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Montreal Canadiens

Canadiens Lose Entertaining Goal-Scoring Festival Vs. Panthers



Red Light Racicot Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens faced the Florida Panthers on Thursday night in a matchup that can only be described as crazy-town banana pants.

To be a little more accurate, the defence-optional game would have yielded fewer goals if a pair of elderly, drunken octopuses guarded both nets.

The end result was a 9-5 win for the Dolphins over the Alouettes.

There’s a lot to cover, so let’s dive right into it.

Mike’s Moves

The Canadiens got off to a hot start thanks to Mike Matheson’s revenge tour, which put on its first show just 16 seconds into the game.

A stick tap goes out to Josh Anderson for his work in the neutral zone to maintain control of the puck and generate a controlled entry into the offensive zone.

Both Anderson and Matheson have been among the Canadiens’ best players in the new year, not just due to their elevated production rates, but also due to their sustained level of intensity in games that matter very little in the standings.

Richard’s Rigour

The Panthers quickly took the lead, but the Canadiens clawed back into the game thanks to another player who has impressed since his call-up for the AHL.

Anthony Richard never coasts.

In fact, some say he lost his driver’s license since he knew how to accelerate and he only takes his vacations in Nevada.

His goal against the Panthers, the second in as many games, wasn’t particularly great, but his strong work ethic is worth mentioning nonetheless since it serves him well whenever he’s given an opportunity to play.

At 26 years old, Richard is no spring chicken, but he’s shown he can contribute in the NHL and dominate in the AHL, which may lead to a contract extension.

He’s fast, he’s intense, and he never takes a shift off. You can’t ask for more from a player trying to make his mark on the fourth line.

Pezzetta’s Production

Shockingly, the Panthers scored moments after Richard’s goal to take a 3-2 lead, but Michael Pezzetta was not ready to go gentle into that good night.

His goal was powered by excellent hand-eye coordination, which has been a theme of late for the rough-and-tumble forward.

At the risk of becoming the guy who champions every player featured on the fourth line this season, I have to say I’m impressed with Pezzetta’s offensive prowess since the new year.

And it’s not just a matter of rooting for a guy who worked harder than almost any other player to make it to the NHL. He’s been playing quite well, full stop.

Rafael’s Reaction

With the game tied 3-3 less than 10 minutes into the first period, things finally settled down for roughly six seconds.

That’s when the Panthers scored.

And then they scored again.

And then they scored again.

And then they scored again.

No, I didn’t just fall asleep while pressing copy and paste, and yes, you read that right.

The Panthers scored seven goals in the first period.

But Rafael Harvey-Pinard showed pushback early in the second period, scoring his ninth goal of the season thanks to quick thinking by Justin Barron and Joel Edmundson.

MUST READ: Harvey-Pinard is more than just a good story for the Canadiens.

Nick Suzuki won’t get an assist on the play, but his faceoff win was the catalyst to the scoring play, yet another example of how he helps the team in ways that don’t always show up on the scoreboard.

Disavowing Defence

With the game 7-4 in favour of the Panthers, the offensive deluge came to a merciful end.

For about half a minute.

Until the Panthers scored.

This is unrelated, but does anyone happen to know what Andre Racicot is up to these days?

And then Florida scored again.

And then many of us started unlocking long-forgotten memories about hockey in the 1980s.

And then the game was over.

Just kidding.

Rem Pitlick got into the action, scoring his fifth goal of the season thanks to Matheson’s offensive prowess, which meant the Canadiens could snatch victory from the jaws of defeat with a single touchdown, but it was too little, too late.

The Canadiens are back in action on Saturday when they’ll face the Tampa Bay Lightning. The puck drop is scheduled for 7 PM ET.

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Bravo for focussing on the positives and not writing a skewer piece. Also a tip of the hat for the Red Light Racicot reference. 🚨👌

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