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In Hainsight: A Touchdown in a Beatdown

February 11, 2024, 9:41 PM ET [554 Comments]
Karine Hains
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I won’t bore you with a rundown of what happened in today’s disaster; it can be summed up pretty easily, the Canadiens were just not good enough. Not defensively, not offensively, not in net and the “tiredness” excuse shouldn’t suffice to justify such a performance. Granted, the Canadiens are a rebuilding team, but no team should be humiliated like that on home ice.

Losing the game wasn’t the worse loss this afternoon though, a little over five minutes into the first frame, Jordan Harris lost his footing behind the net facing the board and started falling just as Sammy Blais decided to hit him. As a result, Harris’ head got most of the hit and it was a double whammy when his head hit the ice. The young defenseman did try to get back up, but he was so groggy that he couldn’t manage to do so. To be honest, he looked like Bambi trying to learn to walk in the old Disney movie, it was hard to see. In the post-game presser, we heard he would be day-to-day for now, but I wouldn’t expect him to be back too soon. He needed help to get off the ice and clearly was concussed, there is absolutely no reason to rush him back in a lost season.

As if losing one blue liner wasn’t enough, the Canadiens also lost Kaiden Guhle when he was bodychecked in the corner, and he fell immediately showing some signs of distress. As expected, the sole update we got after the game was that he was still being evaluated by the team doctors. It could have been a shoulder, an elbow or even a rib injury. At least it’s not a lower body one considering how often he’s had some of those.

If the decision to play Jake Allen was made to showcase what he can do, the team should have been given the memo because leaving him high and dry like that didn’t do any favors. Today, the Canadiens probably lost two defensemen and all Allen suitors (if there were any to begin with I guess).

The silver lining, if you want to see it, and you really have to want to see it, is captain Nick Suzuki’s goal in the first period extended his point streak to seven games while the assist Slafkovsky got on a play extended his own point streak to five games. After the end of the match, Montreal also announced that Rafael Harvey-Pinard would be out for four to six weeks with a lower body injury. Pretty good news all things considered; I thought his season was over.

The Canadiens will be back on the ice to take on the Ducks on Tuesday night. Until then, they’ll have time to watch the horror movie this game was, call-up some help on the blueline and hopefully, do their mea culpa before moving on from this debacle. Now, get those wings ready, the Blues’ touchdown was only the first of the many forecasted today. As a neutral, I only want to be entertained, go Chiefs and 49ers!

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