Sports About Last Night: Habs hang on for single point in 4-3 OT loss to Preds
Game Day Notebook: GM's positive COVID test is more bad news for Habs
Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme spoke with Marc Bergevin on Saturday morning and said the team’s GM was “feeling pretty good” a day after testing positive for COVID-19. Ducharme wasn’t on the ice for his team’s optional morning skate at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard but the assistant coaches who were on the ice were back to wearing masks. “I didn’t know our coaches were wearing masks,” Ducharme said when the masks were mentioned to him. “We’re going back to that? I didn’t know.” For the next 10 days, the Canadiens players and staff will be tested daily for COVID-19.
Jake Allen made 40 saves for the Montreal Canadiens inagainst the Nashville Predators on Saturday night.
The Habs hung on for a single point in the standings despite getting outshot 17-2 in the third period. Filip Forsberg scored the winner in overtime for the Predators.
Jack Todd: Habs need to make some moves during Olympic break, if not before
It says a lot about your hockey team when it can manage to turn a 5-0 laugher into a nail-biter in the span of a single period. It tells you something when your GM is sick with COVID , yet he’s taking the time to do telephone interviews with handpicked journalists to give his view of things. It tells you something when you have a young talent who may be the puck-moving defenceman your team so desperately needs and he’s playing very well in a brief call-up but is still benched for a minor mistake, jeopardizing his long-term development for the coach’s short-term security.
There was some roster movement prior to puck drop. The Canadiensfrom the Los Angeles Kings. The Habs also sent down Laurent Dauphin and Corey Schueneman to Laval with the return of Mike Hoffman to the lineup from injury and Mattias Norlinder after being a scratch on Thursday. Josh Anderson, Jeff Petry, Brendan Gallagher and Sami Niku were all out of the lineup.
Eeli Tolvanen opened scoring for the Predators just under five minutes into the first period by deflecting a Mattias Ekholm point shot over Allen’s blocker. The Habs got two minor penalties in the opening 10 minutes of the game, but managed to keep the Nashville power play off the scoresheet.
Oh my my!on top, 1-0! l
What the Puck: Return of Nordiques might light fire under Canadiens
Many are grumbling that Premier François Legault has more pressing issues to worry about than the amount of Quebec players in the National Hockey League and the potential return of the Quebec Nordiques. I actually like the fact that he has some big ideas about hockey. There is indeed something wrong with a world in which Quebec produces fewer hockey stars than in the past and it would be a good thing for all Quebecers if the province could more easily develop the next Guy Lafleur. But the main reason I loved Legault’s hockey announcement is because he says he is working to help bring the Nords back.— Bally Sports: Preds (@PredsOnBally)
Michael Pezzetta tried to get his club going in the second period. He slammed Matt Benning into the boards with a hit, then dropped the gloves with Mark Borowiecki behind the play.
Borowiecki and Pezzetta take it to the floor. ????— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet)
The fight seemed to energize the away team, because a few minutes after on the power play, Nick Suzuki held and fired a top shelf laser past Juuse Saros for the 1-1 equalizer. Cole Caufield was the key distributor along the left boards.
Quel tir de Suzuki!
What a shot by Suzuki!— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL)
Christian Dvorak single-handedly delivered the Habs the lead at the midway point of the second. He not only won a footrace against Alexandre Carrier to negate an icing call, Dvorak then went to the net to tap in a rebound off a David Savard shot for the 2-1 advantage. Montreal had the chance for more with a 5-on-3 power play, but couldn’t increase their lead.
What the Puck: Canadiens' change needs to start with a new head coach
Canadiens management is treating the team’s fans with utter contempt. The Habs are one of the worst teams in the NHL. They’re 30th in the 32-team league, but it’s not even simply the points. I had the misfortune of watching the 6-3 loss to the Washington Capitals on Wednesday and the Habs did a good impersonation of a team that didn’t even want to win the game. When almost every player on the team sucks eggs, which was the case in Washington, there is something very wrong in that room. Yet general manager Marc Bergevin said a few days ago they’re staying the course, that no radical changes are coming.
D-VO donne les devants!
D-VO for the lead!— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL)
Before the period was out, Nashville tied it 2-2 when Mattias Ekholm got his second assist of the night off a tip, this time with Tanner Jeannot elevating his stick just about as high as it can legally go for the redirect on Allen, who immediately went to the refs to protest the call. A review sided with Jeannot and the Preds.
JEANNOT!tie it up, 2-2 in !
— Bally Sports: Preds (@PredsOnBally) ????
Although the Predators did outshoot the Habs 17-2 in the third period, it was the Habs who got an early jump in the frame. After a solid defensive effort by Alexander Romanov to stop a streaking Matt Duchene, followed by multi-car pileup in the neutral zone, Caufield took the puck down the ice and found trailer Brett Kulak, who scored his first of the season to give Montreal a 3-2 lead.
Le premier but de Brett Kulak cette saison donne les devants aux Canadiens en 3e!
Brett Kulak's 1st of the season puts the Habs ahead in the third!
About Last Night: Bargain bin performance by Habs on Black Friday
Tage Thompson scored two goals for the Buffalo Sabres in a 4-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens at KeyBank Center on Black Friday. The Sabres entered the contest on a four-game skid, but outplayed the Habs from start to finish, outshooting them 39-26. Samuel Montembeault made 35 saves in the loss, while former Hab Dustin Tokarski got the win for Buffalo. The Habs lost their second game in a row to fall to 5-15-2, with a 1-9-1 record on the road. The lanky forward opened scoring at 4:08 in the first. Victor Olofsson pushed a one-handed pass to Jeff Skinner, who found Thompson racing through the slot towards the net.— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL)
Kulak had an uncharacteristic period, not only scoring but getting into a fight with Luke Kunin. It put both players in the running for a Gordie Howe hat-trick, since Kulak had a goal and a fight, while Kunin dropped the gloves and assisted on the Tolvanen goal. On his birthday, no less, Kunin got his goal for a Gordie, jamming it home with a teammate in tow at 10:12 in the third. Artturi Lehkonen had a chance on a breakaway late, but couldn’t beat Saros.
How's a Gordie Howe hat trick sound for a birthday ????? Kunin evens the score and the— Bally Sports: Preds (@PredsOnBally) and are tied 3-3 in period 3!
The Kunin goal sent the game to overtime, but not before Allen made multiple saves to keep his team in it. Allen made another two saves in overtime, but the third time would prove the charm for the Preds. Forsberg lost his stick in the corner, but it gave him time to slip away from the defenders and set up to Allen’s right. Granlund fed him a cross-crease pass and it was curtains for the Habs in Smashville.
FILthy Fil, per usual— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL)
On the 112th birthday of the most storied franchise in hockey, the current-day Montreal Canadiens needed their goalie to stand on his head for a point in the standings. It’s been that kind of season for the Habs, who fall to 6-17-3 with a Stanley Cup rematch against the Tampa Bay Lightning coming up Tuesday. Some interesting news on the Hockey Night in Canada hotstove: Montreal-born player agent Kent Hughes could be in contention for the vacant general manager position. His client list includes Patrice Bergeron and Kris Letang.
Why Marc Bergevin Went From Cup Finalist to Fired in Six Months
What decision(s) punched Bergevin's ticket out of Montreal before he could finish the last year of his contract as GM? © Provided by Hockey News on Sports Illustrated Marc Bergevin (Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports) On June 27, 2021, Marc Bergevin greeted reporters at Stanley Cup Media Day, taking questions on his Montreal Canadiens’ miraculous, upset-laden post-season, expressing how grateful he was to see veterans Carey Price and Shea Weber reach their first final. Six months and one day later, Bergevin was fired as Habs GM.
Elliotte Friedman reporting on HNIC that agent Kent Hughes could be one of the people Jeff Gorton is interested in hiring as— Stu Cowan (@StuCowan1) GM. He's a Montreal native and is bilingual. He's based in Boston area now so would have a connection with Gorton. Interesting.
The Gorton Habs are winless, and the Liveblog commenters must be wondering if the new VP is watching the same games they are. Also, why didn’t Norlinder play more than nine minutes?
Canadiens Notebook: More line changes as coach looks for a spark .
Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme juggled his lines — again — at practice Monday in Pittsburgh. Ducharme had Nick Suzuki on the first line between Mike Hoffman and Mathieu Perreault, while Jake Evans was between Jonathan Drouin and Joel Armia on the second line. The third line had Ryan Poehling between Artturi Lehkonen and Cole Caufield, and the fourth line had Cédric Paquette with Michael Pezzetta and Laurent Dauphin and Jesse Ylönen rotating at right wing.