Forward lines and defense pairings
Lehkonen – Drouin – Byron
Pacioretty – Danault – Shaw
Hudon – Plekanec – Gallagher
Galchenyuk – McCarron – Mitchell
Mete – Weber
Alzner – Benn
Davidson – Petry
Jacob De La Rose, Joe Morrow
David Schlemko – hand (mid-November), Ales Hemsky – concussion symptoms, Nikita Scherbak – knee
What happens when two of the worst teams in their own ends meet each other? Six goals are scored in the first period alone.
The Canadiens scored four goals in the first frame on just seven shots. Craig Anderson wasn’t great. Al Montoya wasn’t much better. But the real problem for both of these teams is playing defence.
But somewhere in the past two games, the Canadiens figured out the importance of going to the net. The 29 shots on goal for the Habs was well below their season average but at least half of them came from high danger areas of the ice and that’s a huge improvement.
Some will mourn the fact that Montreal lost the Corsi ‘battle’ for a rare time this season. But driving to the net created all sorts of difficulties for Anderson and the Ottawa defence. The Sens were awful in their own zone leaving the Canadiens in prime scoring positions.
This was a case of Ottawa being more bad than the Habs were good. But full credit to the visitors for burying their chances.
Charles Hudon and Artturi Lehkonen led the scoring parade. With three assists, Shea Weber has taken over the Canadiens lead in scoring. Max Pacioretty, Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher lead the team in goal scoring with four each. All three players picked up a goal in this game.
As for Galchenyuk, he has the top spot in shooting percentage for the team at 18.2. Yet, he had just 10:43 in icetime. Strangely, despite the blowout, Claude Julien saw fit to deploy Michael McCarron for just 6:41. McCarron played very well each time he touched the ice.
The Canadiens coach acknowledged that his team defended much better in this game. And given Montoya’s shaky outing, it was a good thing. After several games where he looked his age, Victor Mete returned to form with a solid game playing just over 16 minutes.
This game was a big confidence boost for the Canadiens, particularly the offence. But they will have to be much better as the road trip continues to Minnesota, Winnipeg and Chicago.
▲ Artturi Lehkonen, Charles Hudon, Alex Galchenyuk, Michael McCarron, Shea Weber, Tomas Plekanec, Max Pacioretty
▼ Brandon Davidson, Al Montoya