Canadiens vs. Blue Jackets 5 Takeaways: Handcuffed by Officer Bobrovsky
Canadiens stifled by Vezina trophy-winning goaltender in OT loss to Jackets
1. Sergei Bobrovsky shut the door on the Canadiens
Up until Paul Byron ended the shutout bid in the third period, Sergei Bobrovsky was well on his way to shutting out the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge. A 28-save performance was enough for the two-time Vézina Trophy winner. His finest save came on Jacob De La Rose, whose shot was no match for Bobrovsky's blocker.
Sergei Bobrovsky is a very good goalie pic.twitter.com/Z4bZiJmZe9— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) November 15, 2017
That's the kind of stuff you do when you're a well-tenured officer on the police force like Bobrovsky.
2. Paul Byron played his 300th NHL game on Tuesday and he was all smiles
Except when he wasn't.
Paul Byron is not a happy camper pic.twitter.com/kgiGcMkw0u— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) November 15, 2017
Following a breakaway where he was stopped by Bobrovsky in the second period, Byron was extremely frustrated on the bench. He slammed his stick and kicked the bench before tossing his helmet.
Fortunately, with less than eight minutes to go in the third period, Byron scored his fourth goal of the season and tied the game up at 1-1.
In his 300th NHL game, Paul Byron scores his fourth goal of the year pic.twitter.com/U3N2V9l29m— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) November 15, 2017
The guy just has a knack for being at the right place at the right time, whether it's in the slot, or a foot or two from the net. Byron's made his place in front of the cage on all four of his goals scored this season.
3. But should Byron have started overtime with Tomas Plekanec?
The Canadiens started Byron and Tomas Plekanec along with defenceman Shea Weber for the overtime period.
While some people will be upset at the players used, I'm more upset about the coverage on the Blue Jackets OT winner from Zach Werenski.
Fire it with ease and just like that @ZachWerenski has himself another @EASPORTSNHL OT winner. pic.twitter.com/HmxR2xLPS4— NHL (@NHL) November 15, 2017
Cam Atkinson used his speed on the zone entry, before taking his spot on the far side wall, and drew in two Canadiens before making the game-winning pass to Zach Werenski, who did the rest.
Both Jeff Petry and Phil Danault are caught puck-watching on the forward, leaving a ton of real estate for Werenski on the overtime winner. Danault probably couldn't help himself because he was close enough to Atkinson, but he still left Werenski all alone.
4. Victor Mete played forward tonight. He also played 7:06
Believe it or not, it's true. Victor Mete did spend some time at forward for the Canadiens on Tuesday night. He slotted in on the fourth line along with Jacob De La Rose and Byron Froese and even tried to set up a scoring chance in the first period.
The highlight of @vmete98's 7:06 played against Columbus, his set up pass to Jacob de la Rose.— Julian McKenzie (@jkamckenzie) November 15, 2017
Victor Mete, fourth line forward. pic.twitter.com/TfXpl23Xe2
However, the rookie defenseman had 10 shifts and played just a shade over seven minutes against the Blue Jackets, his shortest outing of the season.
While he didn't make a ton of rookie mistakes, it's curious to see the Habs give him much less responsibility and time-on-ice as opposed to the beginning of the season where he was logging 20+ minutes a game with Shea Weber. He's since been relegated to third-pairing duty with Joe Morrow while Jordie Benn has taken his place atop the first pairing with Shea Weber.
Is putting Mete on the third pairing the right thing to do for his development? Sending him back to junior is still an option, but they'll have already burned the first year of his entry-level deal. However, sending him to junior before he plays 40 games does give the Canadiens an extra year before he hits unrestricted free agency.
5. Another solid night for Charlie Lindgren
The goaltender has yet to allow more than two goals in a start this season, and he was pretty solid after allowing the first goal of the game. If he keeps this up, you'll forget about the fact that Stanley Cup champion Antti Niemi is backing him up for the foreseeable future.