Two nights after making overtime — and losing there — for the first time this season, the Montreal Canadiens had the final game of their home stand against the Calgary Flames. It has been a home stand to forget, and the hope was that the Habs could end it on a high note before heading out on the road.
Welcome to your Bottom Six Minutes, in which I will discuss them doing exactly that.
The officiating was a special kind of bad. This is essentially par for the course when it comes to NHL officiating, but that they let Erik Gudbranson’s cross check to the neck and a literal fist fight go without penalties were particularly glaring errors, even with the league’s low bar. Of course, I have to talk a little about that.
On a more positive note, there were some encouraging performances by the actual players, namely Ryan Poehling. Playing his first game since being called up from the Laval Rocket, he was solid as the fourth line centre, and I do believe an extended look at what he brings there is in order. Ben Chiarot also continued his recent solid play, and is surprisingly one of the team’s leading goal scorers this year.
We also saw some solid performances from Nick Suzuki and Brendan Gallagher, the latter of whom appears to be finding his scoring touch after a slow start to the year. The former, of course, has been the team’s best player, and is proving that his recent contract extension will be worth every penny.
Overall, this was a fantastic game for a team that really needed a confidence boost. The big question is if it will be something they can build on, which they haven’t been able to do after any of their other strong efforts this season.
We’ll find out on Saturday, so click the play button below and we’ll be back to discuss their search for consecutive wins next time against the Detroit Red Wings.