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Canadiens: The Legend Of Harvey-Pinard Grows In Loss To Canes



Canadiens Harvey Pinard

The Montreal Canadiens faced the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday, looking to extend their surprising winning streak to four games.

They held the fort early, but fell apart in the third period, losing 6-2 in what eventually became a one-sided affair. The game included Jesperi Kotkaniemi’s ninth goal of the season as well as a hat-trick performance from Seth Jarvis.

Unfortunately, Justin Barron, who has emerged as a very exciting defenceman in recent weeks, was forced to leave the game following an illegal hit by Andrei Svechnikov.

Perfect Pezz

There’s something to be said about the play from Michael Pezzetta in recent weeks.

Rafael Harvey-Pinard stole the spotlight, and Alex Belzile received his fair share of praise, but Pezzetta was lost in the shuffle, despite playing some excellent hockey on the fourth line.

That’s not to say Pezzetta is set to break records, but he’s still providing necessary tertiary production in a situation that is not conducive to scoring.

Admittedly, I have a soft spot for any player that worked like a dog to achieve his NHL dream, and in Pezzetta’s case, endless early arrivals at practice, while he was made a healthy scratch in the AHL, is evidence enough of his strong work ethic, but regardless of my bias, in a season where the moral victories are few and far between, Pezzetta has provided a lift for the team at crucial times.

He scored his fourth goal of the year in the first period, a smart opening goal that was made possible by Pezzetta’s hand-eye coordination, not to mention a good effort from Jesse Ylonen and Rem Pitlick.

Rolling Heavy Points

Don’t look now, but Harvey-Pinard scored yet another goal, his seventh in 10 games since being recalled from the AHL’s Laval Rocket.

Or, do look, because I’m about to wax poetic about yet another underappreciated Montreal Canadiens story. Skip to the bottom of the section if you simply want to see his goal.

Harvey-Pinard has always been a hard worker, but after a poor start to the season in the AHL, his place among the organization’s depth chart was in question.

Let’s keep in mind, Harvey-Pinard is a holdover from the previous administration.

But as is tradition, not only did he work hard enough to get out of his funk, he quickly found his scoring rhythm, which led to him gaining the attention of management, and consequently, a well-deserved call-up.

And yet, even with the call-up, there was a certain negative vibe about his opportunity. It took half a dozen injuries before he was given a chance on the fourth line.

It’s important to remember how difficult it can be to produce on a bad team. And it’s even more difficult to produce when you receive limited ice time.

Harvey-Pinard didn’t just defy the odds, he put the Canadiens on notice.

He’s not just here as a band-aid player.

His recent play on the top line is further evidence of his value.

There’s potential to keep this great story going beyond this season.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy (For The Lottery)

As a reminder, this is to be expected.

The Canadiens have the most difficult strength of schedule in the NHL, which, statistically speaking, should lead to very good odds to pick a game-changing player at the 2023 Entry Draft.

The Canadiens are back in action on Saturday, facing the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Scotiabank Arena. The puck drop is scheduled for 7 PM ET.

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I wouldn’t be shocked if teams are calling the Habs about both Pezzetta and RHP to see what it would take to part with them. In the case of Pezzetta, I doubt the return would replace what he brings, so I would be surprised if he goes anywhere. But I suspect Boston (who he always plays his best against) and Toronto (hometown boy) have at least looked in on him. As for Harvey-Pinard, I can’t imagine Montreal parting with him at this point. A francophone version of Gallagher? That’s a dream for this franchise. Could he be asked for as an addition to a bigger trade in order to bring us back something really special? Who knows. If I’m a GM looking to acquire a guy like Anderson, and hear what it’ll take to get him, I’d be asking for a kid like RHP to be a part of the deal too to help make parting with whatever I have to give up a little more palatable.


The legend of “Raphael Harvey-Bedard!”

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