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In Hainsight: Snake Bitten Offense Falls to Markstrom

November 15, 2023, 2:19 PM ET [210 Comments]
Karine Hains
Montreal Canadiens Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Follow me @KarineHains for all updates about the Montreal Canadiens and women's hockey

Yesterday, the Habs honored newly inducted member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, Pierre Turgeon by adding him to their ring of honor. In a throwback to the opening of the Bell Centre, Turgeon got to lift the torch he carried to the Canadiens' new home back in 1996. He received a nice ovation and his speech set the tone for the game.

The Canadiens dominated the Flames for much of the game, but their anemic offense caused their downfall. Jacob Markstrom multiplied the saves, only giving up one goal even though the Habs peppered his net with shots. The netminder made 34 saves and finished his night with a .971 SP picking up the first star of the game in the process.

The talk of the town right now is that Josh Anderson cannot score to save his life. He hasn’t scored a single goal since the start of the season and the pressure is mounting every time he misses a chance. The truth of the matter is, Anderson is not the only one who cannot find the back of the net. Tanner Pearson hasn’t scored in 11 games, Cole Caufield has got five goals, but four of them came on the power play…his last even strength goal was on October 14th, the Habs home opener. Rafael Harvey-Pinard is still looking for his first goal.

Anderson is understandably fed up with the situation and even mentioned that he could perhaps use a different stick to shake things up, those are the words of a man who’s out of ideas to change his luck. This dry spell is even more surprising when you go back to the preseason, since he had scored three goals before the real season began. I understand that Martin St-Louis wants to stand by his players and believes that eventually, the goals will come, but until then, it might just be time to try a new formula. Why not take Anderson off the first power play unit and give someone else a chance in the prime real estate he occupies on the first wave? It could be a huge confidence boost for someone like Slafkovsky for instance.

At even strength, why not try some new combinations? I know that Christian Dvorak is performing well since he integrated the line-up, but the points are not coming. Slafkovsky and Caufield seem to have started developing some chemistry, why not give them another center and see if it sticks? Sean Monahan has been by far the Canadiens’ best forward since the start of the season, why not use him to try and spark some production from the team’s sniper Cole Caufield? You don’t want to break up the Pearson-Monahan-Gallagher line? Granted, they are playing well, but there isn’t that much production there either and who’s to say other wingers wouldn’t produce more if they had the opportunity to line-up with Monahan.

Montreal has got a couple of big tests coming up. On Thursday the defending champions, the Golden Knights, will be in town and on Saturday, they’ll go to Boston to play a second game in as many weeks against the big bad Bruins. Today, the Habs will be skating in Brossard at 11:30 and for once, I’d really like to see some line combinations being tried out, it’s time to shake things up to find a way to produce at even strength, you can’t always really on your special units to win.

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