Montreal Canadiens: 24 Thoughts On Habs Weird Game 36

Dec 28, 2023; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Montreal Canadiens center Nick Suzuki
Dec 28, 2023; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Montreal Canadiens center Nick Suzuki / James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
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Second Period Thoughts

The Canadiens were able to kill off one penalty in the first period and it must have made them quite confident as Nick Suzuki takes an obvious hooking penalty early in the second period. The Canadiens look great in killing it off again. Who is this team?

Cole Caufield slickly steals the puck away from Stamkos in the Lightning zone and immediately fires it five hole to open the scoring. Goal scorers tend to be streaky and I think we may have seen the beginning of a hot streak when Caufield confidently roofed the puck on the backhand aaginst the Panthers.

Does anyone else think Stamkos will seriously consider signing with the Canadiens this summer? He would play for longtime linemate Martin St. Louis who pretty much showed him the ropes as a rookie NHLer and also probably play with a great playmaker like Nick Suzuki or Kirby Dach. Lane Hutson would feed him pucks on the power play. I don't know, but if the Lightning don't want to sign him, and they have had six months to do so already, then I think Montreal would make sense for him.

Josh Anderson gets in on the forecheck and absolutely rocks Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak. He then drops the gloves, as Luke Glendening came after him and Anderson left a couple of knuckle imprints on the Lightning forwards face. Anderson also got a minor penalty for charging on the play for some reason. His skates were on the ice when contact was made, he didn't accelerate into the contact and he didn't bring his arms or elbow up to make contact. It was just a big hit. NHL is the no hitting league.

The Canadiens scored the weirdest goal in NHL history. Montembeault stopped the puck and held on to for a couple of seconds but there was no whistle. He played it to Johnathan Kovacevic but everyone on the ice thought there must have been a stoppage of play. All five Lightning skaters were heading for the bench, even goaltender Johansson went for a bit of a skate into the corner and Kovacevic made a heads up play to fire the puck the length of the ice into the empty net. Credit to Montembeault as well as you could see him pointing and shouting to Kovacevic as he gave him the puck on that play.

The somewhat controversial goal seemed to give a shot of adrenaline to the Lightning roster. They were pretty sleepy fro the first half of the game but had a renewed energy after the refs reviewed the goal and counted it. But like, what were they even reviewing?

An aggressive pinch by Mike Matheson led to the first Lightning goal. He tried to cut the play off at the Canadiens attacking blue line but a short pass led to a 2-on-1 where Nic Paul found Brayden Point and the All-Star made no mistake as he broke in all alone and fired the puck over Montembeault's glove.

Montembeault completely whiffs on a Lightning pass that doesn't connect and rolls toward him. He tries to play it to the corner but just misses it and then it hits his pad and goes into the back of the Habs net. Ahhh those hockey gods making sure the Canadiens didn't get away with one in that period.