Montreal Canadiens: 24 Thoughts On Habs Looking Uninterested In Game 35

Dec 30, 2023; Sunrise, Florida, USA;  Florida Panthers center Eetu Luostarinen (27) scores a goal
Dec 30, 2023; Sunrise, Florida, USA; Florida Panthers center Eetu Luostarinen (27) scores a goal / Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports
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Second Period Thoughts

Nick Suzuki took a holding penalty early in the second period and I hope the Canadiens were taking notes on how to run a power play from the Panthers. Sam Bennett carried the puck the length of the ice and gained the attacking zone with possession which allowed everyone to set up. None of this drop pass from the red line which forces three guys to stand still and wait for something to happen. Then the Panthers just fired the puck around, rotated players around the perimeter until an opening appeared and fired a wrist shot on goal that ended up in the back of the net.

Maybe they were taking notes? The Canadiens next power play saw Cole Caufield carry the puck into the attacking zone, move around from his usual spot in the "Ovechkin area" to the front of the net where Nick Suzuki got him the back and he backhanded it over the Panthers goaltender into the net to tie the game.

The Panthers scored yet another power play goal but it was called back on an offside review. I know it worked for the Habs here but these offside reviews are kind of ridiculous. They had to put 42 seconds back on the clock because the Panthers had possession in the offensive zone for that long before scoring. Did the fact they were an inch offisde before entering the zone directly lead to the goal? Or would they just have entered the zone a couple of seconds later and set up the same play for nearly a minute before scoring? I'll stop complaining now because it went the Canadiens way, but that just seems weird.

One thing is for certain after that review and that is David Savard would make a fine linesman when his playing days are done. When the play in question happened at the blue line, Savard had his arm up in the air to signal offside and he was already down by the goal line.

Sometimes Jesse Ylonen makes a nice little play with the puck and then I remember that Jesse Ylonen is playing. He gets such little ice time, with Michael Pezzetta and Mitchell Stephens but has shown enough promise that he could become a two-way threat in the middle six. Why isn't he playing with Sean Monahan instead of Jake Evans? Seems like the 24 year old winger could become a second or third line winger that scores and kills penalties while we know Evans ceiling is as the fourth line center.

Jesse Ylonen made a brutal turnover at his own blue line which resulted in a great scoring chance that Allen needed to handle. That's the kind of mistake young players are usually hammered for but you would hope Martin St. Louis has some patience for Ylonen. Although, he doesn't seem all that interested in playing Ylonen anyway so that play could be costly for him.

Is it out of line to say Jayden Struble is a bigger Francis Bouillon? Great skater and stronger than anyone seems to realize but Struble is a few inches taller which works to his advantage. He is also 17 games into his career and 22 years old so there is plenty of room for him to develop into something much more.

Twice this period Juraj Slafkovsky nearly turned the puck over right in front of his own net. I know that's kind of a big no-no but he did maintain control both times and cleared the zone. You don't want a young player to get too risky out there, but this is a guy who seemed scared to touch the puck at all last season so the high risk plays are kind of refreshing because it shows a high level of confidence at least.