After losing the basement battle in Arizona on Monday night, the Montreal Canadiens were right back at it, taking on the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night in Texas. On the day that the Habs announced Kent Hughes as their new General Manager, perhaps the players would be out to prove their worth to the new boss.
Samuel Montembeault might be a long shot to stick with the team beyond this season, but he sure put forth one of the best goaltending performances we’ve seen all season on Tuesday.
With a career-high 48 saves on 51 shots, he was easily the best player on the ice for his team, and even though they put up five goals in front of him, he was still the main reason they won. The Habs were opportunistic, generating those five goals on only 22 shots, while the Stars were just peppering the Montreal net with impunity.
In the third period alone, the Stars put 23 shots on goal, eclipsing Montreal’s total for the game, but Montembeault held them to two goals, neither of which could be considered as his fault.
If Kent Hughes is to make trading a goaltender one of his first moves, you have to wonder if a performance like this puts Montembeault on the radar for teams needing help in net. He may not be a workhorse starter in the NHL, but could potentially help a team looking to get or stay in the playoff picture as a backup. Found money for the Canadiens given that they picked him up off the waiver wire.
One performance is of course unlikely to have teams beating down Hughes’ door to deliver offers for the 24-year-old — but with no return in sight for Carey Price, and Jake Allen still battling injuries, Montembeault stands to have plenty of opportunity for the time being.
Eh ben... Click the play button below to listen to your Bottom Six Minutes, which is available wherever you typically get your podcasts, and will return after Thursday night’s matchup with the Vegas Golden Knights.