HabsWorld.net -- 

The Habs were able to finish up their homestand on a winning note but things didn’t go anywhere near as well on the road as their four-game road trip kicked off with a pair of tough losses to two of the stronger teams in the Eastern Conference.

The Week That Was

Feb. 14: Canadiens 4, Blackhawks 0 – You read that right, an actual shutout for the Habs, their first in nearly a year.  Chicago didn’t exactly put up much of a fight as they showed that their tanking efforts are at a different level than Montreal’s.  The secondary scoring got the job done for Montreal with a pair of goals coming from the back end (Justin Barron and David Savard) while Joel Armia and Christian Dvorak also were able to score on rookie Jaxson Stauber.

Feb. 16: Hurricanes 6, Canadiens 2 – For a little while, the Habs were hanging on.  Samuel Montembeault was sharp through two periods while a power play goal with five minutes left in the second period tied it up at two apiece heading to the third.  Things went off the rails from there, however, as Carolina popped three goals in the first five minutes of the third to run away with it while Seth Jarvis picked up the hat-trick with a shorthanded marker in the dying seconds.

Feb. 18: Maple Leafs 5, Canadiens 1 – Once again, good goaltending allowed Montreal to hang around early on and they actually opened up the scoring early in the second period before it all went sideways.  Toronto scored five unanswered and by the end of the game, the banged-up Habs were simply going through the motions to get to the end.



# Player GP G A +/- PIMS SOG ATOI
6 Chris Wideman 2 0 0 -3 2 0 15:33
8 Mike Matheson 3 0 1 +1 2 2 24:22
14 Nick Suzuki 3 0 0 -1 0 8 19:55
17 Josh Anderson 3 1 0 -1 17 12 16:49
26 Johnathan Kovacevic 3 0 0 -5 0 3 19:55
27 Jonathan Drouin 3 0 3 -2 0 12 14:48
28 Christian Dvorak 3 1 1 -2 0 1 15:50
32 Rem Pitlick 2 0 1 E 0 2 10:36
40 Joel Armia 3 1 2 E 4 2 14:48
49 Rafael Harvey-Pinard 3 1 0 E 2 4 16:47
52 Justin Barron 3 1 0 +1 0 2 14:16
54 Jordan Harris 3 0 2 -1 0 5 19:56
55 Michael Pezzetta 3 1 0 +1 9 5 10:18
56 Jesse Ylonen 3 0 1 -1 0 3 10:59
58 David Savard 3 1 0 -2 2 4 22:45
60 Alex Belzile 3 0 1 -1 0 6 13:16
63 Evgenii Dadonov 3 0 1 -5 0 4 14:53
64 Corey Schueneman 1 0 0 -1 0 1 14:20
68 Mike Hoffman 3 0 1 -3 0 6 15:32
77 Kirby Dach 1 0 0 E 0 1 18:27


# Player Record GAA SV% SO
34 Jake Allen 1-1-0 2.50 .921 1
35 Samuel Montembeault 0-1-0 6.00 .854 0

Team Leaders:

Goals: Cole Caufield (26)
Assists: Nick Suzuki (25)
Points: Nick Suzuki (42)
+/-: Rafael Harvey-Pinard (+5)
PIMS: Arber Xhekaj (101)
Shots: Cole Caufield (158)

News And Notes

– The Habs finally decided to get an extra defenceman on the roster as they recalled Corey Schueneman from Laval.  Arber Xhekaj was placed on IR to make room on the roster and more is expected about how long he’ll be out later this week.

– Kirby Dach missed the two road games due to a non-COVID illness.  He’s listed as day-to-day.

– Montreal held its Skills Competition on Sunday.  Alex Belzile (13.744 seconds) was the fastest skater, Mike Matheson (100.9 MPH) had the hardest shot, and Rafael Harvey-Pinard (9.311 seconds) edged out Justin Barron (9.603) in accuracy shooting; both players went four-for-four.

Last Game’s Lines:

Harvey-Pinard – Suzuki – Anderson
Dadonov – Belzile – Hoffman
Armia – Dvorak – Drouin
Pezzetta – Pitlick – Ylonen

Harris – Savard
Matheson – Barron
Kovacevic – Schueneman

The Week Ahead

Tuesday at New Jersey – With Jack Hughes returning on Saturday, the Devils are at full strength in stark contrast to the Canadiens.  Vitek Vanecek has grabbed a hold of the starting job and sits fifth in the NHL in GAA, helping to lead them to a top-five team in terms of fewest goals allowed while they sit in the top ten for goals scored as well.  Former Hab Tomas Tatar is having a good year with 31 points in 55 games as he gears up for another trip through free agency this summer.

Friday at Philadelphia – There aren’t a lot of games that are all that relevant in the standings for the Habs this year but these teams enter the week four points apart in the standings which is important if you’re keeping an eye on the reverse standings.  Travis Konecny is quietly averaging just over a point per game to pace their attack while Owen Tippett is doing well in his first full season with the team after coming over in the Claude Giroux trade, notching 15 goals and 15 assists so far.

Saturday at Ottawa – At the moment, the Sens are down both of their goaltenders.  Anton Forsberg is done for the year while Cam Talbot has been day-to-day longer than Joel Edmundson has.  Ottawa made a move to sell this weekend, flipping Tyler Motte to the Rangers for Julien Gauthier and a seventh-rounder but it’s believed that they’re likely to mostly stand pat or even be a soft buyer leading into the trade deadline.

Final Thought

I’ve been critical of Jonathan Drouin’s play in the past as, quite frankly, he hasn’t been able to live up to his contract.  However, it’s worth noting that he’s in the midst of a pretty nice stretch right now.  He isn’t scoring but he’s setting up goals at a pretty good rate.  With the state of Montreal’s offence right now, I don’t care who’s putting pucks in the net, I just want to see some pucks go in the net to help games be competitive.

At this point, I don’t see an avenue in which he returns next season.  Quite frankly, I don’t think either side should have interest in an extension.  As long as he’s with the Habs, Drouin will be remembered for not living up to the contract and that it cost Mikhail Sergachev (plus a conditional second-rounder whose conditions weren’t met, lots of people don’t remember that part) to get him.  That has been and would continue to be a weight on his shoulders.  The only way for him to escape that is to leave.  Assuming that is the case, at least he’s doing well in what should be his final stretch in a Montreal uniform.