Montreal Canadiens: 24 Thoughts On Habs Holding On For Win In Game 31

Dec 18, 2023; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Montreal Canadiens forward Josh Anderson
Dec 18, 2023; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Montreal Canadiens forward Josh Anderson / Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Third Period Thoughts

Refs seem to be desperate to make a few calls. The Slafkovsky one was weird and at the start of the third period Justin Barron gets a holding penatly for battling with Nik Ehlers along the boards. I don't understand the refs desire to get involved at all. There is nothing there, just keep watching the game.

Armia made another great defensive play on the penalty kill. It looked like the Jets had a tap in goal but Armia tied up the Jets forward enough to delay a shot from getting off. When the shot was finally taken, Allen was in place, but didn't need to make a save as Armia blocked the shot and cleared it away from the net.

Justin Barron got into a bit of a battle with Jets forward Morgan Barron. I played one year of Midget A hockey with my brother and we still talk about all the shenanigans almost 20 years later. These guys are battling it out in the freakin National Hockey League. Pretty cool to see.

Seriously though, if the Habs eat about $1 million of Armia's contract, wouldn't a good team that can't kill a penalty, like the New York Islanders, give up something for him? Nothing crazy of course, but like a third round pick? For a team that desperately needs help killing penalties, it makes sense.

Sean Monahan lost his man in front of the Canadiens net and Cole Perfetti used the open space to bury a rebound and tie the game at two. Monahan is usually on point in the defensive zone but he lost his way for a second there. The Jets were all over the Canadiens for the first half of the third period and get rewarded for all that pressure.

Remeber the weird 2020 Covid postseason where there was a play-in round to see which 16 teams made the playoffs? I remember many fans being kind of upset the Habs beat the Penguins in that series because they ended up picking 16th instead of like 9th. Had they picked 9th, Cole Perfetti and Marco Rossi would have been the logical choices. Instead, they had to "settle" for Kaiden Guhle. I'd say it hasn't held the team back.

Justin Barron got the last laugh against his older brother as he fired home the game winner on the power play in overtime. Some cross-ice traffic created by Suzuki and Caufield changing places in the offenisve zone opened up some space down the middle and Barron used it to step up and beat Connor Hellebuyck over the glove.

The Canadiens now have 32 points in 31 games and are two points back of a playoff spot? All this talk early in the season about trade deadline selling and top picks in the upcoming draft and the Canadiens are kind of chugging along without Dach and Newhook. It's been impressive.