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Don’t Do the Crime if You Can’t Do the Time

January 21, 2021, 12:20 PM ET [748 Comments]
Karine Hains
Montreal Canadiens Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
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Montreal came to town having won its last 2 games and silenced a usually deadly Oilers power play, but the story was different last night. Much like in Edmonton, the Canadiens spent way too much time in the sin bin being assessed 6 minor penalties, but this time, the opposing power play was up to the task and the penalties were costly. I will agree that one of the calls was questionable, but at the end of the day, the Canadiens have to be smarter. Obliterating a guy after the whistle and pushing him in the net is unnecessary and so is complaining to the refs after a no-call, both Anderson and Kotkaniemi were guilty of taking silly penalties and this just cannot happen if this team is to meet expectations this season. Furthermore, for the 4th game in a row, the Habs were also assessed a delay of game penalty, this just cannot carry on. Props to Kotkaniemi though who after the game, admitted that he couldn’t take that kind of penalty and even when as far as saying the loss was on him (that was an exaggeration, but still).

With a Carey Price at the top of his game, the Canadiens might have been able to win this game, but unfortunately, Price wasn’t great last night he let in 5 goals on 28 shots for a .821 save percentage, in fact, for him, that was a rather bad performance. It’s not all on the goaltender though, on top of taking way too many penalties, his teammates also hung him out to dry on numerous odd man rush. So far this season, the defensemen had done well in the decision-making department, joining the rush and pinching when it was time, but last time, bad decisions were taken way too often. Even Jeff Petry made that mistake last night.

That being said, there are still some positives to be taken from that 6-5 loss in the shootout. In the past, if Carey Price had that kind of night, the Canadiens had no chance whatsoever of winning but this season, they have the firepower to come back and get themselves back in the game. After the Suzuki and the Danault lines took charge in previous games, the Kotkaniemi line join the party yesterday. Both KK and Tyler Toffoli opened their account for this season, the former with a single goal and the latter with a beautiful hat-trick. It was only a question of time for Toffoli, through the first 3 games, he had had 14 scoring chances so of course he would manage to score sooner rather than later. One of his goal also came on the power play (on the one man-advantage the Canadiens received last night), probably one of the easiest goals he’s ever scored, thanks to a magistral Nick Suzuki pass. Brendan Gallagher also scored his first goal of the season on a 2 on 1 with Tomas Tatar.

There was also end-to-end action all through the game and even though the match started pretty late on the east coast, no one struggled to stay awake especially in an overtime period that kept us on the edge of our seats. The Habs had more than one occasion to close the deal, but they failed to do so. As for the shootout, Byron, Drouin and Toffoli all failed to score (even though he hit the post) and Suzuki was the only one who managed to fool Brayden Holtby. Meanwhile, Carey Price let in two goals and in the end, that was fatal.

Tonight, Montreal and Vancouver will get right back at it when the puck drops at 9:30 PM. Since it’s a second game in as many nights, expect Jake Allen to man the nets and hopefully, the Habs to stop trying to beat themselves.
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