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Montreal Canadiens

Montembeault Excellent For Canadiens In One-Sided Loss To Hurricanes



Canadiens vs Canes Evans

The lowly Montreal Canadiens hosted the struggling Carolina Hurricanes at the Bell Centre on Saturday night. And while there have been hundreds, if not thousands of excellent games played in Montreal during Hockey Night in Canada, this, my friends, was not one of them.

The Hurricanes cruised to an easy victory, earning a 3-0 win.

As has been the case throughout the season, Samuel Montembeault was the Canadiens’ best player, making 47 saves in the loss.

It’s also worth noting that Mike Matheson led the charge offensively and defensively, which is becoming a common occurrence in Montreal. It doesn’t matter what the score happens to be, Matheson is out there giving an honest effort.

It’s the type of dedication that is appreciated by fans and usually leads to a player becoming a fan favourite.

I foresee a letter on Matheson’s jersey in the near future.

Holding The Fort, Sort Of

The Canadiens’ credit, they held the fort in the first period, at least relatively speaking.

While it’s true the Hurricanes controlled 69 percent of the shots, the Canadiens keep them out of quality scoring areas. Of the 23 shot attempts by the Hurricanes in the first 20 minutes of play, only two resulted in high-danger scoring chances.

It’s not exactly something you’d write home about, but we’re talking about a Montreal Canadiens team that has less than nothing to play for in the standings.

And it shows.

The Hurricanes didn’t exactly put on a show and should be disappointed with how few chances they generated against such a terrible team, but we have to be honest about the remaining games in the schedule: they could get ugly. Or rather, they could get uglier than normal.

By the end of the second period, shots were 31-8 for Carolina, but once again, they failed to capitalize on their shot dominance, creating just two high-danger chances in the second period as well.

Even the Hurricanes’ goals were rather uninspiring.

In total, the Hurricanes created just six high-danger chances at 5v5, whereas the Canadiens managed five according to Natural Stat Trick.

Carolina dominated the shot clock, but the quality chances were relatively even, which makes sense because the Hurricanes generated almost half their shots from the blue line.

Canadiens heatmap

Brent Burnson

He seems to enjoy playing hockey but you have to assume he misses his yearly pilgrimages to Yggdrasil.

Farrell Watch

Martin St-Louis decided to switch things up during the pre-game warm-up, removing Sean Farrell from the top line, and giving Jonathan Drouin an opportunity to play on the wing with Nick Suzuki and Jesse Ylonen.

Farrell ended up playing with Alex Belzile and Mike Hoffman, which, predictably, did not result in many noteworthy plays.

Drouin’s line ended up being the Canadiens’ best trio, though, in a game like this, it’s like naming the best swimmer from a group that’s lost in the Sahara.

St-Louis has been generous when it comes to giving opportunities to the many rookies in his lineup this season, but it would have been fun to see Farrell get a shot at proving his worth on the top line.

To his credit, St-Louis used Farrell on the power play, where he had a couple of half-decent scoring chances.

The Montreal Canadiens are back in action Tuesday when they’ll face the Detroit Red Wings at the Bell Centre. The puck drop is scheduled for 7 PM ET.

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

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