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Potential trade pieces showed their mettle on Saturday

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Tanking or not, some of the Canadiens’ deadline assets made good impressions on Saturday.

NHL: Dallas Stars at Montreal Canadiens Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Losing is no fun. Blowing a three-goal lead and losing in overtime after a non-call infuriated everyone in a Canadiens sweater after a maddening night of officiating? Even worse!

On the positive side of things, some of the players who will be available at the NHL Trade Deadline acquitted themselves in a good way against the Dallas Stars. If the likes of Tomas Tatar and Jeff Petry are not available, that leaves names like Nick Cousins, Nate Thompson, and Dale Weise as likely options.

While Thompson missed the game due to the flu, he wasn’t the only missing regular as Jonathan Drouin sat out with an ankle injury. Enter Jordan Weal on the fourth line ... for about a period at least.

Weal started the game on the bottom trio, but with Brendan Gallagher missing some of the game due to what looked like a minor leg injury, he moved on up and eventually found himself with Nick Suzuki. As a result, the duo formed some instant synergy, and were the most involved forward group throughout the game.

With Suzuki’s talent, Weal got on the scoresheet early on, finishing off a net-front pass from the rookie. Shortly after Weal’s goal it was Cousins flying into the zone and cranking his ninth goal of the year by Ben Bishop.

As far as the trade deadline is concerned, what happened after that goal is irrelevant. The best news of the night was that the likeliest trade pieces at the deadline performed well as teams begin to truly look for potential additions.

There’s no guarantee any of the above players bring back a large return, but with the big day looming in just over a week’s time they’re doing all they can to catch the eye of teams bound for the post-season. For a team teetering on the edge of a full-blown tank, the Canadiens will take whatever assets they can get, likely in the form of late-round draft picks.