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Mike Matheson and Rafaël Harvey-Pinard were welcome silver linings against the Canes

Getting a loser point in extra time they had no business being in wasn’t ideal, but it wasn’t a total waste.

NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at Montreal Canadiens Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

I’m usually reticent to be up in arms about the Montreal Canadiens winning, or even getting loser points this season. The issue I have with Tuesday night’s game, however, is that they were soundly outplayed by the Carolina Hurricanes, and earned a useless point they didn’t deserve on the back of some key Jake Allen saves.

But such a game doesn’t need to be bereft of positivity, as problematic as it may be for the tank effort. Luckily, there were some performances that stood out as noteworthy outside of Allen’s stellar goaltending. Most notably, in my opinion, were the efforts of Mike Matheson and Rafaël Harvey-Pinard.

Matheson was doing everything in his power to level the playing field, against a Hurricanes team that is simply far superior in transition. This, at times, led to some ill-advised rushes up ice that created chances going the other way, but he showed flashes of a player who will be extremely valuable when his team can improve the personnel around him.

He even managed to land a beautiful open-ice hit in overtime, something you don’t often see during three-on-three play, as defenders don’t typically take the risk.

He’s been on another level of late, instilling hope for the future of the team’s blue line. If they do this rebuild right, he’ll be a heck of a veteran presence on a strong defensive corps in a few years.

Then you have Harvey-Pinard, who was nothing short of an injection of adrenaline for the Habs every time he stepped on the ice. He may not have scored in this game, but he provided the same relentless effort, tenacity, and toughness that have endeared him to the fan base since he was called up.

Just look at this shot block, which hits one of the more painful spots a shot can hit, which he immediately takes the other way in transition.

True though it may be that earning a point against Carolina is a bit of a bummer, I think we need to look beyond the standings at this point in the year. Finishing bottom-three was always going to be a stretch for this roster, and failing good tank moves, we have to be able to appreciate performances that suggest better days ahead.

Matheson and Harvey-Pinard provided such performances, and the prospects of what they’ll be able to do when the team around them gets better are exciting.

Bottom Six Minutes!

In this episode, it shouldn’t surprise that I have some words on the two silver linings mentioned in this article. Of course, we also have to discuss how blatantly obvious it was that Jesperi Kotkaniemi was going to lean into the frame of this game at some point.

Apple and Spotify are linked below for your convenience, and don’t forget to subscribe on your preferred platform if you enjoy the content!