Alessandro De Luca
Habs weekly recap: Major lineup change ahead?
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Another rough weekend for the Montreal Canadiens, losing 5-3 to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, and 3-2 to the Ottawa Senators on Sunday.
Key contributors continue to underperform for the Canadiens.
Canadiens forward Paul Byron finishes a body check on Leafs d-man Morgan Reilly. Photo courtesy of @canadiensmtl on Instagram.
Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews’ point streak was extended to 16 games, scoring two goals on Carey Price and adding an assist as well. The Leafs currently have the best ranked power play in the league, and this was on full display Saturday night. Victor Mete took two penalties, which both led to goals for Toronto.
The Habs did have a goal that was waved off in the second period. It seemed as though Jesperi Kotkaniemi pushed his stick into the pad of Leafs goaltender Freddy Andersen, however it was never fully clear whether or not that caused the puck to go in. The goal was reviewed, and declared a good goal, but was then challenged by Toronto. After the refs reviewed it once again, the call was overturned, and the goal did not count. What the refs saw in the second review that they did not see in the first one remains a mystery. This angered many fans, causing some Instagram users to express their disapproval of the NHL officiating, one user writing “Get new refs” on the NHL’s page.
Sunday’s game against Ottawa was a must-win, however fans were left disappointed. After Perry’s highlight reel goal tied the game 2-2, it seemed like the Canadiens had a chance at winning. Unfortunately, an underwhelming performance in overtime cost the Habs the game. Jake Allen was superb, but that couldn’t make up for the laziness that was displayed by the players.
Key contributor Phillip Danault remains goalless this season. Jonathan Drouin, who had to leave the game early after being hit into the boards by Mike Reilly, has also struggled find the back of the net, with just one goal in 17 games. These are some of the many players who need to step up for the Canadiens if they plan on making it far this season, especially with Toronto being nine points ahead of them. Seeing as though there are guys like Ryan Poehling and Michael Frolik who are part of the taxi squad and have yet to suit up for a game this season, many fans hope to see a lineup change soon.
Montreal currently sits fourth in their division, which is a drastic drop from the first place spot that they held not too long ago. They play their next game on Tuesday February 23rd against the Senators.