An examination of the Montreal Canadiens loss in a shootout against the Ottawa Senators. Analyzing the Positives and Negatives of the game.
After a slow start the Montreal Canadiens were able to make a comeback and even take the lead late in the third period. However they were unable to hold on to the lead as the Senators scored late in the third to tie the game, and eventually winning in the shootout. Erik Karlsson scored the winning shootout goal after David Desharnais embarrassingly fanned on his opportunity.
Starting slow cost the Montreal Canadiens valuable time in the game. They were fortunate to be able to fight back the way they did. Ottawa ended up out shooting the Habs 38-24 and were able to control the game most of the night.
Montreal’s effort to come back and get at least 1 point in this game was very refreshing to see. All to often last season it just seemed like the Canadiens would just roll over and die. Hopefully the Habs won’t have too many slow starts and play with that same energy they used in their comeback.
Focusing on the Positive
The Power Play for the most part looked real solid tonight. Offically they went 1of 4 on the man advantage but Jeff Petry‘s second goal came just a few seconds after their Power Play ended.
An improved Power Play is good news for a team that struggled mightily last season. Last year the team ranked 25th on the man advantage which was a brutal 16.2 percent. With the Canadiens generating good puck movement and getting goals is a good sign of things to come.
Montreal did an excellent job on the Penalty Kill as well. Veterans Andrei Markov, Shea Weber, and Tomas Plekanec did a tremendous job killing off a Senators 5 on 3 Power Play. That was a pivotal Penalty Kill for the Habs as they were able to build momentum off of it from that point on.
Showing Some Heart
It was great to see the Habs fight back from a 2 goal deficit and claw their way back in the game to take the lead. Even though the team ended up loosing, the group isn’t fragile as they were a year ago.
Resilience was shown when the team was killed off a Senators 5 on 3 Power Play in the third period. Andrew Shaw also played a very gritty game even when the team was trailing by two goals, which helped ignite the Canadiens, and distract the Senators. Hopefully this is a trend that continues throughout the season.
Slow starts like that cannot continue to happen. I thought that the team would look very motivated coming off a big win in Buffalo. Lacking speed and making poor choices in their coverage assignments led to major defensive breakdowns causing goals for the Senators.
David Desharnais shootout opportunity was also horrendous. Desharnais has taken a lot of heat for his poor play and this won’t help his cause. Desharnais has struggled to produce offense consistently last season. For him to be in this situation is questionable, but to not even be able to get a shot away is awful.
Hopefully the Canadiens will be able to clean up some sloppy defensive play and get back to using their speed. The Canadiens will battle with the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday at 7:30. Montreal will need to bring their A game for sure.