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Canadiens Postgame

Another Poor Start By Canadiens Costs Them In Loss To Detroit



Montreal canadiens detroit red wings

The Montreal Canadiens faced the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night at the Bell Centre, a classic original-six match-up between two teams at different stages of their rebuild.

Before the game started the Habs honoured the Grey Cup-champion Montreal Alouettes. They were serenaded by the crowd with a classic ‘Olé! Olé!” chant that quickly turned into a standing ovation.

It was a great reminder that in Montreal, the only thing that matters at the end of the road is winning.

Due to another false start by the Canadiens, the Red Wings took control of the game early, eventually winning 5-4 in overtime.

If you’re looking to discuss more hockey once you’re done with the recap, I invite you to join us on Game Over, which goes live following every Habs game. You can click here to join the show.

Now let’s get to those highlights!

Lack Of Preparation

This may shock you, but the Canadiens conceded the first goal of the game.

It was the fifth game in a row in which their opponents scored first, and the 15th time out of the last 18 games.

Jake Allen was unlucky that the puck deflected from Justin Barron’s skate directly to Montreal native Joe Veleno, who scored his sixth goal of the season.

But regardless of the bounce, the Canadiens were outplayed significantly by the Red Wings in the first period. They certainly deserved the early lead.

Unfortunately for the Habs, things went from bad to worse.

On top of pushing their powerplay scoring drought to 0 for 24,  they also allowed their fifth shorthanded goal of the season,

Allen does not look good on this play, and obviously, you’d like to see him pounce on the puck, but the mere fact that the Red Wings were also first to the rebound while shorthanded tells you everything you need to know about this team at the moment. In addition, it’s a good reminder that Kent Hughes needs to solve this goaltending issue as soon as possible.

On that note, given Josh Anderson’s flight path, it makes sense that Allen was confused.

Unfortunately, Anderson was also a little lost on the play.

As it stands, the Canadiens are a broken team, to the point that they can’t even communicate with their goaltender.

Beyond the confusing lines that head coach Martin St-Louis rolled out against Detroit, it’s quite evident the Canadiens lack any semblance of structure during key situations.

It’s almost as if they start each game by tossing their sticks to the middle of the ice, like a good old-fashioned shinny game. That would at least explain the lack of chemistry.

They allow opponents free rein into their zone, and they give up odd-man rushes as if they were part of a Groupon promotion.

Some of it comes down to the personnel, no doubt, but it’s only fair to point to the coaching staff as well. Special teams and game preparation do, after all, come down to them.


Barron’s Goods

St-Louis encourages his defencemen to jump into the play with regularity, and despite the negative impact at the other end of the ice, it’s clear that his blueline is playing an important part in the team’s offensive makeup.

The Canadiens have received a higher percentage of goals from their defencemen than any other team in the league, well over 30 percent.

This goal by Barron, however, occurred because Nick Suzuki did not hesitate to shoot, something other members of the organization should keep in mind when they are in high-danger scoring areas.

Joel’s World

The Red Wings would eventually restore their two-goal cushion, but not before the Habs managed to cut the lead to just one goal.

We have to give full marks to Joel Armia.

Not only did he take his multiple demotions to the Laval Rocket like an absolute pro, but he’s also played quite well every time the Canadiens put him in the lineup, and that includes on Saturday night.

Armia’s penchant for hard work came to the forefront in the second period, as he stripped the Red Wings of the puck and scored a great shorthanded goal.

It also led to a well-deserved promotion to the top line in the third period.

A Goal! A Powerplay Goal!

Suzuki finally put an end to the scoring drought on the powerplay early in the third period. The key wasn’t Suzuki’s shot, although it did feature perfect accuracy.

More than anything, it was because the Canadiens played as a cohesive unit. They forced Ville Husso to readjust, which always leads to higher odds the shooter will find the back of the net.

Full marks to Brendan Gallagher for his effective screen.

With the goal, Suzuki registered his 54th multi-point game of his career, tying Maurice Richard for the 7th most multi-point games in franchise history before the age of 25.

Gustav’s Revenge

The Canadiens probably did not deserve to tie the game late in the third, but there’s no such thing as ‘deserve’ in sports.

Gustav Lindstrom took advantage of a nice series of passes, which included a heads-up by play Anderson, to score his third goal of the season.

It was yet another goal from the blue line, which has done more than its fair share when it comes to helping the Canadiens maintain momentum in recent games.

Unfortunately, the Red Wings put an end to the game early in overtime thanks to a nice shot by Walman, and some more questionable goaltending by Allen.


The Montreal Canadiens are back in action on Monday, facing the Seattle Kraken at the Bell Centre. The puck drop is scheduled for 7 pm ET.

All Montreal Canadiens statistics are 5v5 unless otherwise noted. Via Natural Stat Trick.