The Montreal Canadiens lost their fifth straight game in a controversial 3-2 overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks Thursday night. Philipp Kurashev’s goal 2:24 into overtime that was double-reviewed and ruled a good goal, overshadowed a great response game for the Habs after falling 5-1 to the Boston Bruins just one night earlier.
While the Montreal Canadiens were absolutely dumbfounded that their goalie Sam Montembeault was bulldozed in the crease on Kurashev’s overtime winner and still have the goal count, and then still not have an offside call disallow the goal, they seemed equally frustrated that defenseman Alexander Romanov laid an absolutely clean hit on Blackhawks forward Sam Lafferty in the second period and had to drop the gloves with Blackhawks forward Ryan Carpenter for the hit.
“He’s a guy that hits hard and clean and it’s part of hockey,” Montreal Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme said when asked why Romanov (1 assist) should have to drop the gloves after a clean hit. “So, if you don’t want to be on the ice and get hit do something else. It was a clean hit. Just a hard hit. It’s part of hockey.”
Alexander Romanov just SMOKED Sam Lafferty pic.twitter.com/VDzpgkkcM8
— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) January 14, 2022
Ducharme also praised Romanov for how much energy he brought in his first game since Dec. 30.
“He’s a guy that has a lot of energy. I thought he did a good job tonight for a guy who didn’t skate much [recently],” Ducharme said.
The Montreal Canadiens actually benefitted from Carpenter going after Romanov because he ended up getting two minutes for instigating (and a ten-minute misconduct), and Mike Hoffman cashed in at 18:16 on the powerplay to give the Montreal Canadiens a 2-1 lead. When asked if it bothered him that he had to drop the gloves and then spend five minute in the sin-bin, Romanov’s answer was a beauty:
“It’s hockey. Nobody likes to get hit. That’s why they react like that. I was ready to drop the gloves,” the 22-year-old Montreal Canadiens rearguard replied.