The Montreal Canadiens and Samuel Montembeault tried their best to ward off the Winnipeg Jets, but ultimately fell 4-2 in a hard-fought battle between former North Division rivals.
The Winnipeg Jets were able to spread the offence throughout their lineup, with four distinct scorers lighting the lamp. Morgan Barron was perhaps the most crucial to the game for the Jets, as he seemed to kill any momentum the Montreal Canadiens had gained after opening up the scoring at the start of the second period. Barron’s quick goal and timely setup for Paul Stastny’s goal helped give the Jets the lead, and they never trailed from that moment on, keeping the pressure on the Canadiens and holding them to the outside.
With Jake Allen ut with injury, Samuel Montembeault was called on to hold down the fort like so many other times this season, and he did not disappoint. The 25-year-old goaltender kept the Canadiens in the game from start to finish, making brilliant save after brilliant save. He pushed aside 31 of 34 shots against him, of which 25 were legitimate scoring chances. Despite the loss, Montembeault was the best player on the ice for the Canadiens and deservingly received the praise and admiration of the Bell Centre crowd for his efforts every chance they got.
Jordan Harris continued to play a very intelligent and poised style. He never panicked with the puck on his stick and made the right decision when initiating the breakout in the defensive zone. He was also not shy to take the puck up the ice and helped maintain the puck in the offensive zone on many occasions. Harris has slowly begun to show the aspects of his game that made him a fan-favourite in the NCAA and continues his progression toward becoming a full-time NHLer.
The Montreal Canadiens battled as best they could, but the Winnipeg Jets played a very dangerous game and dominated possession from start to finish. The speed of forwards like Nik Ehlers and Kyle Connor kept the Habs’ players on their heels all game, with Montembeault ensuring they didn’t walk away from this game with a couple of goals. In the end, the Jets earned the victory fair and square, as they continue their late-season push to try and make the playoffs in a heated Western Conference Playoff race.
Here’s your MHN Postgame Poutine:
GOLD STAR: Morgan Barron- Recently acquired from the New York Rangers at the NHL Trade Deadline, Morgan Barron was the standout for the Jets tonight. His timely offensive plays in the second period helped vault the Jets up on the Canadiens and provided his club with the necessary momentum needed to whether the initial push from the Canadiens while on the road. Barron played a smart, physical and intelligent game for the Jets tonight in the time he was given and tried to make an impact every shift.
29 secondes après le début de la période!
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) April 12, 2022
TABARNAK: Morgan Barron Breaks Rem Pitlick’s Ankles: While the game seemed to be changing the momentum in favour of the Jets, Morgan Barron danced around Rem Pitlick in the defensive zone with ease, causing Pitlick to trip over himself. This mishap from Pitlick allowed Barron to slide the puck over to Paul Stastny, who wasn’t covered by any member of the Canadiens while in the slot, and he made no mistake, giving the Canadiens the 2-1 lead.
TURNING POINT: Morgan Barron’s Strong 2nd period: The Montreal Canadiens came out at the start of the 2nd period and scored a quick goal with less than 30 seconds into the period. The Jets would answer back with two quick goals in the following four minutes to take the lead, led by newly acquired youngster Morgan Barron. The older brother of Montreal’s Justin Barron was able to complete a nice passing play with Nik Ehlers a minute after the Canadiens took the lead to tie the game. He then followed up with a brilliant setup for veteran Paul Stastny to give the Jets their first lead of the game.
On se remettra jamais de cet arrêt.
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) April 12, 2022
HONORABLE MENTION: Samuel Montembeault: The Montreal Canadiens goaltender was the main reason the team had a chance to win in this game against the Jets, as he faced over 20 legitimate scoring chances in the first two periods of the game. While the Jets were pressing, Montembeault continued to frustrate them with big save after big save, prompting an arena-wide chant from the Bell Centre faithful. He was the best player on the ice for the Montreal Canadiens without a shadow of a doubt and is deserving of playing the majority of the Canadiens’ games down the stretch, should Allen be out for the season.
BY THE NUMBERS: Here’s how the Montreal Canadiens lined up Monday night:
Cole Caufield-Nick Suzuki–Rem Pitlick
Brendan Gallagher-Christian Dvorak-Joel Armia
Mike Hoffman-Jake Evans-Josh Anderson
Paul Byron-Ryan Poehling-Jesse Ylönen
Alexander Romanov-David Savard
Joel Edmundson-Jeff Petry
Jordan Harris-Corey Schueneman
QUOTE TO NOTE: “It’s been a rock and roll season this year. I’ve worked hard to improve, and I hope people across the league have noticed. If I had a choice, I’d prefer to stay here in Montreal” – Samuel Montembeault on his future after this season.