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Habs Postgame Poutine

Habs Postgame Poutine: Marchand Tricks Rusty Canadiens In 5-1 Loss



Montreal Canadiens

After another COVID pause that kept them off the ice for 11 days, the Montreal Canadiens were as rusty as expected in a 5-1 loss to the Boston Bruins Wednesday night.

Boston Bruins star winger Brad Marchand scored two goals in 13 seconds in the first period and then capped off his hat trick with a shorthanded goal 7:10 into the second period to pace the Bruins to the blowout win. Bruins forward Curtis Lazar added the other two goals.

Montreal Canadiens forward Michael Pezzetta scored the lone goal for the Canadiens 10:46 into the second period.

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen left the game late in the first period with an undisclosed injury and was replaced by backup Sam Montembeault who let another first period goal by him for a 3-0 Bruins lead after one.

Allen stopped five of seven shots and Montembeault stopped 31 of the 34 shots he faced in the loss.

The Canadiens flew off to Chicago after the game Wednesday for a game with the Blackhawks Thursday night at the United Center.

GOLD STAR: Brad Marchand – Marchand is arguably one of the most hated players for Habs and plenty of NHL fans over the last decade but any NHL fan can admit he is one of the best wingers in the game. That was on display again Wednesday night as the 33-year-old veteran picked apart the Montreal Canadiens below the blue line. As seen below, each of Marchand’s goals that gave him eight goals in four games exposed the gaps that too often plague the Canadiens in the defensive zone.

TABARNAK: Team Defense – So, as we were saying about Marchand, every one of his goals Wednesday were a result of too many defensive gaps for the Montreal Canadiens and obviously missed coverage. Let’s just look at the first goal where Marchand literally studied the gaps on the bench, hopped over, and then exposed those Red Sea parting of the seas through the middle.

Once again Marchand drove into the danger zone untouched and then did his best baseball swing to put the B’s up 2-0.

Marchand is the best-shorthanded goal scorer in Bruins franchise history so how does he slide through like a sneaky snake here and bury one for a hat trick? Once again, the gaps left open from the Montreal Canadiens are being exposed.


HONORABLE MENTION: Michael Pezzetta – Truth be told here, Bruins forward Curtis Lazar (1g, 2a) should probably get an honorable mention but we are truly at the point in the 2021-22 Montreal Canadiens season where we need to draw positives. One of those positives continues to be the pesky and hard-working Pezzetta. Ironically, Pezzetta’s only other NHL goal came in Boston in a 5-2 loss for the Montreal Canadiens on November 14 of this season.


Pezzetta’s goal and tenacity (three hits) continue to be a positive in this trying season.

BY THE NUMBERS: 5 – Five even-strength goals against the Montreal Canadiens in this game. There is simply too much-missed coverage and a lack of defensive support from the forwards right now.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “A dirty play; a cheap play. We’ll see if that’s suspendable. I don’t mind Haula getting in a shot there.” – TNT colour commentator Keith Jones on the two-minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalty Montreal Canadiens defenseman Chris Wideman got that led to the Bruins’ fifth powerplay. Jones is right, the NHL Department of Player Safety could be giving him a call on Thursday.