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Canadiens Analysis

Canadiens Game Report 2: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly



Montreal Canadiens vs. Blackhawks

On Saturday night, Connor Bedard, the Fresh Prince of the National Hockey League, was in town for the Montreal Canadiens’ home opener.

The opening ceremonies were a somewhat drab affair, but at least the game itself (especially the first period) was a much more colourful event, with a nail-biting finish.

With game #2 now officially in the books, let’s look back at what went right against the Chicago Blackhawks, and not-so-right.

The Good: The Former Glory Line (?!)

Meritorious of the “ugly” tag after game #1 for their painfully slow showing, Gallagher, Pearson, and Monahan had a much stronger outing.

Although they ended up being separated after the Kirby Dach injury, all three players had a positive impact on the game, with the two latter scoring important goals.

Obviously, there is a huge difference in the quality of competition between the Toronto Maple Leafs, a Stanley Cup contender, and the Chicago Blackhawks, a team that could be mistaken for an American Hockey League team (save a few players), likely a bottom-feeder in the standings by season’s end.

So, maybe playing weaker opponents doesn’t make them stand out in a bad way. Or maybe they just needed to shake some rust – as some veterans often do – before they get into regular season form.

Joel Edmundson’s first few games in 2020-2021 come to mind, where he was simply awful before became a stalwart piece of the Stanley Cup Finals-bound Montreal Canadiens defense corps.

Perhaps the truth lies somewhere in the middle as to what we can realistically expect from these three musketeers.

Honourable mention: Samuel Montembeault had a nice, decent game. He wasn’t extensively tested but he certainly boosted the team’s confidence in him, after a lacklustre camp. Baby steps.

The Bad: Lower Dach Pain

No one had a better pre-season (and game #1) than Kirby Dach.

Seeing him leave for the dressing room and not returning simply doesn’t bode well. It could be only a minor ailment, hockey gods willing, but this is a key player for this team, who missed significant time due to injuries, in prior years.

Martin St-Louis can only hope he doesn’t have a player who will be labelled as fragile in his hands, as he relies heavily on him at 5v5 and on the powerplay.

Juraj Slafkovsky was also less noticeable without #77 centering him – although, to be fair, still had a great game. The two players seemed to have palpable chemistry in recent games, and it would be a shame if the 2023 first-overall pick’s newfound confident play were to falter in Dach’s absence. Subtraction by … subtraction?

Why can’t we have nice things?!

The Ugly: Booing Bedard

This is not something that happened on the ice, per se, but it warrants a mention: Montreal Canadiens fans copiously booed Bedard, anytime he touched the puck.

For a fanbase that identifies itself as being legitimate hockey connoisseurs and the best fans of the game, it felt off.

This city never booed Gretzky or Lemieux, and would often be seen as examples of commendable sportsmanship, by celebrating other team players, whenever they’d reach significant personal milestones.

Montreal Canadiens fans cheering for Marc-André Fleury’s 500th career win was one of the latest examples of that.

Look, I get booing a former Bleu-Blanc-Rouge player who badmouths the team after a trade, or an opponent for being a thorn in the team’s side whenever they meet, but booing a teenager, who never played your team before, on primetime Hockey Night in Canada, with the hockey world watching, was just unwarranted.

This is somewhat inconsequential, but I just wished they’d warmly welcomed him to the hockey mecca – even if only for his first game in La Belle Province.


Were Montreal Canadiens fans right to boo Connor Bedard in his Bell Centre debut? Let us know in the comments below.

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Marcel Katz

I’m sure it’s just a case of sour grapes – the luck of the draw and he could have been ours

Normand Prejet

Booing was unwarranted . Very disappointed to see that

Doug Warren

Ridiculous. Im a life long Habs fan who was embarrassed to hear that for no reason to a great young player. That will probably haunt us some day.


With all due respect, they cheered him when he first stepped on the ice when the Blackhawks were introduced did they not? But then the game started. What’s the difference between this and chanting the opposing goalie’s name? I think we have this idea that everyone is super fragile nowadays. He’s an adult, not a kid. He’s allowed to vote, drink (in Quebec), he’s a pro athlete, and already a millionaire (yes he is). He also said he loved it after the game (of course he’s not going to cry about it, but the point is, he wasn’t distraught).

They showed respect for a young star who helped the country win two golds. Then they treated him like any opposing star they want to throw off their game. Personally, I wouldn’t have booed. But it’s not like it’s this crazy disrespectful thing they did. Pretty standard in sports to taunt opposing stars. This wasn’t fans immediately calling reinbacher a bust and making jokes comparing him to hitler. A player on their own team (not that some of the things said would be better if he wasn’t on the habs).

Idk, I don’t rly see a big weight to it. If it’s drouin who’s spoken about mental health issues, then yeah, it’s distasteful to boo. But this is a star of an opposing team who is an adult, mature, trained to handle pressure, and yes we should be mindful that people have issues we aren’t aware of, but this booing is par for the course in sport.

Last edited 1 month ago by Ghg55

The booing is a form of respect. Habs fans have done it to all the greats.

Michael Barnes

We were there and didn’t boo him and was honestly surprised and thought it was funny at the time but it is a bit disappointing.
Maybe they’re just mad the Habs didn’t get him?
I always think it’s classless when fans boo another team just because.
We don’t live in Montreal but love to come visit (from San Diego!) for the hockey and always have enjoyed the class of the Habs fans.


Hopefully the Dach injury is a demonstration of the “new” expectations where a player is honest about his issue and the team being safe rather than sorry. I was disappointed that Dach got injured, but encouraged to see him reporting it and the team responding to it.

As for the booing of Bedard (and so many others), I hate it. It’s stupid. Unless a player has wronged our team through dirty play or some other way, just cheer for our guys. Our fans booing every good player when they touch the puck is lame.


I disagree, think it was meant as a sign of respect and Bedard loved it! I sure hope it was all in good fun and think it was truly. Don’t take these things so seriously.


It’s all in good fun, stop taking this so seriously, it’s just chirping the away team, get off your weird horse and join in… set the tone, gotta set the tone there, I bet you’re just a joy to watch the game with. Yikes.

Albert Vanular

I thought Habs fully deserved the win despite brutal referee calls. The penalty call on Suzuki among others was ridiculous. Refs wanted to get Bedard on the ice for PP goal but Habs shut him down anyway. Seven Power Plays including a 5 on 3 advantage for the Hawks vs just 3 for Montreal. As for the players, both RHP and Sean Monahan had excellent games. Unfortunately Brendan Gallagher was brutal. I loved Gally for the warrior he was earlier in his career but the man seems completely done now. He is slow and makes lots of mistakes. He isn’t even AHL calibre anymore.


Habs fans can be utter jerks, and that’s putting it “PG” for this website. From booing the American National Anthem at games more than once, to booing Carey Price during the end of a pre-season loss, to sending Reinbacher thousands of “frustration” hate messages, including some even comparing him to Hitler (seeing that the defenseman is Austrian).

This latest one, booing Bedard, is actually pittance compared to the others above…but I’m not surprised. This one was more funny than anything else…unnecessary and unwarranted, but again, I’m not surprised.

Besides, Reggie Jackson said it best, “they don’t boo a nobody”.

Last edited 1 month ago by morrisk

The ugly – David Savard playing second most minutes after Matheson and playing almost 5 minutes more than second star Kaiden Guhle. David Savard protecting the lead at the end is not working replace him with Guhle.