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Game 48: Canadiens vs Blackhawks AKA Naughty Domi

January 15, 2020, 10:40 PM ET [663 Comments]
Karine Hains
Montreal Canadiens Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Alright, let's get this out of the way, the Canadiens lost 4-1 to the (former) powerhouse that are the Chicago Blackhawks. The Habs looked like they were sleepwalking for a good while in the first period, a miscommunication between Tatar and Lindgren gifted the Hawks their first goal and from then on, the Canadiens were chasing the game with little success.

What else is there to say about this game? Well, halfway through the 2nd period, Max Domi took what can only be described as a bonehead roughing penalty. It was unnecessary and his team was down 2-1 but still hoping to catch up to the Hawks. So of course, Claude Julien decided to bench him to teach him a lesson...that's not necessarily a bad thing but when the Habs got a power play, the bench boss decided to keep Domi on the bench and put out an all star unit of Weal, Lehkonen and Cousins on the power play. So tell me Claude? Were you trying to punish Domi or the team? I know that the penalty he took was silly but Max Domi is much more efficient in a game when he's emotionally involved in it and yes, sometimes that will mean stupid penalties but that also means that he's going to be all in in that game. Since he's been in Montreal, Domi has received at least 2 penalty minutes in 33 games, in those games he got points in 20 for a total of 28 points. At the start of the season, he wasn't taking any penalties and he just didn't look as involved as he was last year. To me, a player like Domi is a calculated risk. He will cost you sometimes but I'm willing to put up with that to get the "all in" Max. In his post game comments, Julien defended his power play line-up decision by saying: "It doesn't matter who you put instead of Max, he's not the guy who's always going to score anyways"... hardly a ringing endorsement for Domi...

As for Charlie Lindgren, well, that first goal was on him but not much else was. The second goal was a nice deflection, the third one came when he was "blockerless" in his net and trying his hardest not to get his bare hand destroyed and finally, the last one was an awful turnover from Weal. That being said, 4 goals on 28 shots isn't brilliant by any means but the penalties, the bad defensive coverage and the giveaways certainly didn't help him.

On the bright side, this new instalment of the Kovalshow gave us another brilliant no look pass for his 5th point in 6 games. Yes he did commit his share of giveaways with 3 but still, he does make things mildly more interesting. Once again though, he played for over 20 minutes and at 36 years old it's a miracle he still has gas left in the tank. There are already calls on the social media to re-sign Kovalchulk for next season and that surprises me. While he entertains me, this right there is a side show, a little bone the GM has thrown us to take our attention away from the failure this season is turning out to be. Furthermore, the Canadiens are depleted right now, how will Kovalchuk react when the injured players come back and he gets less ice-time? Apparently, he's a great team guy so perhaps it will be fine but since the Habs are supposed to bet on youth, I don't see how keeping an aging player would be justified. On a side note, Sportsnet reported tonight that Kovy took the whole team out to dinner last week, now that must have been one costly meal! Somehow I doubt he took them to McDonald's...

The Canadiens will be back in action tomorrow night in Philadelphia when they take on the Flyers who are currently battling it out in St-Louis with a 3-3 score with minutes to go.
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