Canadiens vs. Hurricanes 10 Takeaways: Charles Hudon impresses
It began well for the Canadiens, but a reversal of fortunes leads to their third loss in a row.
1. Bizarre Few Moments
There were a few moments during the first period that required taking a second look. First, it was Jeff Skinner having a wide-open net with Al Montoya down, but instead of scoring, hit the goal post not once, but twice off the rebound.
Second was the missed shot that hit the side of the net by Lee Stempniak that looked like a goal at first glance. It fooled everybody in the arena, including the goal judge and the referee. In the end, nothing went in for a quiet first period.
2. Dominant Two-Thirds of the Game
For the first 40 minutes, the Canadiens gave the Hurricanes very little to work with. Besides a few opportunities mid-way through the first, Montreal prevented Carolina from having many high-quality scoring chances, or really any scoring chances for that matter. The shots on goal after two periods were 21-8 in Montreal's favour, but they were only able to get one past Cam Ward.
3. But it was only 1-0
The Hurricanes must have been ecstatic to the fact that they were only down by one goal as they entered their dressing room for the second intermission. The Canadiens plainly dominated the game up to that point, which points to Carolina head coach Bill Peters modifying his team’s strategy before the third. The Hurricanes began the period flying out of the gate, eventually leading to three goals under six minutes.
4. A Good Power-play Effort
Carolina showed why they are top in the league in the penalty kill as they put up a solid wall during the Canadiens' penalty kill, making it very difficult for the power-play to cleanly enter the zone. When the Canadiens were able to enter the zone, they created some good quality chances, led by Hudon, Gallagher and Galchenyuk. It's unfortunate that they only got one power-play opportunity, as who knows what could have happened if they would have gotten another. Unfortunately, without Alex Radulov, Montreal’s share of controlled entries is lowered significantly.
5. Beaulieu's Frustrations
Ever since he lost his spot on the top defensive pairing at Shea Weber's side, it seems that Beaulieu has been playing with some frustration in his game. This frustration was evident when he shot a puck over the net. It may be time to put Beaulieu back with Weber, considering that head coach Michel Therrien often mixes up his lines to help individual players rekindle their game.
6. Hud-On his Game
If there was one prospect who may have been receiving the proverbial short end of the stick, it would be Charles Hudon. Despite being the farm team's top centre during the last two seasons, this was only his fourth game in the NHL as a third-year professional. He recorded another assist, making than three in four games. Every time the team calls him up to the big club, he has played very well despite receiving very limited ice time. Here's to hoping that he could see his role grow and eventually find a full time spot with the Canadiens.
7. Chris Terry's Homecoming
He may not have played 1000 games with the Hurricanes, but Chris Terry was still very glad and grateful that he had the opportunity to play against his former team. He showed his excitement and determination early on, owning some of the team's better chances early on.
He was strong on the forecheck and skated well, shooting the puck off the post in the first period. At 27 there may not be much room for improvement, but he provides the Canadiens with strong depth within the organization.
8. Montoya's Struggles
At the beginning of the season, Al Montoya was great filling in for Carey Price when he needed to, especially when Price could not start the season with an illness. Things have been more difficult for Montoya lately, starting with allowing 10 goals to the Columbus Blue Jackets earlier this month. As an NHL veteran, we should not be too worried about his confidence though we will be seeing Price in net more often than not.
9. Andrew Shaw Adds Another
After a slow start to his season as a Canadien, Andrew Shaw has slowly been returning to the form that he had as a Chicago Blackhawk. After getting three points in Detroit this past Saturday, he added another goal against the Hurricanes on a ice tip-in to decrease the deficit to one. The way he is playing right now is exactly why Marc Bergevin traded for him, and it will be exciting to see him live up to his reputation as a playoff performer.
10. Will This Losing Streak Continue?
With this loss to the Hurricanes, the Canadiens are going through its first real losing streak of the season. They play the second game in two nights against a Toronto Maple Leafs team that has won three of its past four games, scoring six goals in each of those wins. With Price back in net, there are plenty of reasons to be confident that the Canadiens will come out on top, but the team will need to take advantage of its chances much better than it did against the Hurricanes.