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Bottom Six Minutes 32: The Montreal Rocket give Tampa all they can handle

A few kids from Laval turned what was supposed to be an easy Tampa win into nothing of the sort.

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images

A short break from Montreal Canadiens hockey was somewhat refreshing, was it not? It has been an unprecedently difficult season, with players and fans of the team alike offering little complaint to the pause in action. But the NHL is forging ahead with their season, so the break came to an end on Tuesday with a trip to Florida to visit the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Welcome to your Bottom Six Minutes, in which I’ll discuss a great showing by the Montreal Rocket.

The Laval Rocket were heavily represented in a Habs lineup decimated by COVID and injuries. Rafael Harvey-Pinard and Lukas Vejdemo both chipped in with goals, while Corey Scheuneman drew an assist on the former’s. Even Ryan Poehling — who may be considered by some as still being a Laval Rocket guy — got in on the action with a great assist. It was a far better game for Montreal than expected, and the call-ups were a big part of that.

And that is your silver lining of the night — the players who were called up played like they want to prove they can be in the NHL. If this season is to mean anything beyond good odds in the draft lottery, the organization needs to see some players take a step forwards in their careers. The good news is that Tuesday’s game proved that several of them really want to do that.

I want the focus to be on those players for this episode, but I also have to discuss the absurd disallowed goal for Brendan Gallagher in that game. The NHL has no apparent idea of what goaltender interference is, and they have to do something to establish any kind of precedent for these calls. Unless the league wants defencemen to shove opposing players into their own goaltenders to create no-goal calls, they’ll really need to address this issue.

I’ve been quite harsh on Dominique Ducharme this season, but his decision to challenge the call on the ice made a lot of sense to everyone including the broadcast team, and responses ranged from perplexed to furious when they upheld the no-goal call.

Alas, no sense crying over it, as the Canadiens put forth a much better overall effort than expected. Click the play button below for my full thoughts, and we’ll be back with another episode after Thursday’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes.