Sitting dead last in the Eastern Conference through 10 games, the Montreal Canadiens took back to home ice to face one of the two teams they have actually beaten this season, the Detroit Red Wings. At this stage, some simple signs of life would be encouraging, even if they can’t go on any sort of winning streak.
Welcome to your Bottom Six Minutes, in which they showed more than just some signs of life.
In fact, they played arguably their most complete game of the season. Unlike Jake Allen’s previous shutout over the San Jose Sharks, he didn’t have to stand on his head, the team in front of him made it a relatively easy night.
Nick Suzuki played like he took Cole Caufield’s stint in Laval personally. Brendan Gallagher was his usual tenacious and resilient self, even returning from an injury to score the empty net insurance. And Jake Allen may not have needed to be spectacular, but he was there whenever the team needed him.
Josh Anderson, however, was my player of the game. His speed and shot really took centre stage as the team figured out their transitional game and allowed his best attributes to shine. Really, figuring out that transitional game on a consistent basis could be the key in the long run to this team turning things around.
Of course it was not without incident, as Jonathan Drouin had to leave the game after being struck in the face by a puck in the first period. As of this writing, his status for Thursday’s contest is in doubt, but reports have indicated encouraging test results.
Despite this, encouraging, in a word could best describe the game as a whole. Click the play button below to hear my full soliloquy and as always, we’ll be back on Thursday when the Habs face the New York Islanders.