Montreal Canadiens: Three Stars From Blowout Victory

Mar 2, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens Brendan Gallagher Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 2, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens Brendan Gallagher Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mar 6, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens Phillip Danault Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 6, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens Phillip Danault Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports /

First Star: Phillip Danault

It hasn’t been a great season fo Phillip Danault. He had been the Habs number one centre for the past few seasons, but is suddenly being pressured by both Nick Suzuki and Jesperi Kotkaniemi for ice time down the middle.

Scoring zero goals in his first 22 games doesn’t allow to him to make much of a case that he should be getting more ice time than the young centres. He is still playing with Tomas Tatar and Brendan Gallagher, but the Suzuki line has taken over the role as the team’s top line.

Danault is still a great defensive centre, but with no goals and eight assists in 22 games entering last night, he just isn’t producing enough offence.

Then, last night he did his best Ron Francis impression.

The Canadiens took a 2-0 lead in the second period and Danault ensured the team doubled it by setting up Gallagher for two goals. Both snipes were off the back of incredible passes from Danault.

On Gallagher’s first goal, the puck came to Danault to the left of the Jets net. Danault faked a shot that drew lots of attention before firing a cross ice pass to Gallagher. The gritty right winger didn’t get a lot on the shot but it beat Hellebuyck between the legs.

Three minutes later Danault made an even nicer pass to get Gallagher on the score sheet. He made a nice backhand pass to get the puck to Tatar down low and he fired the puck towards the net. It was blocked and bounced back to Danault who did a spin-o-rama before sending a backhanded cross-ice pass to Gallagher in front who one-timed it into the net and ended Hellebuyck’s evening.

It hasn’t been a great season for Danault, especially offensively, but he was terrific at both ends of the ice last night.