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Montreal Canadiens

Harvey-Pinard Dominant in Canadiens Loss To Red Wings



Montreal Canadiens harvey-pinard

The Montreal Canadiens hosted the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night, with feisty forward Rafael Harvey-Pinard stealing the show for the home team.

Once again, the Canadiens started the game on the wrong foot, allowing a goal on the first Red Wings shot to hit the net. Jake Allen won’t be proud of his effort, but it’s also worth pointing out Chris Wideman didn’t just do a poor job defending the rush, he made it easier on Michael Rasmussen by providing a screen without disrupting the shot.

With that in mind, the Canadiens would be wise to keep defenceman Johnathan Kovacevic in the lineup going forward. He gives them a much better chance of winning.

Thankfully, Allen quickly settled down, making several great saves. His play led to an exciting game, featuring a little of everything, including an incredibly one-sided fight between Kirby Dach and Andrew Copp.

The Canadiens eventually lost 4-3 in overtime, but the game remains one of the most entertaining matchups of the year.

Laval Effect

Coming off a great performance against the Boston Bruins, Rafael Harvey-Pinard, Michael Pezzetta, and Alex Belzile picked up right where they left off.

They scored the Canadiens’ first goal of the game in a very predictable manner, with hard work and a little extra effort on the forecheck.

It was just one of many sustained efforts by the fourth line, which has yet to fail when it comes to displaying the type of determination the team desperately needs as it ends the home stretch of the season.

And it’s not just a matter of frustrating opposing defencemen on the forecheck. They have also provided crucial support in the defensive zone when their defencemen are overwhelmed, which has alleviated much of the defensive pressure faced by the Canadiens when they’re on the ice.

Unfortunately, it took a string of injuries to give these three players a chance to prove their worth, but there’s no denying they’ve taken complete advantage of the opportunity.

Another One

Harvey-Pinard wasn’t satisfied with being on the ice for one goal.

The plucky forward took advantage of a chaotic situation in the defensive zone to score his first of two goals on the net, finishing a nice 2-on-1 that was perfectly executed by Kirby Dach.

It was only the Canadiens’ second shorthanded goal this season.

Earning His Time

It bears repeating, the fourth line was far and away the best line against the Boston Bruins, repeating their excellent performance on Thursday night against the Red Wings.

They connected on yet another great scoring play in the second period, with all three forwards playing a significant part in the follow-up to the goal.

Harvey-Pinard’s second goal of the game pushed him to 12th overall in Canadiens goal-scoring season. In just five games, the tenacious forward matched the goal output from both Rem Pitlick and Joel Armia.

He’s not just taking advantage of his opportunity, he’s forcing Kent Hughes and Co. to re-evaluate his future with the team.

When a player puts everything on the line and achieves the incredibly difficult task of impressing (both defensively and offensively) on the fourth line, you must stand at attention and reward them for their effort.

The fourth line ended up controlling 55 percent of the shots, and 100 of the high-danger chances against the Red Wings, yet another fantastic performance powered by hard work. They finished the game with over 75 percent of the expected goals.

Those aren’t just good numbers. They’re borderline elite.

The Canadiens are back in action on Saturday, facing the Senators in Ottawa. The puck drop is scheduled for 7 PM ET.

All statistics are 5v5 unless otherwise noted, via NaturalStatTrick.

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Even though it’s an extremely small sample size, those guys have looked great together. I have had my fingers crossed for Belzile to pot his 1st NHL goal. It’s been a long time coming. I’m sure we’ll be bringing back some bad expiring contracts at the deadline for assets, but it would be nice to see these guys stay up for an extended stretch I was very excited to see what RHP could do during this call up, and so far he hasn’t disappointed at all. Hopefully we can ship Drouin, Dadonov, Monahan, and maybe a couple others out at the deadline to open up some spots for these guys even when we start getting some healthy bodies back from IR/LTIR.

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