Montreal Canadiens vs Carolina Hurricanes - Game Recap
Carolina got a measure of revenge after being obliterated two nights ago, but for the most part it was Anton Khudobin saving the day.
The picture pretty much sums it up. The Montreal Canadiens dominated the game for two of three periods, but Anton Khudobin was nearly unbeatable, and the Hurricanes capitalized on nearly every mistake made by the Habs, specifically Greg Pateryn.
After an impressive training camp and preseason, Pateryn kind of imploded last night. Though he was the one out of position on the first goal, it wasn't entirely his fault since Jared Staal very clearly interfered with him, but the second and third goals against were clearly on him.
In sharp contrast, his partner Jarred Tinordi was all over the place making an impact. Devastating body checks, a vicious beatdown of Tim Gleason, smart defending ... I really can't imagine how this team could justify Tinordi not making the team at this point. He already looks better at 21 than I ever expected him to be when he was drafted.
Speaking of young players who deserve a continued look, Michael Bournival was the only player who managed to score a goal for the Habs, his fourth goal of the preseason. He also lead the team in shots with six, and shot attempts with nine. Bournival is doing more than just scoring; he's playing well in all three zones. According to Christopher Boucher, Bournival has been the best Habs forward on the bubble during preseason. Travis Moen's injury may be day-to-day, but after last season, it sure looks like Bournival could do his job for much cheaper, and better.
Though the game ended in a loss, there were a ton of encouraging signs. The score didn't signify the flow of play, and although I'm sure many are ready to jump on Carey Price already, none of the three goals that went in were bad ones, and to be honest he looked pretty solid, even though the save percentage looks ugly.
It's worthwhile to remember as well, that Carolina iced almost their full NHL lineup, especially at forward. Clearly upset by the rout 24 hours before, the Hurricanes acted like punks for most of the game, but when it came down to it they lost the physical battles.
Once again Michael McCarron looked good. He played physically and continues to flash skill above the level many expected of him. The amount of battles he wins against NHL players as an 18-year-old is very impressive.
Lars Eller was also all over the ice during the game, but the viking wasn't quite able to bring Ragnarok down on Carolina. It was a weird game for Eller; he did seemingly all the right things, and won 91% of his faceoffs, but the puck wouldn't behave for him.
I could go on about other players who played well, but really the only negatives were Pateryn and Michael Blunden. The next three preseason games should be very interesting.