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Canadiens @ Wild Top Six Minutes: No offensive haul when Montreal visits St. Paul

Two early-second-period goals spoil the Canadiens chances of having a perfect road trip.

Montreal Canadiens v Minnesota Wild Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via 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.

Pre-game

  • A couple of days have passed since that wonderful, wonderful comeback win in St. Louis.
  • The question is: Can the Habs sweep this road trip?
  • Mike Hoffman scratched? Well, not to beat a dead horse, but chances of another win suddenly improved.

First period

  • After a quick chance from the Wild, the Canadiens have begun to get the majority of the shots.
  • Marc-Andre Fleury – Stopping Habs players since -03.
  • Looked like the Wild had seven players on the ice there. Maybe that’s legal in the state of Minnesota.
  • The puck gets flipped in the air, and rather than standing in front of his defender hoping to win a one-on-one battle, Caufield goes behind him anticipating the puck bouncing through. An interesting tactic.
  • Lots of shots, but this street hockey goalie is unbeatable at the moment.
  • Look at EOTP NHL Player of the month Cole Caufield pinch the puck-carrier off along the boards and cut off a transition rush before it begins. This evolution is truly remarkable.
  • Now Drouin races down the ice waiting for a pass to get through a defenceman’s legs. This seems to be a strategy.

Second period

  • A quick strike by the Minnesota Wild who get a weak one past Jake Allen, and all the good work from the first period is wiped out.
  • Mason Shaw gets his ... second NHL goal. At least it wasn’t his first.
  • Joel Armia tries to get the goal back on a power move, but skates right through Fleury and goes to the box.
  • Now it’s 2-0 as the Wild convert on the power play.
  • This is going to take another multi-goal comeback
  • Now Juraj Slafkovský is in the box for taking down his man while trying to get around a pick. Completely accidental, including wiping out Fleury in the aftermath.
  • A couple of power plays and the shots are nearly even now.
  • Montreal’s turn to trot out the new power play.
  • Lots of quick movement, and it looks like they’re actually tying to score and not just make passes.
  • That’s three for Minny. But it might be coming back due to a high stick?
  • MSL challenges...
  • Aaaand loses the challenge. Stick in shoulder height. Sigh, to the penalty kill we go.
  • I don’t believe in the road trip sweep anymore.
  • Is this all because they scratched The Hoff? Is Mike Hoffman actually indispensable?

Third period

  • We need another comeback, lads. You up for it?
  • Uhhm, felt like Gally was ambushed there. No call from the zebras.
  • Not that I’m necessarily longing for another power play disappointment, but...
  • Here we go. Power play with just under eight minutes left to play.
  • Something needs to get going here and now.
  • There we go!
  • Caufield -> Wideman -> Dach -> Spooky Suzuki and Montreal has some life.
  • Empty net. Minny scores. 4-1 et bonne nuit, les Canadiens.
  • An unnecessary hit on Slafkovsky near the boards end up causing a proper brawl right by the benches. Xhekaj is there (obviously). More surprising to see Jake Evans active in the protection of his younger teammate.
  • The Habs are back down to a .500 record.

EOTP 3 Stars

3) Giving Ryan Suter a run for his money

2) It is nice to pick the best of the 75 who were drafted the last few years

1) Thirty-five shots and a good effort late to get back in it. No complaints.