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Bottom Six Minutes Pre-season: We talkin’ about practice

The Canadiens lost. I know it’s important, I know they’re supposed to be there, but we’re in here talking about practice.

NHL: Preseason-Montreal Canadiens at Toronto Maple Leafs Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Last time we saw the Montreal Canadiens face the Toronto Maple Leafs, the former was bouncing the latter from the Stanley Cup Playoffs in a Game 7 matchup. It was a happier time, as we watched a win in a meaningful game instead of a loss in a preparatory contest worth zero points in the standings.

Welcome back to your Bottom Six Minutes, the first ever for a preseason game.

If you enjoyed our run during the playoffs — and in case you couldn’t tell from the mere existence of this article — the good news is that the podcast is back for the 2021-22 season. I might not be able to promise a full 82 episodes, but I’ll sure make an effort, which is more than I can say for those fellas wearing Canadiens sweaters in Toronto on Saturday night.

I kid, as there is less than nothing to be concerned about at this point. The Leafs iced a better lineup on paper, and it translated to a better product on the ice. The Habs had a number of players who are likely bound for the ECHL, and the lineup had more players either headed there or Laval than it did actual opening night skaters.

Some players had decent showings, in particular Cole Caufield, who managed several quality scoring chances that he just couldn’t bury. If this is him at not quite game shape, it should be a wild rookie campaign from the former Wisconsin Badger.

Lastly, Michael McNiven had a very impressive performance coming in during the second period and looking like he’s in midseason form. He was a big bright spot in an otherwise sloppy game for his team.

But the moral of the story is don’t get too wrapped up in a bad preseason game. They tend to be bad for a variety of of reasons, and there will be a very different Habs team together when the real season starts.

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