After a comical contest against the Florida Panthers on Thursday, the Canadiens rolled into Tampa Bay to finish up a road trip. It was a highly competitive affair, even with Martin St-Louis leaving Jonathan Drouin on the bench as a punishment for missing a team meeting earlier in the week.
Not to sound like the world’s most annoying broken record, but they lost! In regulation! By a respectable margin!
In truth, this was a fun game, with three different goal-scorers for the Habs and Nick Suzuki collecting a pair of assists. Of note was a pair of wicked snipes from Denis Gurianov and Jesse Ylönen, each from the left circle. Gurianov has now scored five times in 11 games with the Habs, and he seems to be finding the form from earlier in his career that made him a fan favourite in Dallas.
We also saw a huge rebound showing from Samuel Montembeault after a night when everything went wrong for the Canadiens’ goalies.
There is the whole Jonathan Drouin situation, which is unfortunate and something that will without a doubt be an unnecessary storyline for the rest of this season.
Also bad is that Kaiden Guhle is hurt again, despite being allowed to finish out the game against the Panthers in the latest episode of “Why is everyone injured?”
Speaking of injuries, Josh Anderson had a scary moment when he took a shot off the hand, he finished the game, but with the Habs’ luck this year there will be many clenched butts before the next game.
Also the damn Flyers blew a lead with 0.3 seconds left and cost the Habs a nice cushion in the standings.
The Flyers earning a point was still very good for the Habs as they remain locked into the fifth-best odds for Connor Bedard.
Honestly it’s hard to be remotely upset about the way this game went in terms of long-term building and the tank itself. The Habs played a competitive contest against one of the best teams in the NHL, losing late and while getting goals from different sources.
Another huge boost for this game is that Chicago and Arizona play each other at the time I am writing this, and while Montreal can’t drop any further on this night, there’s a chance Chicago will be two points closer to Montreal in the morning.