Montreal Canadiens: 24 Thoughts On Habs Falling Flat vs Predators

Dec 10, 2023; Montreal, Quebec, CAN;
Dec 10, 2023; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; / David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports
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Second Period Thoughts

Gallagher was held up and hauled down just a few seconds into the second period but the refs must have decided not to call everything during the intermission because far less was signalled a few times in the first but this one is not a call, Unless, they just rememebered the no calls on Gallagher rule.

I told you that you can only hope to contain Sissons and the Canadiens are unable to do that. They get caught with all three forwards a little too high in the defensive zone and Sissons is able to pounce on a rebound and snap it past Allen to double the Predators lead. Both of these teams did play last night but the Preds look a lot sharper and are winning a lot of the little battles for pucks.

Jayden Struble isn't necessarily having his greatest game with the Canadiens but he is stepping up to initiate body contact a little more often. It was a staple of his game in college and he hit to hurt back then and will continue to do so at the NHL level once he gets his timing perfected. I do find it interesting that he is still in the lineup now that Arber Xhekaj and David Savard are healthy.

It is just one game but it leads to the bigger discussion of which defenders do we see stick around long term? If Struble continues to stake his claim to a role it is bad news for every left shot defender not named Lane Hutson and Kaiden Guhle. Some interesting and tough decisions to come by next offseason but there should be an exciting player or two coming back to Montreal.

The Predators got a bench minor for unsportsmanlike conduct which is something you do not see every day. There are a couple of magic words that can elicit that reaction from a ref but since this is a family website we will not be listing them all here.

One thing I find wild about the NHL is that checking from behind is not an automatic penalty. Struble just got hit right on the numbers into the glass with a pretty severe degree of impact. He is big and strong though so he just jumped back up and therefore there is no call. Had he been shaken up on the hit like Justin Barron a night earlier there would have been a major penatly called. Why is the call so strictly tied to the degree of injury on the play?

Joel Armia thought he scored to make it a 2-1 game but upon further review, Gallagher was near the net so it was called goaltender interference. Actually, Gallagher kind of pitchforked Jusse Saros pad and pushed it into the net before Armia slid in the puck so the no goal call does make sense in this case.

Knowing the Canadiens could ahve really used that goal before the end of the period, Jake Evans rips home a backhander for his first goal since opening night of the season. Smart player, good defensively, makes stuff happen out there and is finally rewarded with a goal.