now he’s got that swagger back.”
Hell yes he does.
3. Davidson vs. Nesterov
I certainly hope to see more of Davidson based on how he looked Sunday evening. Nathan Beaulieu clearly benefited from the swap, working with a CF% of 87.5% after the first period, and ending with a 62.5% after all was said and done.
I can’t see the need for much adjustment after Sunday’s game. Davidson should be the sixth defenceman until Emelin is ready to play.
4. I’ll just leave this here...
So you can ponder what kind of term/deal Radulov will be receiving
This is definitely the best angle of the ridiculous Radulov goal: pic.twitter.com/T8IptTmy30— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) April 17, 2017
Additional goals were scored by Artturi Lehkonen (his first-ever playoff goal) and Shea Weber.
All around, the Habs looked phenomenal with scoring chances 27-13 and high-danger chances 12-3 in their favour. If they can bring this kind of fire for the remainder of this series, they are golden.
5. Did you know?
Before Sunday, Carey Price had never won a playoff game at Madison Square Garden. Victory is sweet, and the Habs hold all of the momentum heading into game four. The first two games were filled with anxiety, but this was truly a dominant game by the Canadiens, and perhaps one of their best efforts of the year.
It couldn’t come at a better time.