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Canadiens vs. Stars Top Six Minutes: A learning curve type of game

Joe Pavelski was the catalyst as the Canadiens youth fell flat on their back.

Dallas Stars v Montreal Canadiens Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

For our new readers and members, the Top Six Minutes is a continuation of the discussion in the game thread. We try to keep it light and entertaining. Full recaps are up the morning after every game.


  • So no Slafkovsky tonight. A real shame. Was looking forward to him showing the cowboys who’s the boss with a spectacular hat-trick.
  • With Slaf missing, Kaiden Guhle will take on the role of rookie sheriff. Accompanied by his mean vice-sheriff, Arber Wif... I mean Xhekaj.
  • Who needs Texas style BBQ when you can have smoked meat from Main Deli, amiright?

First period

  • That power play still sucks though.
  • Montreal’s, that is. Not Dallas’s. They take an early lead when 463 year old Joe Pavelski backhands it past Jake Allen.
  • Beauty of a goal though. Not bad for an octogenarian.
  • The Canadiens are growing into this game the further the period progresses.
  • Jake Oettinger is so far standing tall though. As he has done most of the time during the early parts of this season.
  • We have a tied game! Mike Hasselhoffman with his first of the year.
  • But how about that backhand flip pass by Arber Xhekaj to Jake Evans for the initial shot. Wtf is going on there?
  • Is Xhekaj... A playmaker? Can someone tell me what this guy cannot do?

Second period

  • Nightmare start to the second. Pavelski scores his second.
  • Then the referees miss a very clear slash on Suzuki on a breakaway.
  • And finally, Brendan Gallagher goes into the boards in full force, trying to follow up on yet another breakaway.
  • Get well soon, Gally. We want you. We need you.
  • Yep, the Stars power play is more lethal than the Habs one. Jason Robertson scores to give his team a two-goal lead with Kirby Dach in the penalty box.
  • Gally is apparently already back on the Habs bench. That’s at least one positive surprise.
  • And now he’s back in the locker room again. Better safe than sorry.
  • We have a first NHL goal for number 73 Arber... XHEKAJ!
  • Is Xhekaj... A goalscorer too? CAN SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME WHAT THIS GUY CANNOT DO???
  • Damn. I almost feel guilty now about ranking him 36th on this year’s Top 25 Under 25...
  • “Almost
  • The Habs are pushing for a game-tying goal now toward the end of the period. So naturally Dallas scores just before the buzzer.

Third period

  • Carolina Hurricanes legend Jani Hakkapakka to the box early in the third. Another chance to break the power play curse for the Canadiens.
  • “Chance”? Yes. Do they take it? Mais non.
  • Instead, Ol’ Joe Pavelski is gifted a highway of his own in front of Jake Allen and scores his third of the night.
  • And here I was, writing about a potential hat-trick from Juraj Slafkovsky, and then the hat-trick is actually scored by a guy who may actually have been drafted on the very day when Slaf was conceived.
  • Well, Pakkanhakka does have an intimate love for the penalty box. That’s his third minor of the night.
  • If he was a handball player, that would mean he was done for the night.
  • Gallagher is back and he’s looking quite normal out there. Almost scores on a breakaway as well. Love to see that!
  • Give us another goal at least before the night is over.
  • :(

EOTP 3 Stars

3) Such an unnecessary sequence

2) One of St-Louis’s tasks is to fix this long-standing issue

1) Lots of love for Xhekaj