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Canadiens Analysis

Dry Offense, Poor Penalty Kill Cost Canadiens Against Panthers



The Montreal Canadiens were visiting their “home away from home” in Florida, as part of a 7-game road trip.

Apart from Jake Allen getting the start, Martin St-Louis made no other changes to his line-up, keeping Jordan Harris in, instead of Johnathan Kovacevic.

The Habs were once again playing a team that’s on the tail-end of back-to-back games, but the Panthers, standing ninth overall in the league, thanks (mostly) to a red-hot Sam Reinhart, are never an easy opponent.

The locals managed to earn the win in a low-event game, thanks to two powerplay goals.

Here are some key storylines of the contest.

Sticking Up

Much has been said about the lack of toughness of this Montreal Canadiens team in Arber Xhekaj’s absence – many pointing to Caufield being the only player who got in Stefan Noesen’s face following a hit to Juraj Slafjovsky’s head, earlier this week.

Perhaps Martin St-Louis sent his players a message, as a response was immediately issued when Justin Barron was pushed into his net by Ryan Lomberg in the first period.

Maybe it had to do with Michael Pezzetta’s fight, setting the tone early on, as he answered the bell to William Lockwood, who took exception after a seemingly clean hit.

Ultimately, the Montreal Canadiens did not let their opponents push them around – let’s hope this mindset prevails throughout the rest of the season.

Special Teams Galore

Not much scoring took place at even strength, as this game was mainly decided by special units.

The Panthers drew first blood, early in the second period, with the man advantage, before Cole Caufield could return the favour.

Eetu Luostarinen broke the tie, midway in the third frame, potting his second of the night – you guessed it – on the powerplay.

The fact remains that the Montreal Canadiens’ penalty kill success rate is pretty awful. They were sitting 29th in the league before this contest, and tonight did nothing to change that trend.

They will need to address this if they hope to win more games, let alone make a push for the playoffs.

Where’s The Offence?

After two periods, the Montreal Canadiens had only mustered 8 meager shots on net. At the end of the game, the total was just 19, still well below their poor 29 shots per game average.

Before this game, the Habs were 31st in the league for shots per game and 27th in goals per game.

Hard to win games with low shot volumes and goal totals…

A game to forget. (via


But the Montreal Canadiens get a chance to get right back on the saddle and shake things up tomorrow, as they visit another hot Florida team, the Tampa Bay Lightning.