Montreal Canadiens: The Perfect Ending To A Perfectly Un-Perfect Season

Apr 29, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens team honors a member of the staff, Pierre Gervais (center), before the game against Florida Panthers at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 29, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens team honors a member of the staff, Pierre Gervais (center), before the game against Florida Panthers at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports /

It genuinely looked like Brendan Gallagher, who was parked right in front of the net (where else would he be?), tipped in the very first shot of the game for a goal. And I was very happy with that. It was a very difficult year for Brendan Gallagher, who admitted that he was dealing with injuries this year, and it felt good that he scored in the last game of the season.

However, it wasn’t Gallagher that was leading the parade to the bench, as is the goal-scorer’s duty; rather, it was the youngster Jordan Harris. Because Gallagher did not tip the puck in, the little one-timer from the 10 game veteran went straight into the back of the net.

(Don’t feel too bad for Brendan Gallagher, he scored Montreal’s 4th goal on the powerplay, and should have a long offseason to heal from his various injuries).

Jordan Harris has been really impressive in his short time in the NHL so far. The poise he shows with the puck feels like he’s played 10 seasons in the big leagues, not 10 games. Harris isn’t an offensive juggernaut, and shouldn’t be putting up big numbers, but his poise in the defensive zone and ability to make passes makes him a really interesting prospect on a team full of interesting prospects.

Of course, there is the other first of the night…Tyler Pitlick scored his first goal as a member of the Montreal Canadiens. I don’t really see him on the team next year, with his lack of production and risk of injury, but I can see a team taking a run at him for a depth option. But at the same time, this might be the last hurrah.

Oh, and Cole Caufield scored his first career hat trick, and in the most Cole Caufield way possible. His first goal was just under 15 seconds after Mike Hoffman scored Montreal’s second goal, and it was a beautiful, clean wrist shot.

His second goal was a beautiful run where he cut through the defenders and put a back-hander into the back of the net. The third goal was Caufield finding dead space in the middle of the ice and kicked the pass that was a little bit off up to his stick and into the back of the net it went.

These three goals are the types of goals that you think of when you think of Cole Caufield. A highly accurate wrist shot, a quick and skilled mad dash over the blue line through defenders, and incredible skill to kick the puck to his stick. It is without a doubt the first of many hat tricks for his career.

We all know how good Caufield has been in the second half of the season, but do we really know? In half a season, he basically caught up to all the rookie leaders in goals. But if you take the goal-scoring pace Caufield had in these games under Martin St. Louis over an 82 game season, he would have scored 50 goals. And he is only 21 years old.

And after his third goal, the second of three chants came raining down: ‘Caufield! Caufield!’