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Canadiens Highlights

Ice-Cold Powerplay Costs Canadiens In Loss To Predators



montreal canadiens jake allen

The Montreal Canadiens hosted the Nashville Predators at the Bell Center on Sunday night, a rough-and-tumble match-up featuring two teams who had played the previous night.

It was a hard-fought game, with both goaltenders playing a big part, but the Predators emerged with a 2-1 win despite being outchanced 14-4 during 5v5 play.

Let’s dive right into those highlights!

Pezzetta Effect

It took Michael Pezzetta roughly six seconds to make his mark. The feisty forward steamrolled Dante Fabbro during his first shift, epitomizing his intense style of play.

Pezzetta’s underlying numbers have dipped recently, to be expected when you’re in and out of the lineup, but you can’t deny that he makes the most of the handful of shifts he gets every week.

Preds Strike First

The Nashville Predators scored the game’s first goal, which isn’t shocking given the Habs tend to have slow starts.

But overall the Canadiens played well in the first period. They only allowed two high-danger chances at 5v5, while generating four of their own.

Nashville only scored when Colton Sissons made a great deflection on a puck that was going wide of the net.

We can’t expect the Canadiens to outplay most of their opponents, but we can expect an honest effort, and that was the case for Martin St-Louis’ team on Sunday night.


Penalties Galore

If you’re wondering why there were only six high-danger shots in the first period, it’s because the referees bought a Groupon and it expired Monday morning.

Jokes aside, the referees did a very good job in the first period. Not just because they made a ton of penalty calls, but because they were incredibly consistent, which is rare in the NHL.

The parade to the penalty box was, at that moment, absolutely fine.

Fans will not complain about a bevy of penalties as long as the calls remain consistent.

But the problem remains that the only thing consistent about refereeing in the NHL is the inconsistency.

The Guhle That Holds Things Together

Kaiden Guhle is an important player for the Canadiens, as evidenced by the correlation between his difficult games and losses. It’s unreasonable to rely that much on a 21-year-old defenceman, but it’s also the reality of the situation in Montreal.

Guhle and Juraj Slafkovsky, among others, were rather lackadaisical in their own zone prior to Sissons’ second goal of the game.


Well-Deserved Reward

The Montreal Canadiens thought they had finally beaten Juuse Saros, but upon further review, Brendan Gallagher had interfered with the Predators goaltender.

It was a fair call, as Gallagher fell into Saros a little too easily.

That being said, Gallagher had an excellent game, all things considered. He took 10 shots, six of which made their way to the net. Four of those shots were also high-danger chances. He was constantly creating chaos in the Predators’ crease, and despite the interference play when Joel Armia scored you could easily say Gallagher was the Canadiens’ best player on Sunday night.

There was nothing wrong with Jake Evans’ second goal of the season. The hockey gods shone on him when his pass was returned to sender, but considering the role Evans plays on this team he deserves a few good bounces here and there.

The goal cut the lead to just one, and it also placed the momentum firmly in the Canadiens’ corner.

Power? Play!

The Canadiens continue to bleed odd-man rushes, and it doesn’t matter if they’re on the powerplay.

If you’re a goaltender playing for the Montreal Canadiens, you need to keep your head up when the puck is 200 feet away, because there are good odds it’ll make its way to you soon.


GIF Of The Game

As often as we criticize referees, we have to recognize that they do take a lot of abuse. On Sunday night the referee advised both benches to calm down, which is well within his rights.

The Predators quickly forgot the warning, which led to a Canadiens powerplay.

Some may not like this approach, but I never enjoy seeing players yell at referees, and I wouldn’t mind seeing more unsportsmanlike conduct penalties handed out to benches when tempers are flaring.

I’m sure some will still blame the referees for the loss on Sunday, but the real issue was the Canadiens failing to score on their five powerplay opportunities.

The Montreal Canadiens are back in action on Wednesday. They will face the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Bell Centre.

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