[thepuck 2018-11-27] Canes 2 @ Habs 1

Shea Weber's first NHL game of the season and in nearly a year and he didn't injure Gallagher with the puck!

Karl Alzner, the team's second best defenseman, has been waived and assigned to Laval. This is poor treatment of such a quality veteran who has been labeled too slow for the new NHL. He was a rock on defense, laying people out, protecting his goalie, making that nice first pass out of his zone and playing pretty darn solid hockey. As if the “new” NHL doesn't need stay-at-home defensemen. Ridiculous. Chalk it up to why Montreal will have trouble getting stars and veterans to sign with them. See Tavares.

What the Habs lack in many ways could be resolved with an Andrei Markov or Tomas Plekanec. Shabby treatment of players behind the scenes will hurt the team for years to come.


Healthy Scratches: Reilly, Ouellet, Peca
IRL: Scherbak, Armia, Byron, Juulsen

Habs Best Player 1st Period: Brett Kulak
Habs Best Player 2nd Period: Victor Mete
Habs Best Player 3rd Period: Phillip Danault

Habs Three Stars: Kulak, Gallagher, Mete

The Good: Kulak was extremely impressive all game long, making good choices, staying in position, getting back, pinching all at the right time.

The Bad: The Habs collapse in the defensive zone, always leaving the point men open. Even Lehkonen has finally bought into this system which leaves Price fending off shots from the point while screened. Drouin simply is not working on the point for the powerplay. He's talented but doesn't have a knack for keeping the puck in or playing defense when forced. The powerplay in general is trying that obsolete drop-pass method (it may still work on wider ice like International surfaces) leaving them struggling to gain the offensive zone. The Canes goaltender Curtis McElhinney but on a veritable clinic with the Habs vastly outchancing and outshooting the Canes.

The Other: Drouin dove and got the Habs a powerplay in the 3rd. Price got away with an obvious penalty however shortly thereafter Shaw paid the 'price' with a makeup call.

It was a fun close game in scoring however it wasn't as tight as the score looked with Montreal dominating quite often. Between the Canes goalie and some exciting defensive plays, Montreal could not tie this one up.

PostGame Thoughts: Weber looked good and showed that his instincts are still great. He playe lots but by no means looked 100%. Kotkaniemi has been struggling since Armia was injured (and before being teamed up with Armia and Lehkonen) but Hudon may well be still improving. Shaw is an unsung hero on a line that makes a ton of mistakes. Both Domi and Drouin make very risky plays and rarely come back and help out defensively. Shaw shoulders the extra load well and is playing his best hockey since coming to Montreal. There were times when Mete looked like he had the puck on a string. If he keeps improving, who knows what heights he'll reach.