The Montreal Canadiens played their best game of the series, and still walked away with a loss. That’s how hockey works sometimes. They now head back to Boston for essentially a best of three series.
Bad bounces can happen. We’re likely to say that a bad bounce cost Montreal the win with Douglas Murray on the ice. But what if one of the two Boston posts went in? No bad bounce. People tend to overlook good fortune when bad fortune costs them a win.
The third period was their best but were unable to beat Tuukka Rask. It was the first time that the Canadiens scored less than three goals in a game.
I saw someone say on Twitter that when Michael Bournival and Lars Eller are your best forwards, that’s not a good thing. I tend to agree. It’s nice to have them contributing but you need your big guys like Thomas Vanek, Max Pacioretty and Tomas Plekanec to be great too. Plekanec has the worst Corsi among forwards.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the Douglas Murray experience is no more for Game 5 but I also wouldn’t be surprised if it isn’t. He had several big hits but was constantly hemmed in his zone and was on the ice when the winning goal was scored. He was also a 16.7 per cent Corsi which is really, really bad. Shawn Thornton, for example, was 25%.
People might gripe on the fact that he cost the team the game. He didn’t. You can’t win a game where you don’t score. However, being hemmed in like he was means that there was no offence generated with him on the ice, either.
Last year, Jarred Tinordi played in the playoffs and didn’t look horribly out of place. I am wondering if he or Nathan Beaulieu will get a chance to play in this series. I think that they would not be any worse than Murray or Francis Bouillon had been. Either one would have Mike Weaver to teach them as well.
Going into Boston and having to win one game is not an ideal scenario but they have improved their play in the last two games and the Canadiens have been a very good road team this season. It may not be a stranglehold, but I’m also not throwing dirt on their grave just yet.