High-Flying Habs Sit At 9-0-0 After Win Over Leafs


Just a few more sleeps until a possible record NHL season start, as they Montreal Canadiens now sit 9-0-0 after beating the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-3.

It took 9 minutes and 7 seconds left of the 1st period, but P.K. Subban wired a shot off of Jonathan Bernier‘s shoulder that trickled in on the power play. Former Habs right-winger P.A. Parenteau‘s hooking on Lars Eller led Montreal to be the 1st to score 8 out of 9 games.

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The Habs were already on the attack early in the game, with 4 shots on net in 5 shot attempts 2 minutes and 30 seconds in before picking up their 1st PP from Scott Harrington. The 1st PP was a bust with the Habs unable to control the puck in the Toronto zone.

During the 2nd PP in which Subban’s heavy shot gave Montreal an early lead, the Habs had controlled zone time and better puck possession. Overall, the Habs played well, put out great energy, and looked more dangerous. However, the Leafs lead in possession with 24 shot attempts over the Habs’ 16 and out-shooting Montreal 13-10.

Eller put the Habs at a 2-0 lead 1 minutes and 54 seconds into the 2nd period with Alex Galchenyuk deaking right through Morgan Rielly, getting a shot off, and Eller potting the rebound. The Leafs responded a minute later with Leo Komarov‘s hard shot getting past Carey Price.

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  • A long pass from Tomas Fleishmann to David Desharnais had the trying to centre the puck, which resulted in his backhand shot hitting the Leafs player and going right to the back of the net at 4 minutes and 24 seconds. James Van Riemsdyk responded by burying one after taking a shot off the back-glass the bounced to him alone in front of the net 2 minutes later.

    The Habs were having difficulty breaking out of their zone, which made the Leafs come off as the more powerful team of the period. This also led to the Habs having fewer controlled zone-exits, allowing Toronto to maintain offensive pressure and creating 10 shot attempts in the span of 3 minutes at the midway mark.

    Eller’s penalty for hi-sticking gave the Leafs a strong chance to put the two teams at a tie, but Montreal jumped on a loose puck from the face off and Pacioretty’s short-handed marker put the Habs at a 4-2 lead with over 5 minutes left. The Habs faced another penalty but easily killed that off as well.

    Dion Phaneuf‘s anger got the best of him and led him to the penalty box, which gave Subban the opportunity to set up Brendan Gallagher to tip in the Habs’ 2nd PP goal of the night and finishing the period with a 5-2 lead.

    Oct 24, 2015; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Matt Hunwick (2) moves the puck and Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty (67) chases during the first period at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

    The 3rd period started off fast paced for both teams, as the Leafs were desperate to tie up the game and the Habs were eager to put a few more points on the board. Montreal had the upper hand though. They were creating more scoring chances, keeping the puck out of their zone, and had a few chances to score on a breakaway.

    Price lost his net a bit and allowed Morgan Rielly’s goal 7 minutes and 11 seconds in, putting the Leafs 2 points behind Montreal. The Leafs were starting to create scoring opportunities in the Habs zone, while the Habs were starting to struggle to keep the puck back on Toronto’s side of the ice.

    Toronto headed to the PP with Jeff Petry taking a tripping penalty with over 8 minutes left, but it was the Habs who cleared the puck out of their zone and killed it off once again. Being out-shot 47-27, the Habs weren’t having their best night but it was nothing that couldn’t be made up for.

    With just a few minutes left, the Habs went on the attack for an empty net goal, while the Leafs tried to grab just one more point. However, the clock ran out and Montreal ended the game beating the Leafs 5-3.

    Let’s have a moment to praise Michel Therrien. I, like many fans, was extremely frustrated with his coaching last year to the point where I wanted to see him gone from the Habs bench. However, it’s clear to me that the summer did Therrien well. There hasn’t been much of a mix up with the lines, they’re taking more shots, putting more pucks on net, and are becoming a faster team.

    The Habs are now 1 win away from a record NHL season start. If they win Tuesday night against the Vancouver Canucks, then I will be extremely convinced that there’s a chance for a cup next year. Even if a win doesn’t happen, this team is giving many fans hope for a strong playoff run in 2016. I don’t know about you, but THESE are the Canadiens we’ve been waiting for.

    What did you think of tonight’s game? Do you think the Canadiens can pull off 10-0-0? Let us know in the comments below!

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