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The Canadiens were up against a good team: obviously, they played well.
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

You know as well as I do: when the Canadiens face a good team, they play well. And when they play a bad team, they play poorly. That’s usually the case, at least.

And this week was a good example.

Yes, I know: the Habs lost to Boston (the good team) and won against Columbus (the bad team) in the last few days. But the Montrealers played (quite) better yesterday than they did on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, against Columbus, Martin St-Louis’s men outplayed Pascal Vincent’s for six minutes and then took the rest of the night off. Except for Cayden Primeau, of course.

But yesterday? Despite the loss, the Habs held their own against Jim Montgomery’s men.

In reality, it may not have started well, but the home team quickly got back on track. The defense may not have had the best start to the game, but it quickly got back on track.

And it didn’t take long for everyone to get their wings.

This allowed Samuel Montembeault to snatch a point from the Bruins in a 2-1 overtime loss. The Canadiens’ goalie wasn’t the busiest of the bunch (24 shots, including just five in the second period), but he got up at the right moments – except in overtime.

He deserved a better fate after redeeming his last outing against Boston. He had allowed eight goals, for those who had forgotten.

He may have been helped by his teammates, but that’s what hockey is: a team game. He didn’t have to do it all alone, but he did his part for his teammates.

Note that he hasn’t won a game since the Jake Allen trade, although he did well against Toronto and Boston. Cayden Primeau and the Devils’ new goalie did, however.

But that’s not all there is to remember about the game against the Boston Bruins. What else should be noted about yesterday’s game at the Bell Centre?

Here are a few notes.

1. Joel Armia is playing well. Defensively, he’s doing the job he’s asked to do, and he really seems to be in a good place mentally. It’s the Habs who benefit.

Once again, the Habs gave nothing away shorthanded. The club, as Jonathan Bernier points out, is on an 18-game PK streak without giving up a goal.

2. More than one game in two this year has ended in less than a goal (38) for the Habs. It’s a sign that the club is competing.

The club had so many chances to score that Juraj Slafkovsky thinks they shouldn’t have gone into overtime. Normally, the game would have ended evenly in the Flanelle’s favor against the Bruins, who lacked legs.

3. Seeing that Rafaël Harvey-Pinard, who isn’t having the season of his career, has been rewarded with playing time on the Habs’ big power play is good for him.

It also sends a message to Alex Newhook and the others: playing time has to be earned.

4. Nick Suzuki has 26 goals so far this season. He scored the only goal of the game for his team, courtesy of trio-mates Cole Caufield and Juraj Slafkovsky.

Incredibly, he leads the Habs in goals and points and leads the forwards in assists (Mike Matheson has 38) with a 26-26-62 record. He’s developing really well.


This morning, the Canadiens will fly to Calgary in preparation for tomorrow night’s game. A training session is scheduled for the afternoon. The guys will have a chance to get used to the altitude.

We’ll see if the Habs travel with 14 forwards. Will Joshua Roy be with the club (he deserves it) or will he return to Laval?

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