Rabid Habs

Postgame: Another One – Habs lose 3-1 to Stars

The Habs 3-1 loss to the Stars wasn’t their worst game of the season by any means, but as the hole keeps getting deeper, the losses become harder to swallow.

The first period was the patented “nothing” period for the Habs. Nothing for, nothing against. Charlie Lindgren looked strong, Dallas had a pair of penalties, and Montreal got a four-on-three advantage at the end of the frame. The first period did give us a taste of a sibling rivalry, with Jordie and Jamie Benn getting into some rough stuff after the whistled. With an added ex-Habs flavor, Alexander Radulov jumped in on behalf of the younger Benn brother. Jordie skated off with a big smile on his face.

For a while, the second seemed to be a repeat of the first. No real scoring chances and neither team seemed to have any desire to take control of the game. If the Canadiens had any life, it came from the third line of Charles Hudon, Phillip Danault and Andrew Shaw. The “checking line” created chances through hard work and forcing turnovers. Ultimately, Brett Ritchie took a high-sticking penalty, and the Habs went to their first two-minute five-on-four powerplay of the game. Montreal took advantage of the penalty, as Brendan Gallagher tapped home his eight goal of the year. The point shot from Joe Morrow hit Ben Bishop in the pads before Gallagher pushed it into the net. Oddly enough, Charles Hudon played the point on this man-advantage, and he recorded a secondary assist on the goal. 1-0 Habs.

For about three minutes after the goal, the Stars turned up the heat on Montreal, but Lindgren held the fort until his mates got their legs under them again.

Shortly after Jamie Benn broke his stick while cross-checking Gallagher, the Stars tied the game. Transitioning from a Canadiens’ attack, the Stars countered and scored on the rush. Devin Shore beat Lindgren with a clean shot to score his second career goal and tie the game at one.

Then Montreal did what they’ve done just about every game. They gave up another quick goal.

59 seconds later, Tyler Seguin threw the puck at Lindgren and the puck sat down for Jason Spezza. Spezza, overpowering Joe Morrow, scored his third of the year as he fell to the ice. 2-1 Stars.

Fun Fact:

The third started with a Habs penalty kill that turned into a powerplay on another Ritchie penalty. Montreal’s man-advantage didn’t register a shot on goal.

The good news is that Montreal got another powerplay before the five minute mark of the period. The bad news is that it looked as bad as the last one. A third-third period powerplay was also unsuccessful at a time of the game where Montreal could have really used a goal. It’s possible that without Weber it just doesn’t feel right, but it hasn’t looked good with Weber in the lineup.

The Stars iced this one on an empty net goal from Tyler Seguin. Alexander Radulov got onto the scoresheet against his former team with an assist on the uncontested tally.

3-1 Stars. That’s your final from Dallas, folks.

Victor Mete

Play the kid or don’t. I was a big proponent of Mete having his place on this roster, but if the options are going back to London to be a top-pairing guy, or play eight minutes a night, the choice is obvious. To get better, he needs to play. Mete should make team Canada at the World Junior Championship, and if the CHL lets it’s players go to the Olympics, he might make that team too. The bottom line here is that a decision needs to be made (again). Mete needs to play, and if he can play 20 minutes a night in London, so be it.

Joe Morrow

Say what you want about his five-on-five play, I think he’s a pretty decent powerplay piece. He has a knack for getting the puck through traffic (whenever the Canadiens can generate it), and seems to be moderately successful out there. And for what it’s worth, I thought Hudon looked good on the blueline with him.

All his Eggs in One Basket

I’ve always wanted the Canadiens to put all their top scorers on one line. With Pacioretty and Galchenyuk flanking Drouin, it seems like Claude Julien wanted the same thing; to put all his eggs in one basket. After a few games, I don’t think it’s working. Maybe the flu bug is still taking its toll on Pacioretty and Drouin, but I think I’ve seen enough of that group. There’s only one puck for the three of them to share, and I’m not certain any one of them knows what to do when they have it.

That’s all I’ve got from this one. See you all back here tomorrow night.

Go Habs Go

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