The Montreal Canadiens need to continue playing like they did vs. Carolina

They didn’t get the win, but that doesn’t mean there’s much to change.

I don’t mean to make proclamations I cannot support, but I’m not sure if the Canadiens could have played a more perfect game than they did against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night.

The 2-1 loss is more frustrating than anything, and the numbers back that up. There quite honestly isn’t anything bad to say about their performance, except simply a lack of offensive execution.

They threw 93 pucks towards the net, and sure, you would have liked to see a few more hit the net, but they still had 49 shots on goal. They outshot Carolina 22-2 in the third period, and while score effects are to be considered, it was only a 2-0 game entering the third.

The only thing separating the Canadiens from two points was that they didn’t get the bounces and the Hurricanes did.

Even defensively, there were no real breakdowns for the Canadiens, and while Shea Weber made his season debut, I don’t think it was just due to him. Montreal allowed three high danger scoring chances in the entire game, and none - zero - in the final two periods.

The two goals that Carolina scored were off a deflection on a soft point shot, and a puck that was thrown to the front of the net that bounced off of a defenceman’s skate.

On the other side, Montreal hit the post in the final minutes, missed at least two open nets, and Jonathan Drouin was robbed on the goal line by Trevor van Riemsdyk. Any of those go in, and we’re talking about overtime or even a regulation win.

Carolina has been doing that to other teams. They are the best team at shot generation, and  one of the best at shot prevention, and Montreal just gave them a taste of their own medicine.

The key for the Canadiens is not to panic. If they play like they did against the Hurricanes, they will win more often than they lose. They were attacking the zone, holding possession while attacking for the most part, and they were winning battles to the puck, especially in the third period.

They may have extended their losing streak to five games, but there was a lot to like about Tuesday night’s game.

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