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Canadiens Postgame

Canadiens Lose Fight Night At Bell Centre In 6-2 Loss To Panthers



Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens and the Florida Panthers engaged in a fiery affair; leading to 3 fights, a ton of penalties and a crushing 6-2 loss for Montreal

It was one of those games where two teams that truly hate each other simply stopped caring about hockey and were looking to hand out receipts, especially in the third period.

The game started off as a hotly contested game between two heated rivals, but quickly degenerated into something else.

It all started when the Montreal Canadiens defenceman Mike Matheson up-ended veteran forward Eric Staal; a hit that sent the Florida Panthers forward to the quiet room and ended his night.

The Canadiens then ran into some penalty trouble in the second period, which the Panthers were delighted to take advantage of. They went on to score four power play goals in the second period alone; taking on a commanding lead.

And that’s when the rough stuff began.

By the third period, with the game out of reach for the Canadiens, saw three fights unfold; turning a hockey game into a Thursday Night Fight Night card.

Arber Xhekaj, Micheal Pezzetta and Mike Matheson all dropped the gloves, and over 100 penalty minutes were handed out.

In short, it was a barn brawl that had very little hockey to analyze, but here’s your game analysis nonetheless.

Fight Night

The game featured a multitude of dirty hits, fights, and questionable decisions by the referees, leading to a predictably chaotic third period, which included three fights.

Mike Matheson was the target of the Florida Panthers the entire night after a questionable hit, that went unpunished by the referrees on Eric Staal.

The two players were chasing a puck in the Montreal Canadiens’ zone, and Matheson hit the brakes and pushed his shoulders upwards, catching Staal in the head.

The hit saw Staal lay on the ice for a few moments, before getting back up and falling down again; which prompted an immediate visit to the NHL’s quiet room.

Every shift where Matheson touched the ice, he was met with a couple of Panthers who would swarm him and take the extra strides to complete hits against him.

Finally, in the third period, Matheson had had enough of the Panthers’ constant invitations to fight and ultimately dropped the gloves against Matthew Tkachuk.

Arber Xhekaj also joined in on the fun, dropping the gloves against Givani Smith.

After the two were assessed a 10-minute misconduct at the end of the second period, they quickly found each other in the third period and picked up right where they left off; ultimately dropping the gloves once the Panthers had a firm 6-2 lead.

Xhekaj landed a series of rights that quickly downed Smith, although it’s worth noting he kept his left glove on prior to engaging, and actually refused to fight Smith earlier in the game, pointing to a possible hand injury.

Lastly, Michael Pezzetta and Ryan Lomberg also engaged in a very spirited fight shortly before the end of the third period, exchanging wild punches for over half a minute.

The fight occurred in the third period of the Canadiens versus Panthers game, the third fight of the match. It took place shortly after another intense fight, though unlike the Lomberg and Pezzetta match up, Arber Xhekaj’s fight with Givani Smith was definitely a one-sided beatdown.

What Is Goalie Interference?

It’s a legitimate question.

Early in the second period, Matthew Tkachuk stood in the blue paint and blocked Samuel Montembeault’s path to return to his proper position, which allowed Sam Reinhart the time and space to fire a puck into an empty cage for the 1-0 lead.

Naturally, head coach Martin St-Louis would contest the officials’ decision, who, after some review, maintained their decision on the ice and awarded the Canadiens a penalty for delay of game.

This is what the NHL‘s situation room had to say about their decision:

“The Situation Room supported the Referees’ call on the ice that the contact between Matthew Tkachuk and Sam Montembeault had no bearing on the puck entering the net, therefore it did not constitute goaltender interference.”

Let’s just say, there’s room for debate.

Technical Support

The Montreal Canadiens were kept in this game early thanks to the exceptional play of Samuel Montembeault, facing eight high-danger chances in the first period alone and coming up big.

Montembeault has kept the Canadiens in games they had no business winning over the last couple of weeks; shining as one of the few positive developments this season for the club.

Unfortunately, the 26-year-old was not able to plug all the leaks on the ship this evening, as the Canadiens played a very undisciplined game, allowing five power plays to the Panthers in the second period; including two penalties for too many men on the ice.

The Canadiens couldn’t keep up with the Panthers and allowed four goals on the penalty kill, despite Montembeault making big saves in the process.

The Canadiens goaltender was ultimately given the night off in the third period, allowing Cayden Primeau to get his feet wet in the NHL for the first time this season.

Clearly, from a defensive perspective, the Canadiens failed to pay it forward to Montembeault tonight.



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I wonder if we can strap the blades on GSP for our next game against Florida? 😉

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