Special teams are what separate NHL teams from pretender to contender. It’s no secret this season hasn’t been the most favorable for the Habs in the power play department and spending too much time in the box is not a recipe for success. Even though their PK% is above league average, too many penalties take away from overall game productivity. Now after back to back wins the Montreal Canadiens have back to back losses and some work to do.
Canadiens vs. Stars
- Joe Pavelski wanted it more. One was a power play goal early in the first period, a bad turn over deep in the zone for his second and his third was him out muscling the defense after a failed breakaway attempt. I know he’s one of the greatest American born players but we can’t let father time out work us for 3 tucks.
- As for the power play, there were some good scoring chances but nothing to capitalize on. That being said I think the power play has been an issue all year with around 5% success rate on the man advantage. 0/4 on the night and 1/18 for the season is just terrible.
- On a positive note, WiFi had himself a game with a blocked shot that led to an assist to Hoffman late in the first to tie it up and later on a shot from the point for his first NHL career goal.
- Overall it was a tough battle vs the Stars but you live and learn. Marty St. Louis as the head coach on the bench is a wizard of hockey knowledge, not to mention a hall of famer. He will for sure get this young Montreal Canadiens team back in the saddle – and it all starts with the power play and the penalty kill.
Canadiens vs. Wild
The Canadiens started off strong but Marc Andre Fleury was feeling himself and played a great game stopping 26/27 shots. It took a little while to get that first goal even after a power play chance from Kirby Dach which deflected one off the post wide. Early in the second Cole Caufield turned back low on the right side and scored his fifth goal of the season short side on Fleury. Caufield also had a great game defensively breaking up several scoring chances.
- Even though there were even amount of power play opportunities between both teams, the Habs could have drawn a couple more if it wasn’t for stupid retaliation penalties. Another concern is turnovers that turn into goals against that come down to communication and playing position.
- In the third there were some stretch passes for a couple break aways from Anderson to Hoffman who was dragged down and given a penalty shot that turned out to be nothing. Zip, nadda, goose egg.
- With the final minutes and being down 2-1 you have to pull the goalie and it looked good till a bad bounce led to an empty netter that closed out the game for the Wild 3-1. Even though Allen had a great couple of games it still ended up in losses.
The Habs (3-4) are now headed on the road to play at the Buffalo Sabers (4-2), the St. Louis Blues (3-2) Saturday and the Minnesota Wild (2-3) Tuesday. Let’s see what the road games look like and build confidence from there.