GAME #30 – STOLEN POINTS – Canadiens-3 Chicago-2 (Dec. 9, 2018)

Dec 10th, 2018 | By | Category: Canadiens, Canadiens Game Story, Latest News

If there was a game this season that the Canadiens deserved to lose and didn’t, this was it.

Outplayed by the NHL’s worst team for long stretches, somehow they managed to squeeze out a 3-2 victory after blowing a 2-0 first period lead. Tomas Tatar‘s 13th goal of the season won it with 77 seconds remaining in the third period. Max Domi and Shea Weber also scored for the Canadiens. Patrick Kane got both Chicago goals. The Canadiens were outshot 39-28. It was the Canadiens third straight win, the last two on the road.


With the score tied 2-2 the Canadiens spent half of the third period shorthanded including six straight minutes after Tatar was hit with his third penalty of the game and then, as he was stepping back on the ice Jordie Benn received four minutes for high sticking. The Canadiens killed all of that. In all the Hawks had eight power plays in the game and managed to score once.


It’s a hockey-given that the goaltender is a team’s most important penalty killer. Carey Price was all of that and more. Of his 37 saves in the game, 14 came while the Canadiens were killing off penalties including 12 in the third period as Price was keeping his teammates in a 2-2 game. We’ve been looking for that one game that Price won by himself. This was it.

Third straight win for the Canadiens and Price has been a major factor in all three.


The Canadiens fourth line has only become effective since Michael Chaput was brought in from Laval. Chaput really had his work cut out in this game as Claude Julien made him his go-to on the penalty kill. Chaput was on the ice for nearly half (4:50) of those ten minutes the Canadiens were shorthanded in the third period. Ultimately his penalty killing icetime (7:32) was more than half of his total ice time for the game (14:10). On top of that his line contributed to the Weber goal in the first period.


Shea Weber scored his third goal in his sixth game since missing almost a year. He also recorded five shots on goal and three hits. The goal was another of his quick release bombs. One of his third period hits sent big Artem Anisimov to the dressing room under concussion protocol. He didn’t return. It’s not certain whether it’s cause and effect but Brett Kulak is finding a new confident level to his play since being paired with Weber.


….This game featured the two worst power plays in the league and it showed. With the 0-for-4 night the Canadiens PP is now producing at 13.6 rate which is 30th in the league. Chicago is 31st.

….It’s not only Chaput who’s turned the Canadiens fourth line around. Kenny Agostino, who was an early cut from training camp, has come up from Laval to become a significant addition as well. He drew the first assist on the Weber goal that gave the Canadiens their 2-0 first period lead. It should be mentioned that only two years ago Agostino was the American Hockey League’s scoring champion and MVP.

….Jesperi Kotkaniemi led the Canadiens with six shots on goal. Although he’s not piling up goals, he has points in three straight games. He started the play that led to the game winning goal sending the puck back to Petry for the shot that was deflected home by Tatar.

….I keep asking myself if Kotkaniemi and the Canadiens wouldn’t be better off if he replaced Phillip Danault on the line with Gallagher and Tatar. Once again Danault’s offence was non-existent.

….Tatar came to the Canadiens with a reputation for taking nights off in the past. In his 30th game he finally had one of those nights. It was redeemed by the game winning goal on the tip-in of the Petry shot. Earlier he had taken three bad penalties. His goal was only his second shot of the game.

….Another one of those difficult games for Mike Reilly which led to a third period benching.  As a result he’ll probably sit out Tuesday’s game with Noah Juulsen returning.

….The Canadiens record after 30 games is 15-10-5 for 35 points. Last year they were 13-13-4 for 30 points at this stage but were about to lose seven of their next ten games.


The Canadiens will get the day off in St. Paul Minnesota Monday before playing the Wild to end their three game road trip. They return home to face Carolina Thursday, their final meeting of the season against Ottawa on Saturday and Boston on Monday. Then it’s the annual six game holiday road trip while the Cirque du Soleil takes over the Bell Centre.


3 Comments to “GAME #30 – STOLEN POINTS – Canadiens-3 Chicago-2 (Dec. 9, 2018)”

  1. Ned Stark, Warden of the North says:

    A sound recap of tonite’s game in the Windy City. I was however taken aback about the comment regarding Tartar and his penchant in the past of taking games off. Unfortunately for him the HABS already have a guy who owns that role. His name is Johnny Drouin! You know, the next great French Superstar for the HABS. If I was Coach Claude Julien I would ensure in the next film session that they make a point of showing the Hawks Patrivk Kane’s 2nd goal over and over again from every available angle. I would be sure to focus on the far from “stellar” defensive work by one Johnny Drouin‼️ I’m sorry but there is absolutely no excuse for this type of effort at this level. All too often this year inside our blueline we have 5 guys who’s only focus is eyeing the movement and location of the puck. Oh there are the few cursory looks to who make get be uncovered but that’s about it. There are some forwards like Gally11 who know their roles and responsibilities inside our end. But way too often we have too many passengers. But when you see young players like our two Finns who never stop doing their job in our end then how can you allow what Drouin did without addressing it. But yes this was one of those games that Drouin was a ghost/no show. But it points out that this team’s management and coaching staff aren’t truly thinking about the success of the team by allowing Drouin to skate free from his on ice responsibilitys. It seems other players are made to pay the price by being put on lower lines, healthy scratched and even demoted or waived. By allowing there to be a two tier system of justice on the team means it truly isn’t a proper team. This is truly troubling got two reasons. Firstly, for the players that are giving it there all game in and game out seeing this lil “superstar” get away with murder is an ongoing distraction that they do not need. Secondly, this team, coaches and Bergy are viewed by those players around the league. When the HABS seek players in free agency this will indeed come back to haunt them. Isn’t there a saying that their’s no “I” in Team……..except #92 in Montreal??

    Are Bergy and Julien seeing what the rest of us are seeing game after game? Chicago was willing to give up on Danault and send him willingly on to Montreal. Bergy with his past experiences in Chicago may have some role in the Hawks selecting him in the draft. But I guess at that point Bergy never watched his progress on the big stage. He may have scored in junior but he’s never going to be more than a 3rd line Centre at best. But he might have to learn to play on the wing if he can’t start winning draws in our end especially when we are shorthanded. Tonite the Hawks owned him in the circle tonight. But his continued lack of an offensive game has past the troubling point. I really agree with the writer that there should be a change on the 2nd line. Already Danault’s line started out as the 1st line however led by the fast start by Max Domi his line is now the team’s top line. The HABS really need to get production from the Top 3 lines. But for sure we need the Top 6 to be our Top producers! With that in mind Julien needs to make a change with the #2 centre as in flipping him to the 3rd line and having Kotkaniemi (K2) take his place on the 2nd line with Tatar and Gally11. I think this will be the right move for K2 right now. He has shown good progression in his game. Watching his play in the Offensive zone you can easily see the potential that made him our #1 pick in this year’s draft. 1) he carries the puck in over the blueline with ease and know’s where and when to dish it off. 2) he’s a superb passer now and will only get better as his career moves along. 3) Shooting…..he’s not scared to from just about anywhere. I watched in a recent game where he had the puck in the middle of the ice inside the blueline with both his wingers moving abreast of him. He kept letting them his wingers advance toward the net while he eased up as the Defense backed in presented a great screen for their goalie. Meanwhile K2 didn’t rush anything as he let the screen in front of the goalie form and then he drifted a nice low shot that was stopped by the goalie. 4) Creativity- he’s a natural! He moves around the zone very naturally. He has good awareness of where his Linemates are and makes quick decisions that have a purpose behind the. 5) Hustle, making the transition from attacking to defending seamless. He keeps moving on the attack and keeps the Defense moving that creates openings to shoot or pass through. It also allows him to move into those openings when he doesn’t have the puck to be in shooting position when he receives it back. When the defending team recovers the puck he’s quick to assume his defensive responsibilitys. He can form a great for checking partner with Lehkonen. Both have the “do not give up” attitude in trying to recover the puck. Even those he’s light on his skates he doesn’t take a backseat to anyone. While it may be a bit of a stretch I think he has all the attributes once she fills out to be a player in the Mold of Joe Thornton.
    I hope before the end of the calendar Julien has made this change to boost the team’s performance and success.

  2. david deVries says:

    This has nothing to do with the hockey game between the Canadiens and Hawks.
    Did you notice the singing of the National Anthems? What a majestic way to begin
    the game. The singer had a magnificent voice and his rendition of both anthems was
    spot on. I would hope Canadiens management took notice and would employ a singer
    of this caliber to do the anthems at the Canadiens games. Their present singers are
    fair-to-midland at best.
    The hockey game was sloppily played by Canadiens. Passing was atrocious defensive
    play, except for Price, non existent. They lucked out in winning the game.

  3. Ian in Niagara says:

    For David Devries>>>I actually found the anthem singer to be painful to listen to. And his pace was way too slow. I had to turn the sound off until he finished. Just shows that people can have wildly different views.

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