Bruins 2 – Canadian 1 (P) | Patience and maturity

Did the Bruins and Canadiens have a good game? Hard to say. When the shots on goal counter stops at 24-19 and good scoring opportunities are so rare, especially on the Montreal field, we know that we have not witnessed a duel of titans.



However, did the Canadian play a good game despite the 2-1 loss in extra time? The answer is definitely yes.


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Maybe not offensively. The specialized site Natural Stat Trick calculates that the locals only had four high-quality scoring opportunities in the five-on-five, three of them in the first half. And the power play remained normal. Nobody said it was perfect.

On the defensive end, however, the Habs probably turned in one of their most inspired performances of the season.

After the morning warm-up, Martin St-Louis issued a warning. The Bruins, he warned, “are not a team that is going to shoot themselves in the foot.”

“You have to be patient, you have to play your game. If you start their attack, it will be difficult,” he added.

Once again, nothing is perfect. The first 10 minutes even seemed like the genesis of a catastrophe. Midway through the first half, the visitors led 7-1 in shots on goal, and the only shot on goal by the men in red was actually a clearance.

Everyone, however, breathed through their noses. “We started to play better,” analyzed goalkeeper Samuel Montembeault. Secondly, we weren’t afraid to knock pucks down, to send them into the neutral zone instead of forcing plays in our zone. When they are out they can’t score. »

PHOTO DOMINICK GRAVEL, LA PRESSE

Samuel Montembeault

During this second period, CH only allowed five shots on goal, less than half of their average before this match (11.3).

David Savard considered that he and his teammates had fought a “good battle” against “a strong and well-established team, which has been playing together for a long time.”

In that context, as his coach announced, you had to be patient. And that’s what the Canadian did.

I think we played a mature game. We don’t take too many risks. I liked our team’s play, we played a little with their style, we didn’t give them much. We were in the battle until the end.

David Savard

Montembeault, again: “No one tried to force the game. Both teams trusted the way they played. »

“We manage the game”

The track record of the team that deserved better is starting to wear thin for the Habs. When a team, in its last 14 games, has a record of 3-7-4, sometimes you have to force yourself to see the glass half full. There can be a fine line between optimism and triumphalism.

PHOTO DOMINICK GRAVEL, LA PRESSE

Nick Suzuki defeats Linus Ullmark in the first period.

Last week, against the Carolina Hurricanes, we had the pleasure of filling the gap that separated CH from the best clubs in the league. This after having suffered total domination in the third period.

After the game against the Bruins, however, the results were certainly positive, but lucid and measured. We had a sober enthusiasm in light of the performance we had just performed. If it had ended with victory, it would have been deserved.

We manage the match. At first I wouldn’t say we were surprised, because we knew it would be this type of game, but it took us a while to find our way. When we found him, we were playing great hockey.

Martin San Luis

We repeat almost daily how young this team is. Simply because it is a fact, even more so since the departures of Sean Monahan and Jake Allen. This type of “mature” party has, therefore, a very particular value. Especially when it happens against a league powerhouse and not the Anaheim Ducks.

PHOTO DOMINICK GRAVEL, LA PRESSE

Kaiden Guhle

“We talked about it all year,” Kaiden Guhle added. The worst thing you can do is find yourself 0-2, chase the game and try to make plays that are not correct. If we play well, chances will come and so will goals. This is huge for our group. »

Guhle himself potentially got the hype wrong when he added that his team still believed in its chances of making the playoffs. The 11 points that separate the current classified team, with one less game to play and five teams to advance, make this objective practically impossible to achieve.

Curiously, there was a lot of naivety in this comment. A lot of youth, one might add.

However, no one will be offended. Because if maturity could be definitively established on the ice, that would be a big step forward.

Promotion: Joel Armia

PHOTO DOMINICK GRAVEL, LA PRESSE

Joel Armía (center)

The only thing he was missing were points. Seven shot attempts, three of which were on goal. Three hits. He was in every fight, both equally strong and shorthanded.

Below: Rafael Harvey-Pinard

PHOTO ERIC BOLTE, USA TODAY SPORTS

Rafael Harvey-Pinard during the warm-up session

His chemistry level with Colin White and Tanner Pearson, on the fourth line, was zero. His shorthanded game redeemed a difficult evening with five on five.

The party number.

eleven

for the 11thmy This season, Mike Matheson spent more than 28 minutes on the ice during a game. He maintains his place among the five most used defensemen in the NHL.

In details

A brand that leaves Slafkovsky cold

PHOTO DOMINICK GRAVEL, LA PRESSE ARCHIVES

Juraj Slafkovsky

By getting an assist on the Canadian’s only goal Thursday night, by Nick Suzuki, Juraj Slafkovsky raised his point total this season to 35, moving closer to the team’s record for best season in terms of points. , for one player. 19 years of age or younger. The Slovak great is just four points shy of this team record (39 points), set by Mario Tremblay during the 1974-1975 season. But for Slafkovsky, it’s a mark he doesn’t give much importance to, especially after a one-goal loss like this one. “Statistics are one thing, but in the end I would like to win games like this,” he explained in the Montreal locker room. What we try to do is about wins, not about personal statistics, or where I am in the club’s history with my points in a certain category. I just want to help the team win games. »

Armia on fire

Joel Armia did not finish the game with points under his belt, like almost the entire team, but once again, the Finnish striker delivered a solid performance, including an inspired game from a digital disadvantage. Armia was equally inspired on offense, often leading the charge and finishing his night at the office with three shots on goal, a record in this regard Thursday night among Canadiens players. “I thought I played well and our line had several good scoring opportunities against the Bruins,” the veteran explained. He could have made the difference during the game, but we couldn’t score, so this ending is a bit frustrating. »

A profitable strategy for the Bruins

PHOTO ERIC BOLTE, USA TODAY SPORTS

John Beecher (19) and Cole Caufield (22)

Coach Jim Montgomery surprised the hockey world a little, and maybe even more, by sending John Beecher onto the ice for the start of overtime. You should know that this young 22-year-old forward had just been called up from the American League, and that he started this game on the Bruins’ fourth line. But Montgomery saw something no one had seen, obviously, and the Bruins and Jake DeBrusk scored the game-winning goal 24 seconds later. “John was our best player on faceoffs (Thursday night),” the Bruins coach noted. You want to try to start overtime with possession of the puck. But even though he lost the faceoff, he was good at applying pressure and then made a good shift, which allowed us to send Brad Marchand onto the ice. »

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