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Fans could hardly love Lane Hutson more

Auteur: Dose
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Fans could hardly love Lane Hutson more
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

That’s it: the Canadiens’ season is over. Do you think it’s a shame or not?

The Canadiens ended their season with a 5-4 shootout loss. Martin St-Louis’s men once again squandered an early lead. That’s four times in a row.

In fact, yesterday, the Habs escaped three leads.

But what made the game so unique was the fact that, for the first time at home, Lane Hutson and Logan Mailloux were in uniform. They got to play in front of Habs fans.

It was Hutson’s second pro game after Monday’s, and Mailloux’s 71st, but his first in the NHL. And let’s just say they both looked good on the ice.

I don’t know about you, but it seemed like in the first period, Logan Mailloux’s name kept coming up in Pierre Houde’s description. He was very involved on the ice during his 7:43 of playing time in the first and his 21:14 overall.

He picked up an assist, but more than that, he was reliable.

It was clear that Martin St-Louis wasn’t afraid to use him (in a game that meant nothing, but still) as he was solid in his overall game.

He’s really progressed in Laval this season, and it shows. He’s also progressed in French, which is interesting.

But while there was more talk of Mailloux at the start of the game, it looked like Lane Hutson’s name was becoming more popular as the game progressed.

It’s nothing against Mailloux, but Hutson has that “P.K. Subban” feel to him on the ice. He’s got the it factor, in fact.

The more the game progressed, the more comfortable Hutson looked, because in the end, he was the story of the game. In his first NHL back-to-back , he had some quality chances, especially on the power play and in overtime.

And at several points in the game (which lasted over 23 minutes for him), he wasn’t afraid to demonstrate his knitting skills on the ice.

Seeing him dance like that clearly pleased the fans. Every time the diminutive defenseman picked up the puck, you could feel the Bell Centre holding its breath.

There was a collective “ohhhhhh” from the fans in the plaza every time Hutson got the puck and started moving like only he can at the Habs’ blue line.

Clearly, the fans have already adopted him.

Martin St-Louis liked what he saw from his defenseman, who found a way to pick up his second assist in as many NHL games.

We suspected that Mailloux had a chance of breaking into the Habs lineup next year, and his short one-game sample proved it… but many people wanted, just a few days ago, to see Hutson start next season in Laval.

That said, while we shouldn’t get too excited, I’m sure many people have changed their minds following the week’s games. After all, Hutson looked very good…

But that’s not all we’ll take away from yesterday’s game, which failed to save the Detroit Red Wings’ season despite the win. They’ll have a grudge against the Flyers, who are being accused of pulling their goalie for nothing against the Capitals yesterday.

So, what’s on my mind?

1. The Wings have shown resilience in recent days. Two comebacks against the Habs, including yesterday’s with seconds remaining, have kept the club alive in the playoff race.

The Capitals, however, were in control of their destiny and won (with a little help from the Flyers, as I said), eliminating the Red Wings from the playoff race.

But in the end, the comeback was good for Detroit, which kept itself in the race, for the fans… but also for Tankathon.

With the Habs chasing two points in the standings, losing in overtime means that Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton’s club is still close to the Coyotes in the standings.


The Senators’ win yesterday ensured the Habs couldn’t catch Ottawa, but the Coyotes are one point behind the Flanelle in the standings this morning.

The result? If the Habs want to finish 28th in the NHL, they must hope for at least one point from the Coyotes tonight (10pm) against the Oilers. This will be the last game in the franchise’s history in Arizona and at Mullett Arena.

(Credit: Tankathon)
In a worst-case scenario, the Oilers win on a regular basis tonight and two teams behind the Habs win both draft lotteries next month. In such a case, the Habs would draft eighth in June.

Unless he trades his pick, Kent Hughes won’t be able to draft any lower than that. And barring any bad luck, it should be higher than that.

2. Juraj Slafkovsky brought Hutson to the arena last night. The latter(who wants money for helping Slaf get his bonus) picked up an assist on Slaf’s 20th goal. It was the goal that allowed him to reach the 20-goal plateau and earn the $250,000 bonus provided for in his contract.

Early in the game, Cole Caufield clearly looked for him to score his 20th goal of the season.

Yesterday, Slaf had eaten the lion. The first line in general was very good, but he clearly wanted to finish his season strong. He did just that, collecting his 50th point (a goal and an assist in the game) and 20th goal.

Only he and Guy Lafleur on the Habs have ever had a season of at least 50 points before the age of 21. Still…

3. Nick Suzuki (33 goals, 77 points this season) and Cole Caufield (28 goals, 65 points this season) were also on the scoresheet yesterday: an assist for the captain and a goal for the scorer.

A fine end to the season.

4. Alex Newhook collected his 100th NHL point with a fine goal. It was started by Logan Mailloux and Brendan Gallagher also contributed to the former Avalanche’s goal.

Gally has five goals and three assists in his last five games this season. He’s proud to have finished the season strong – and healthy. The line Gally and Newhook form with Joel Armia finished the season strong.

5. Carey Price was present at the Bell Centre. He didn’t draw much attention to himself, and let’s just say his screen appearances were… rare. He did, however, take the time to make himself available to fans.

Cayden Primeau, who was in net yesterday, could learn from Price, who didn’t give away as many goals as Primeau did yesterday.


It’s locker emptying day in Montreal. As the season comes to an end, players and management will go before media representatives to take stock of the season.

After that, it’s all over for a few months.

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