clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Mike Matheson has his best game in a Canadiens uniform

As it happens, he also helped make it the team’s best game in their reverse retros.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

NHL: Florida Panthers at Montreal Canadiens David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports

The Montreal Canadiens have an annoying tendency to look like the worst version of themselves whenever they wear their reverse retros. That wasn’t the case for the first of their two Super Bowl weekend matinees against the New York Islanders, as they broke their curse and finally earned their first win in the much maligned sweaters.

For Mike Matheson’s part, I don’t just think it was his best game in a reverse retro, I think it was his best game in any iteration of a Canadiens uniform.

The Canadiens controlled nearly 70% of even-strength shot attempts when Matheson was on the ice, and this, against a team that is arming up for a playoff run. He was flat-out excellent in this game, and a definitive catalyst in keeping the game close enough to get to overtime, where he made the biggest play of the afternoon.

Many players in this scenario can fall into the trap of admiring their pass, and fail to recognize the opportunity to keep their legs moving and get there for the rebound. Matheson keeps hustling after feeding Hoffman, which may not seem all that impressive, but you have to consider the context.

This was at the end of his shift, one where he was on the ice for three minutes already thanks to him and David Savard being leaned on to kill Hoffman’s earlier slashing penalty. Matheson having the gas to get down the ice at all was impressive, and frankly if he elected to go for a change after sending Hoffman in, it would have been understandable if a little frustrating to see.

Even if you take this play out of the equation, I still feel this was one of, if not Matheson’s best game with the Habs. More games like that one will go a long way to justifying the Jeff Petry trade, even before we find out what happens with the 2023 fourth-round pick that he was paired with.

If this is a sign of things to come from Matheson, it is fantastic news for the Canadiens.

Bottom Six Minutes!

In this episode, we land on three separate players of the game, because it just didn’t feel fair to single out one.

I’ll link Apple and Spotify below, but if you don’t use either of those apps, check out this link tree for all of the streaming options.