GAME #17 – Offence Rules – Canadiens-4 Vegas-3 (Nov. 10/2018)

Nov 11th, 2018 | By | Category: Canadiens, Canadiens Game Story, Latest News

The Canadiens have played six games in the month of November and have given up 26 goals. Over those six games the Canadiens are 3-1-2 thanks to an offence that has produced an equal 26 goals.

Despite giving up ten goals in the last two games the Canadiens have taken three of four points thanks to their forwards.

The transition game has been the watchword for the Canadiens since training camp. When the defence isn’t moving the puck, disaster ensues. The defence execution failures allowed Vegas to outshoot the Canadiens 15-4 in the first period. They wasn’t much better in the second and third periods. Fortunately the Canadiens have been able to outscore their opponents on some nights. This was one of them.

THE JUGGLING ACT

After giving up six goals Thursday against Buffalo Claude Julien decided to sit out Noah Juulsen and Xavier Ouellet for this one. David Schlemko and Karl Alzner were in. It left Jeff Petry as the only right shot among the game’s six defencemen leaving Mike Reilly and Victor Mete in the difficult role of playing on their off side. We knew at the beginning of the season the lack of defensive depth and balance would create problems. This week they’ve come home to roost.

RATING THE TRADE

Although there were more components to the trade, the only players on-ice were Max Pacioretty and Tomas Tatar. Pacioretty seemed to be on a mission, piling up a season high nine shots on goal. But Tatar scored the game-winning goal, his seventh of the season. So far Pacioretty has two. The consistency of Tatar is arguably the Canadiens biggest early-season surprise.

CATCHING UP

Andrew Shaw got a late start to his season. He missed training camp and was a half step behind his teammates and the opposition through his first seven games. Those struggles led to Julien making a healty scratch out of him in Boston last month. The night in the TD Garden press box turned things around. In the seven games since Shaw has been terrific. As a result Julien has moved him up on the depth chart right onto the line with Max Domi and Jonathan Drouin for the last two games Two goals and a rightful first star selection vs. Vegas.

THE KID

Jesperi Kotkaniemi wasn’t particularly good in the 6-5 overtime loss to Buffalo on Thursday. He bounced back big time against Vegas. He made a slick play to set up Charles Hudon for the Canadiens first goal. And then the NHL’s youngest player scored his third goal to give the Canadiens a brief lead midway through the second period. 3 goals, 6 assists in 17 games isn’t a bad career start for someone who’s barely 18 years old.

THE BACKUP

With Carey Price struggling to get his act together Antti Niemi got an unscheduled start. He let in four goals, two of them on Vegas power plays. His penchant for allowing juicy rebounts makes life an adventure around him. Still he got it done and Niemi’s now won four of his five starts.

NOSTALGIA

The Canadiens always do the right thing when it comes to ceremony. Pacioretty got a nice ovation from the fans during a pre-game scoreboard highlight montage. And then a little later in the period the fans got a chance to say ‘thanks’ to Tomas Plekanec who was shown in the Canadiens executive box alongside Marc Bergevin. Nice touch.

ALSO WORTH MENTIONING

….You get the sense that Artturi Lehkonen is never going to score another goal. But he is doing a lot of good things for the team on the defensive side of the puck. And it was his hard work that produced the Kotkaniemi goal. No goals since opening night, but the assist was his 8th.

….Domi continues to pile up the points. Two more assists Saturday night. Twenty-one points in 17 games which, as of the end of Saturday night puts him seventh in the league, three points behind the league leaders.

….The Canadiens have been very good five-on-five this season. They’ve had to be because their power play has been horrid. 0-for-2 in this game and over the last nine games they have 2 PPG’s in 32 opportunities. Vegas scored on two of their three power plays making it another rough night for the Montreal special teams.

….In the continuing faceoff drama, the Canadiens were 39 percent. Shaw won 4 of 7. Everyone else was in the red. Danault finished at 42%.

….The newcomer Kenny Agostino led the Canadiens with six hits and also earned his first assist working on the line with Kotkaniemi and Lehkonen.

….This is going to go on all year (or at the very least until Shea Weber returns).   The Canadiens now are scoring 3.29 goals per game while giving up 3.24 (58 GF vs. 55GA).  Fifth in the league in goalscoring.  25th in goals-against.  Based on the best we can say is a .500 hockey team and maybe  wild card contender.  It must be said – they ain’t dull.

MOVING ON

On the road again. The Western Canadian swing has become an annual graveyard. They’ll be in Edmonton Tuesday followed by Calgary Thursday and Vancouver on Saturday. Five of the next six games will be on the road.

One Comment to “GAME #17 – Offence Rules – Canadiens-4 Vegas-3 (Nov. 10/2018)”

  1. Ned Stark, Warden of the North says:

    Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm – I’m pretty sure the FINAL SCORE was 5-4 for the Habs. I think you posted this incorrectly.

    Hell of a multi-game set vs Vegas – 1st Period – I believe Julien used one of Therrien’s “sleeper” pep talks as the team came out like they were waking from a coma. Spent the whole period in our end it seemed and were very lucky to be down only 2-0. Terrible give aways in our end as Benn was fighting the puck all night. Niemi was somewhat of a surprise Saturday night at home starter but he was full credit in earning the Win. Between giveaways and watching Drouin watching his man score the 2nd goal it was a very forgettable period.

    CJ dusted off one of Vince Lombardi’s speeches in the 1st intermission to light a fire under the troops. It was like a different team had come out in the 2nd period. By just inside the 10 minute mark (9:57) the Habs had roared back to take a 3-2 lead. Then as expected they fell into the CJ special coaching faze – with a 1 goal lead sit on it. They did and about 4 mins later after a questionable penalty call the Vegans had tied it up on another PP goal.

    The 3rd period looked to be a good period of hockey. How this game didn’t get to Over time was amazingly lucky for the Habs Power Play unit. With the puck down by our goal the Habs led by Drouin were going thru the motions and allowed a Vegas player to easily pass to the front of the net where all alone stood a Vegas player now with the puck and Niemi begging for mercy. He got it as the shot just grazed by the post but Niemi was sharp to jam the post and sternly block the 2nd shot attempt as the shot came off the end boards. All night Garry Gally raved about Max67’s return to the Bell Centre. It seemed Thomas Tartar was the forgotten man. He too would have his moment. Vegas once again thru hard work took a 4-3 lead. But great work by Max Domi and Johnny on the Spot Shaw chipped in his 2nd goal to tie the game. a few minutes later on a great shift by the 1st line Tartar’s shot was nicely redirected by a Vegas defender thru the 5 hole by Fleury for the winner. Vegas kept the pressure up right to the final whistle and the Habs escaped with a 5-4 win and can head West with their heads up and smiles on their faces.

    Tonite’s lineup was kind of interesting. Nice to see Hudon back in and was rewarded with a beauty of a goal. Nimi as mentioned was Mr. Saturday nite for sure and on Defense Julien had the ALL Clunkers on the Left side in: Benn, Allzner and Schlemko. They were down right horrible in the first for sure. Bur raised their level of play mildly for the rest of the game. Alzner was all over the ice but not where he was supposed to be most of that time. He looked particularly weak on the 1st goal of the game with his exaggerated “curling slide” in hope of blocking a shot. The Vegas player just waited and watched him slide right by his shooting lane before burying the shot past Niemi. Of course you have to give Alzner a little bit of slack thanks to DesLaurieres Brain Cramp. Alzner pushed forward a reboud to the open DesLaurieres who watched his stick break and the vegans recovered the puck. At this moment the Cramp seized on his brain and he skated out of the play, our zone and on to the bench to collect a new stick. He returned in time to catch the puck as it was coming rebounding out from the back of the neck. Unbelievable that someone at the Pro Level would make such a stupid mistake.

    Lastly, the PR crew at the Bell Centre did a lovely job on the pre-game tribute to Max67Vegan. Watching those hilites and seeing the way he skated, shot, used his speed that he has all the talent in the world except for a brain that keeps him in the Park mode much too often. If this guy ever gets serious about playing to his capabilities he would be a terrific hockey player and more than likely still in Montreal. He played pretty good tonite…pretty much what we have seen in the past. Lot of shots – 9, but nothing to show for it. Thx for the memories Max67.
    There was a brief pause in the 1st to acknowledge Pleks who unfortunately had to watch the proceedings in the bunker with a grinning Bergy. Pleks had a terrific career with the Habs. Its unfortunate that when he signed his previous contract with Bergy that he agreed to an Opt Out clause for Offense. I don’t think I have ever seen a player lose it like he did over the last couple of years. But credit him with being a professional and a player that played at both ends of the ice none the less very well throughout his career. All the best to you in the days ahead. Thank you # 14.

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