The Montreal Canadiens hadn’t won in four games, and were in need of a serious rebound win in whichever way they could find it.
They accomplished just that on Tuesday night against Columbus, grabbing a 3-2 win and snapping a frustrating run for a Canadiens team with playoff aspirations.
The Canadiens are capable of outplaying the best of teams at even strength, and they quietly did that again tonight, handily winning the possession battle. More importantly, they won on the scoreboard. Seeing where they got their goals from, it makes perfect sense. The Canadiens had 13 high danger chances at 5v5, and limited the Blue Jackets to just six.
They went up on two goals early in the game, both coming on plays where the goal scorer followed the play, got to the right spot and tapped it home. These weren’t ridiculous end to end rushes, or filthy dangles through the defence. They were the simple basic plays that win teams hockey games. Coming into crunch time, you need those plays to secure crucial points especially if you’re battling for a spot like Montreal is right now.
As a team they also had a few slip ups against Columbus, but they pushed back, and eventually got the result they deserved. They had defensive miscues, missed assignments, but made up for it when it counted, and above all else they didn’t fold when the pressure was turned up.
Jordie Benn’s threaded pass to Tomas Tatar gave them the game winner later in the third period. It was a great play by a player not many expect to make plays like that. Depth contributions have been the driving force in Montreal, Benn is a part of that, Paul Byron is a part of that, everyone on this team has been contributing.
It wasn’t the most exciting game in the world, it wasn’t a flawless showing, but in the end the Canadiens grabbed two very key points. And to make things better, around the NHL the scoreboard posted results in their favour. It’s a big win in every sense of the word, and now they have a platform to build a new streak on as well.