I suppose things might have been different if Shea Weber hadn’t taken that puck in the face six minutes into the game and missed the second and third periods. Except, considering the Canadiens record against Minnesota since December 2014, something was bound to keep the Wild’s nine game winning streak going against them. 1-0 was the final score Monday night. Over the nine game Canadiens losing streak the Canadiens have been outscored by Minnesota 36-10.
You take the good with the bad when it comes to Jeff Petry. He led the Canadiens with six shots on goal. He also led with three giveaways which gives him 62 for the season, ranking him fourth in the league. That third giveaway was a killer, a bad blind backhand pass meant for Mike Reilly compounded by Petry preventing Carey Price from getting to the other side of the net to stop Mikeal Granlund’s shot. Late in the game, Petry had a great chance to tie the game but his stick broke.
Fact is, if this game had ended differently, Petry might have been considered for one of the game stars.
The Canadiens are two games into one of their most intensive stretches of the season and with losses in the first two games of what will be seven games in eleven nights. All of this is happening while the Canadiens key offensive players have all gone into prolonged slumps. Five-on-five the only high danger Canadiens scoring chance came from Artturi Lehkonen. That says a lot.
For a while I thought Max Domi might crash out of his twelve game goal scoring drought with some of his stickhandling theatrics early in the game but ultimately he wound up without a dangerous scoring chance. His linemates, Jonathan Drouin and Joel Armia didn’t give him any help at all. Once again Drouin’s game was a waste of time.
BEAT GOES ON
Price continues on his strong recovery path with another good night. The highlight was a three save sequence on Spurgeon, Greenway and Niederreiter in the game’s seventh minute. The Wild had nine shots on their power play and ten high danger chances overall. Price stopped them all. Thanks to Petry, there was nothing he could do on the game’s only goal.
….The Canadiens played this game two men short. I have no idea what Kenny Agostino was thinking in the first period when he crushed Eric Fehr a full three seconds after he had unloaded the puck. That got him tossed from the game. Weber was hit in the face by Granlund in the 6th minute of the game. He finished the first period before going to the hospital.
….Petry logged 27:08 in the game. Without Weber in the 40 minutes of the second and third period he was on the ice 18:21, almost every other minute on average.
….Hospital X-rays showed no facial fracture on Weber. He returned to the Bell Centre in time to make the trip with the team to Detroit where he will be a gametime decision.
….Once again special teams were a story although they didn’t figure in the scoring. The Canadiens were 0-for-3 with no scoring chances. The Wild’s power play was 0-for-3 with five high danger scoring chances.
….The Canadiens had 32 shots in the game. Twenty came from the forwards. Only two of them were considered dangerous.
This was the first of six games in nine days including two sets of back-to-back games. The Canadiens complete the first back-to-back set Tuesday night in Detroit. They play in St. Louis Thursday, at home to Colorado Saturday and then back-to-back again next Monday and Tuesday against Boston and Florida.