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In Hainsight: Defenseless

March 17, 2023, 12:15 PM ET [256 Comments]
Karine Hains
Montreal Canadiens Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Follow me @KarineHains for all updates about the Montreal Canadiens and women's hockey

When Mike Matheson scored 16 seconds in, Habs fans though for the shortest of time that it was going to be a good game for their favorites but the illusion was short lived. A couple of minutes later, the Panthers tied things up and less than a minute after that, they took the lead. The teams traded blows until it was 3-3, Sergei Bobrovsky giving 3 goals on the first 3 shots he faced while Montembeault was yanked after allowing 3 goals on 6 shots. With Allen in net from the 6th minute, the Habs allowed 4 more goals to close out the period with a score of 7-4.

Harvey-Pinard scored to open the 2nd frame, but the Panthers counter attacked with a pair of goals which marked the end of Jake Allen’s night as Montembeault skated back to the crease. From then on, only Rem Pitlick would add a goal and the final score was 9-5 Florida. Let me be clear here, this was in no way shape or form on the Canadiens’ goaltender. After the game, head coach Martin St-Louis said: “Defensively, we like, forgot everything” he added “we know how to defend, but tonight, we forgot everything”. To be honest, had I been St-Louis, I would have pulled both of the goalies, the result would have been the same, but at least the skaters would have been held accountable.
Once more, offensively, the Laval call-ups played a big part with RHP, Richard, Pezzetta and Pitlick all getting a goal, but as St-Louis said, there’s no point in scoring if you can’t defend. It takes both to win. Still, this is a rebuilt and Canadiens’ fans should consider themselves lucky there hasn’t been more blow outs like this over the course of the season.

While the loss doesn’t really matter, something really irked me, in the final frame, Kaiden Guhle left the game favoring his knee, not the one he injured just after Christmas in the very same building, the other one. With a score of 9-5, somehow, he still came back into the game. Why? We’ve heard time and time again that players must be protected from themselves and yet, with the game already lost and meaning absolutely nothing, Guhle was allowed to go back on the ice. Anyone who has dealt with knee injuries will tell you that unless your ligament is completely ruptured, it doesn’t feel that bad right away, but the next day? That’s when you can assess the real extent of the damage, that’s when you realize you can’t straighten your leg or bend it fully either. Maybe it was just a scare, but why take the risk? I just don’t get it.

The Habs will wrap up their road trip on Saturday against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night. The Bolts went through a rather tough stretch after the trade deadline losing a lot of games, but they’re now back in the swing of things having won their last 2 games for a 4-4-2 record in their last 10 games. After that game, the Habs will head back to Montreal and they’ll host the Bolts on Tuesday night in the second part of this home and away series.

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