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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Third Period Thoughts

I guess I can cancel that emergency search for a second line winger now that Anderson scored twice in the second period....

The Islanders played the previous night, and were down four to start the third period last night, so you expect the Canadiens to be able to kind of put it into cruise control for 20 minutes. They have not earned many points the easy way this season though, so they could pull a Columbus Blue Jackets and blow a five goal lead in a hurry.

And just like that the Canadiens, on the power play, allow the first goal of the third period to make it 4-1. Brock Nelson just beat Mike Matheson wide and got a clean shot off while shorthanded that beat Montembeault.

Justin Barron made a high risk play and turned the puck over at the top of his own crease. Kaiden Guhle got caught on a similar play in the Habs last game. That pairing has a ton of potential, but they need to learn to make quicker reads and keep things safer in their own end at times. Moving slowly from behind your own net to the front of it is a high danger area and turnovers can never happen there.

The Islanders get another one as Noah Dobson, who is rapidly becoming an elite defenseman, sets up Brock Nelson at the side of the net and he taps it in. I did say the Canadiens never get points the easy way, and now they have just a two goal lead with 16 minutes to play.

Alexander Romanov played a ton of minutes for the Islanders with some of their top defenders out with injury. He still looks like the same Romanov we knew in Montreal which is to say he is a physical presence and a quick skater, but he doesn't look any better offensively. Essentially swapping him for Dach still looks like the right move, especailly with so many left defenseman on the Canadiens.

Second line center Jake Evans loses a faceoff, loses his man defensively, and the Islanders pull within one as a Noah Dobson shot is stopped and Bo Horvat buries the rebound. Emergency search for a second liner is back on!

Christian Dvorak scored into the empty net to ensure the Canadiens avoid embarassment. Suzuki made a smart play to get the puck to Dvorak in open ice instead of just hammering it around the boards from his own zone. With the, the Canadiens win the rematch of the 1993 Eastern Conference Finals 5-3.