Bottom Six Minutes: Mike Matheson is an absolute gem

On and off the ice this season, Matheson has been an excellent leader.

Bottom Six Minutes: Mike Matheson is an absolute gem

There wasn't a whole lot to like about the Montreal Canadiens' effort on Saturday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Conceding four power-play goals, and seven total, the Habs offered essentially an exhibition match for a Toronto team that is gearing up for the playoffs.

But even in such a bleak outing, Mike Matheson managed to show what he's capable of.

Full marks to Johnny Kovacevic for a nice shot on this play, but none of it happens without Matheson's puck carrying ability. This came almost immediately after a first period where the Habs mustered a paltry one shot on goal, where their chances of generating anything offensively seemed about as good as their chances of joining Toronto in the playoffs.

Perhaps even better than his set-up for Kovacevic were his post-game comments, which really had me feeling like the Habs have found themselves a gem.

Matheson isn't in the business of making excuses, or trying to deflect from a poor team performance by pointing fingers at the opposition. I like the mentality, where instead of complaining about the other team using their best unit, he's wondering what his team could have done to force their hand.

That mentality should serve him well as he looks to help this team get back to winning. They can't be dwelling on who other teams are or aren't icing, regardless what time of year it is, or what the playoff bracket looks like. They may lose more games than they win again next year, and the primary focus must be what they can do better, not where other teams should have given them a break.

On and off the ice this season, Matheson has been an excellent leader, and it appears that Montreal has found a real home-grown gem.

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