It wasn’t that the Minnesota Wild were playing all that well. Outside of their defense, they weren’t. It was simply a matter of the Canadiens not being able to muster enough offense to be a threat no matter how hard those ten members of the St. John’s IceCaps worked. And almost to a man…or boy… they put in a hard days night.
The only way the Canadiens could have come away with a win would have been in the hockey gods were to rain down all of their Saturday blessing only on their shoulders. Of all of the units, forward and defense, that Michel Therrien put on the ice, only one -Emelin/Pateryn didn’t have member of this year’s St. John’s IceCaps on it.
Everyone had his eye on Alex Galchenyuk after his exploits of the last eight games. So did the Wild. The defense pairing of Ryan Suter and Jared Spurgeon pretty well took care of them. Their only truly noticable shift was early in the third period when Suter and Spurgeon were on
With the Canadiens heading for the golf course next month, you look to the future. And the entire future of the Canadiens is already in Montreal.
There were some very good individual stories among the rookies. Lucas Lessio was one of them. He had a dynamic night that included seven shot attempts, three of them on goal in only 11:16 ice time.
Mike McCarron continues to show his game is close to NHL calibre. His six hits led both teams. We’ll be looking for more offense from him down the road. He had just one scoring chance.
Jacob de la Rose could be accused of not using his 6’3” 215lb. size to advantage. It was one of the reasons the was sent back to the America League at the beginning of the season. It might have been the fact that he was on a line with McCarron for most of the night, but his physical presence was much more noticable in this game.
Playing NHL defense is hard at the best of times. Darren Dietz seemed very calm and well organized in his debut and the coach though enough of his play to give him just over 13 minutes ice time.
I’ve seen a lot of Charles Hudon at the AHL level and have noted how incomplete his game is at this stage of his career. This was his first game back and there was nothing to say one way or the other. Give him some time.
I know he’s not a rookie, but Mark Barberio’s star turn as P.K. Subban’s replacement on the top defense pairing was a roaring success. We know ‘Andrei Markov can make a lot of players look very good, and Markov, with 26:02 ice time was probably the Canadiens best player. But Barberio was right there with him, offensively and defensively. He scored the only Canadiens goal and was named the game’s third star.
Forgive me, but I really like Mike Brown. He probably has no future with the Canadiens beyond April 9th but he really has had something to offer since the Canadiens got him off the waiver wire from San Jose. Players of Brown’s type-casting usually get around five minutes a game. Brown logged almost ten minutes, had 3 shots on goal and kept more the Wild honest for most of the night.
And so it goes. The main reason to watch the Canadiens through the final twelve games is to rate the progress of the kids. It’s a full time job. There are now ten of them on the roster.