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The Montreal Canadiens are riding a point streak! Ending the week with a 1-1-2 record, the Habs came away with four points in their last three games. Given the horror that is this season, last week was pretty darn great. To make it even more impressive, they forced two of the top teams in the league — the Vegas Golden Knights (Pacific Division) and Colorado Avalanche (Central Division) — into overtime, making them work harder to pick up both points.
The main reason they were able to grab a handful of points was due to the stellar stand-on-your-head performances from their goaltenders. Sam Montembeault faced 50-plus shots in Tuesday’s 5-2 victory over the Dallas Stars and again during Thursday’s 4-3 overtime loss to Vegas. Prior to Saturday’s puck drop, it was announced that Montembeault was suffering from a minor wrist injury (I suppose he was after facing over 100 shots) and was listed as day-to-day. It was also announced that Jonathan Drouin was placed on Injured Reserve with an upper-body injury, because, you know, 2021-22. Luckily, Jeff Petry and Josh Anderson were able to suit up after being questionable for the game, so they could still dress a full lineup.
Tale of the Tape
|46.9% (25th)||Scoring-chances-for %||50.1% (17th)|
|2.18 (32nd)||Goals per game||3.70 (3rd)|
|3.65 (31st)||Goals against per game||2.97(17th)|
|13.3% (31st)||PP%||17.7% (21st)|
|73.0% (29th)||PK%||79.7% (16th)|
|1-1-0 (19-20)||H2H Record||1-1-0 (19-20)|
Stepping in to take the reins between the pipes was fourth-in-line Cayden Primeau. And take the reins he did, stopping 43 of the 46 shots he faced. “We’re happy to see a young goalie like him, against one of the best teams in the NHL, show character and play a good game,” said Dominique Ducharme. As are we, Dom. As are we.
The Minnesota Wild are fresh off a back-to-back weekend sweep of the Chicago Blackhawks featuring a Saturday night overtime game of their own. The difference being they came away with two points instead of one after defeating the Blackhawks 4-3. According to our sister site, Hockey Wilderness, “tie the game late and dramatically win in OT” is a recurring theme for this team. This time Marcus Foligno was the overtime hero who scored the game-winning goal.
Gaining momentum, the Wild are riding a pretty impressive streak, winning five of their last six contests and coming away with 11 points. The Canadiens need to be aware that the Wild’s power play started to jive during their weekend games. On Saturday, they found the back of the net on two out of five chances. Given two out of the three goals against during Saturday’s game against the Avalanche came on the power play, let’s hope they do their darnedest to stay out of the box tonight.
Minnesota currently sits in fourth place in the Central Division, nipping at the heels of the St. Louis Blues. But as we’ve seen this past week, the Canadiens are not backing down from teams that sit high in the standings.
In the past three outings, Nick Suzuki, Artturi Lehkonen, and Tyler Toffoli started riding points streak of their own: Suzuki has tallies six points (2G, 4A), Toffoli added four (2G, 2A), and Lehekonen picked up three (2G, 1A). Since Kent Hughes stepped in as GM, we’ve witnessed forwards and goalies stepping it up a notch.
Those defencemen though.... Oof. Let’s hope they build on last week’s performances. Maybe even help out their netminders a tad more. If nothing else, it would be nice to see this trend of great goaltending, team effort, and entertaining games continue so the second half of the season is a little less painful than the first.