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Bottom Six Minutes 20: Habs ride strong second to victory

The Canadiens were on their heels for the first 20 minutes, but some good goaltending and a stellar second earned a 6-3 win.

NHL: Nashville Predators at Montreal Canadiens Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

If Marc Bergevin’s interview with Eric Engels is any indication, the Montreal Canadiens have no intention of tanking this season. On the other hand, their record going into Saturday night against the Nashville Predators seemed to say otherwise. If they truly believe they can still get into the playoffs, a convincing effort in front of their home crowd would be a good start.

Welcome to your Bottom Six Minutes, in which I’ll discuss a far better game than the Bell Centre faithful were treated to last Thursday.

My player of the game is none other than Ryan Poehling. It was tempting to go with Samuel Montembeault, but Poehling has been quite good since being called up, and his two goals against Nashville were well deserved rewards. I believe he has cemented his spot on the roster at this point, as the way he’s playing will make it very difficult to pull him from the lineup.

The decision to go with seven defensemen was perplexing, and it didn’t work whatsoever for the first 20 minutes. They were very disorganized in their zone, and if not for Montembeault, they could have been out of this game in that very period. Luckily, he kept them in, and they rode a much stronger second period to a big lead.

And they almost blew that lead in the third, albeit with some questionable officiating assisting the predators in their comeback bid. A strong, if imperfect effort, and one that they can hopefully build on.

Lastly, I have to touch on Bergevin’s aforementioned interview with Eric Engels, as I felt like he came off as someone not long for his role. He mentioned not wanting to mortgage the future — something I can definitely agree with — but also not wanting to trade for “unpredictable” draft picks. If he’s not committing either to success this season or building for the future, I just don’t see how he’s here much longer.

At any rate, click the play button below for my full thoughts, and we have a few days off, as I’ll be back next after Wednesday’s game against the Washington Capitals.