Montreal Canadiens: 24 Thoughts On Habs Starting All-Star Break A Week Early

Jan 23, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens center Nick Suzuki (14) plays the puck
Jan 23, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens center Nick Suzuki (14) plays the puck / David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports
2 of 3

Second Period Thoughts

Do other teams do as much standing around on the power play as the Canadiens. It seems they are often just standing still and the puck carrier is stickhanling by himself and looking around for someone to do something but they do not. I have noticed the team's the Canadiens play against often just shoot the puck into the net when they have a power play but the Habs do not.

Jacques Martin is the head coach of the Senators and serves in that role for the first time since the Canadiens fired him in 2012. He was the Habs bench boss in a tight first round series against the Boston Bruins in 2011 where the Habs were missing Andrei Markov and Max Pacioretty but still pushed the Bruins to overtime in Game 7 before Boston went on a run to the Stanley Cup.

This weird "too many wingers not enough centers" lineup feels like my beer league team. Jake Evans just had a shift with Juraj Slafkovsky and Cole Caufield then Nick Suzuki took about half a shift before Evans was back out with his regular linemates. It is just an odd jumble that doesn't feel necessary.

Tanner Pearson made a nice pass to Evans in his first game back after a lengthy absence. Pearson last played on December 9th and brings some veteran experience back to the lineup that could use it after a couple of tough losses.

Joshua Roy made a ridiculous move in the offensive zone to stickhandle around a Sens defender and slide a great pass to Sean Monahan but the veteran completely fanned on the puck and didn't get a shot on goal. Roy did this stuff in the QMJHL, at the World Juniors, with the Laval Rocket and is now showing incredible puck skills and playmaking ability in the NHL as well. He's a big part of the future.

I know the top unit isn't dominating, but the Habs second power play unit included Tanner Pearson, Brendan Gallagher and Josh Anderson. What year is it again?

Joonas Korpisalo signed a large contract with the Senators last summer because no one else wants to play goal in Ottawa and he now has a 3.56 GAA with a .887 SV%. Imagine being jealous of the Canadiens current goaltender situation. Of course, the Canadiens did a great job of making him look great early on.

Recent 35 goal scorer Josh Norris cut to the net late in the second period, apparently with a step on Struble. The Canadiens defender just calmly leaned on him with the inside shoulder and reached out with one hand on the stick and knocked the puck cleanly away. He's a keeper. I don't know how the Canadiens reduce what they have to just six defensemen but Struble has to be one. And good on Norris for not taking a huge dive as he is wont to do.