Forward lines and defense pairings
Pacioretty – Byron – Hudon
Galchenyuk – Drouin – Deslauriers
Lehkonen – Plekanec – Gallagher
De La Rose – Froese – L. Shaw
Alzner – Petry
Mete – Schlemko
Morrow – Jerabek
Daniel Carr, Jordie Benn
Ales Hemsky – concussion, Shea Weber – lower-body, Phillip Danault – concussion, Andrew Shaw – lower-body
Coach Claude Julien had publicly accused his team of not being ready to play in their last game. They were tonight. The Canadiens came out flying winning races to the puck all over the ice.
For the first 17:02, Montreal did not allow a shot on goal and they had 11 of their own on Blues goaltender Carter Hutton. But in all of that time of possession, the Canadiens buzzed around the perimeter, unable to get close to the St. Louis goal.
But then the sixth place team in the league hit back, hard. The Blues pumped eight shots on Carey Price in the last 2:58 of the first period. And St. Louis offence was not tip-toeing around the outside. Driving to the net, they finished the opening frame with several high-danger scoring chances.
And the Blues picked up where they left off in the second period. Karl Alzner provided the screen for a goal by Ivan Barbashev. Early in the third period, the Canadiens had more players on the ice than on the bench resulting in a too-many-men penalty. St. Louis would capitalize with a power-play goal from Patrik Berglund.
And that’s all that was needed. The Canadiens mustered their best effort which amounted to a little less than a period’s worth, and then folded to the superior team
At this point, most Canadiens fans are ready to embrace a culling of the herd, although there is considerable disagreement regarding who should be the players to go. But as that happens, Habs supporters would welcome a team sprinkled with replacements from Laval would put forth an honest effort and further their development with an eye towards next season.
▲ Carey Price
▼ David Schlemko, Karl Alzner, Jonathan Drouin, Logan Shaw