Canadiens: 24 Thoughts On Habs Near Miss In Game 30

Dec 16, 2023; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens Joel Armia.
Dec 16, 2023; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens Joel Armia. / Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
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Second Period Thoughts

The Canadiens penalty kill remains a work in progress. Even though they killed off the first penalty of the night last night, they were in their own end with the puck being zipped around the whole time while the Islanders created scoring chance after scoring chance. With all due respect, the Islanders power play isn't littered with Hall of Famers, but they looked like it against the Habs passive penatly kill.

Is there a worse second line in the league than Sean Monahan with Jake Evans and Josh Anderson? Monahan created a few chances on his own early in the second period, but it just feels like there is no chance of the puck going from Evans or Anderson's stick and into the back of the net.

I know injuries play a role into the Habs lack of offensive attack, mostly the absence of Alex Newhook and Kirby Dach, but isn't there someone better than Evans to play on a second line? Jesse Ylonen? Joshua Roy? Grabbing Jakub Vrana off waivers? Anything, please!

Gallagher makes a nice little play to create a Joel Armia goal to open the scoring. Gallagher rams into his opponent and knocks the puck loose, then as another Islanders comes in to claim the loose puck, and Gallagher falls nearly, the Habs gritty veteran just pokes the puck away from the opposition and into open space in the offensive zone. Armia collected it, pulled it to the forehand and wristed a shot over Varlamov to give the Canadiens a 1-0 lead.

Josh Anderson has finally beaten an NHL goaltender to score a goal. First time that has happened since he redirected a puck on March 13, 2023 and put it past Alexandar Georgiev.

I can't believe the Canadiens once offered Sebastian Aho a five year contract with a big cap hit to be their first line center. He looks like a depth defenseman at best.....

Anderson decided waiting nine months to score a goal on a goaltender was a bit too long so he waited about nine minutes this time. He drove to the net with some reckless abandon which is exactly what a big power forward is supposed to do and he bangs in a rebound to make it 3-0. More of that please.

Slafkovsky got in on the forecheck, worked the puck to Suzuki who made a perfect pass to Caufield who ripped a one-timer and found the back of the net. I am copying that last sentence because I plan on using it an awful lot in the next decade. Love to see that line finally get rewarded for their great play of late.