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Rating The Tank: An A for Effort Edition

No points, and one step closer to the bottom five!

New Jersey Devils v Montreal Canadiens Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images

After a run of shootout games, the Montreal Canadiens dropped a 3-1 game to the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night. The Devils, while clearly being the better team, never put away the Habs until a late empty-net goal, but the most important thing is that the Habs took no points away from this game.

The Good

The Habs lost in regulation, while the Arizona Coyotes grabbed a point against Colorado earlier on in the day. The two non-points is the best news for the Habs at the end of this game, but there were a few standouts as well.

Denis Gurianov got himself out of his funk with the Canadiens’ only goal thanks in part to a great forecheck from Rem Pitlick. The pressure forced the turnover and allowed Pitlick to feed a pass to Gurianov, who uncorked a wicked shot to break the shutout bid.

Overall it wasn’t a pretty showing for most of the night for the Habs, but Kaiden Guhle was a standout for me once again. Outside of some early bobbles, he played another sound, entertaining game, as he typically does every night. Jake Allen also put in another quality effort in the loss, exactly the kind of thing you want to see in a pro-tank world.

The Bad

It was another relatively quiet night for Nick Suzuki and his line again. The advanced stats are all pointing to he and his linemates having a really good night overall against a strong team, but a few points would be a just reward for a guy doing a lot of heavy lifting on a beleaguered Habs team.

Outside of that, there was really not too much to be upset with in what on paper looks like a perfect “competitive loss.”

Lottery Movement

Montreal remains locked into sixth place thanks to Arizona earning just one point.


Tank Score


The only thing preventing this from being a perfect 10/10 night is that the Coyotes couldn’t take two points, and that the Winnipeg Jets faltered against the Florida Panthers, blowing a lead and surrendering a point in an overtime win.

Up next on Monday night, the Canadiens play the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche, and then it’s a game on Tuesday versus the suddenly very desperate Pittsburgh Penguins.

The bottom five is within a finger’s reach for the Canadiens, and they may very well land there by the end of next week if all goes well/poorly.