You know what time it is! It’s time for the Tank Score after the Montreal Canadiens dropped a fun game to the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 on Sunday night.
Goals from Mike Matheson, Alex Belzile, and Rafaël Harvey-Pinard were enough to put the fear into Vegas, but not enough to win, or even force overtime. Belzile continues to be a feelgood story for the Habs this year.
Since returning from his injury, Matheson has been playing well over 22 minutes a night and putting up points with regularity. He walked Paul Cotter with ease and scored a beauty of a goal, always something you love to see no matter what the season looks like. We also enjoyed Belzile taking a page out of Jason Spezza’s book, faking a slapshot before wiring his second career goal past Jonathan Quick.
Then there’s the combination of Jesse Ylönen (who earned a top-line promotion during the game) and Harvey-Pinard. The former Rocket linemates showed off their chemistry on the third Habs goal, and that’s a huge boost for the Tank Score. Young prospects staking a claim for next year and playing well on the top line is exactly what the next month-and-a-half should be about.
There was also a strong showing from Jake Allen in net, and Johnathan Kovacevic used his size to great advantage when he ran over Cotter.
Losing is fine, seriously it’s what is best for the team long-term right now! Going down 3-0 and looking a bit spineless is not the best way to get there, however. Losing strong like the Habs did is always ideal, and this game was a perfect example of this after a poor start. It’s a minor complaint, I really don’t have much to dislike at the end of the day.
With the Coyotes earning a point by forcing the Devils to overtime and the Habs losing in regulation, Montreal closes in ever so slightly on the top-five lottery odds. The Habs did get a boost from the Philadelphia Flyers also, who collected a win to move three points clear in the standings.
Truly no notes. It was a fantastic game from the Habs in a losing effort. They gained no points, two teams around them in the standings each grabbed at least one point, perfect tank stuff. Couple it with the late-game performances in what was the Canadiens’ fourth game in six days, and it’s very hard to be upset about the Sunday loss in Las Vegas.