Montreal Canadiens: 24 Thoughts On Habs Lack Of Scoring Leading To Loss vs Panthers

Nov 30, 2023; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens right wing Josh Anderson (17) misses his shot on Florida Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (72) after being tripped during the first period at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 30, 2023; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens right wing Josh Anderson (17) misses his shot on Florida Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (72) after being tripped during the first period at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports /
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Nov 30, 2023; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens defenseman Justin Barron. Mandatory Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 30, 2023; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens defenseman Justin Barron. Mandatory Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports /

Second Period Thoughts

Johnathan Kovacevic made a great play early in the second period to block a cross-ice pass from Sam Reinhart to Matthew Tkachuk. The puck is probably in the net if the pass gets across, but Kovacevic reads it well, forces Reinhart to make a play and breaks it up. With all the young players coming up, I don’t know how long Kovacevic holds on to his roster spot, but he has brought tremendous value for a waiver pickup.

Ylonen and Tanner Pearson combine for a give and go that sends Ylonen in all alone. He fires it just over the crossbar, but the 24 year old continues to impress and doesn’t belong on the fourth line. Even putting him on the third line with Sean Monahan could provide some scoring depth for the team.

Meanwhile, Pearson has been pretty quiet when it comes to hitting the scoresheet but remains a smart, defensively responsible player that skates way better than I even expected and does not make many mistakes out there. It took an incredible pass to send Ylonen in alone and Pearson had the perfect touch on it. Could be a smart pickup for a contending team if the Canadiens become sellers later this season.

Gustav Lindstrom makes a brutal pass across his own blue line and it sends Barkov in all alone and he fires it past Primeau to open the scoring. You hate to see a goalie give one up because of his defenseman’s mistake. That one should go against Lindstrom’s GAA.

I know Joel Armia is still here but I think Jake Evans is the new Joel Armia. I love what he does on the penalty kill, he is great defensively, he even gets involved offensively often and creates plays. But he can go half a season without an actual goal like the best of them.

Slafkovsky made a great play to stickhandle between a couple of Panthers defenders and bring the puck into the attacking zone on the power play. A quick give and go sent him in on a scoring chance but he was in tight and just couldn’t get the handle quickly enough to get a good shot on net. He has come a long way already this season and is coming so close to breaking out and being a force offensively. It still might take a lot of time, but he is going to be really good.

Matheson took a nasty cross check from behind into the boards behind his net but there was no call. A few minutes earlier Jayden Struble was high sticked and even though he was bleeding it was a two minute penalty. I just don’t understand how referees can’t apply simple rules.

Speaking of Struble, he has only played 5:22 after 40 minutes of play. That’s an interesting number to keep an eye on. He doesn’t get much special teams and there were a lot of penalties in the second period but still, not many defensemen in the league play the 8 minutes per night that he is on pace for right now.