Montreal Canadiens: 24 Thoughts On Habs Falling Short In Game 42

Jan 13, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Edmonton Oilers goalie Stuart Skinner (74) makes a save against
Jan 13, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Edmonton Oilers goalie Stuart Skinner (74) makes a save against / Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
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Second Period Thoughts

Roy made another good defensive play early in the second period. He got into the right position in the slot and after Montembeault made a save that resulted in a rebound, Roy wisely just cleared the area by swiping the puck out of the slot, right out of the zone, but avoided icing the puck at the same time.

Why don't NHL refs ever call goaltender interference anymore? It seems like ever since they started using replay on goals that were a result of goaltender interference that they forgot there is an actual minor penalty they can call for the infraction. Zach Hyman skated into Montembeault's crease, pinned his skate up against Montembeault's, knocked the Canadiens goaltender to the ice, then stepped on him and there was just no call. Insanity.

Rafael Harvey-Pinard and Brendan Gallagher are perfect linemates. I don't think Gallagher has much offense left, and I think RHP has a lot more than we have seen, but they have very similar playing styles and RHP can learn a ton about how to play the game by being on the ice with Gallagher and seeing the veteran's work ethic and smarts in action.

The Oilers took over the play for a while in the middle of the second period. It seemed it was always McDavid with the puck. This guy is simply not fair as he is impossible to stop. It is like a video game out there, except I can't do what he does in video games anymore. It is like the NHL 94 video game with Jeremy Roenick out there.

Speaking of the Oilers taking over play, they didn't find the back of the net by the halfway point of the game because Montembeault made a handful of great saves. He does look a lot more calm and composed in net than he did even last year. I still can't say I am sold on him being a starting goalie at the NHL level when the team is competing, but he does continue to improve and his confidence grows as well.

Jake Allen (remember him?) must be watching this game and wondering if he will ever get in the crease again. Montembeault keeps denying the Oilers superstars and has a three year contract extension, Cayden Primeau has looked really good this season aside from one bad period against the Florida Panthers and is just 24 years old. Allen is nearly a decade older and has the worst numbers of the three Canadiens goalies this season.

The Canadiens hosted the San Jose Sharks who had lost 12 in a row and looked awful against the league's worst team. The Oilers arrived at the Bell Centre on a nine game road trip and somehow headed to the dressing room for the second intermission down 1-0.

We talk a lot about the Canadiens young defense but they still rely on their two veterans to play a ton. Mike Matheson and David Savard lead the way after two periods with nearly 15 minutes of ice time each. The Canadiens will get some interesting trade offers for these two guys in the next eight weeks but will they really pull the trigger?