The Montreal Canadiens bounced back from a loss against the Pittsburgh Penguins with an impressive 4-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues.
The Canadiens won the possession battle against a team that many would put among the best teams in the league.
I’ll be honest, I thought that the Canadiens would be over matched and was expecting the worst against a Ken Hitchcock coached team that has some incredible young offensive talent.
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Some of that talent was on display all night. Vladimir Tarasenko scored the Blues opening goal and almost set up another on a beautiful tip pass that had the entire Bell Centre crowd gasping.
Dale Weise got the scoring going for the Canadiens when he intercepted a Kevin Shattenkirk pass and beat Jake Allen. Max Pacioretty then scored the next two with two goals off of quick wrist shots that Pacioretty is known for. It was also his birthday and he had a couple of chances to get the third goal but the hat trick just eluded him.
Lars Eller got the opportunity to score against his former team to make the score 4-1 on a pretty passing play with Jiri Sekac and Brandon Prust. That line continues to get scoring chances as Eller and Sekac just have some great chemistry. Alexei Emelin also made a beautiful play to create the rush. Yes, you read that right.
It seems that the Jaroslav Halak curse has been lifted against the Blues now that he is no longer in St. Louis.
I always looked at the standings and the Canadiens being on the top was kind of an unexpected surprise. Sure, they are winning, but I never actually thought they are one of the best teams in the league. Losses against Chicago and Pittsburgh proved that. This win changes things a little bit.
They beat a very, very good team. And they did it while playing very well and winning the possession battle. After a rough start to the third period where they were hemmed in their end, they fought back and scored two goals.
Another positive sign: P.K. Subban had a positive possession game (59 per cent Corsi) despite only starting 25 per cent of his even-strength shifts in the offensive zone. He has struggled to get good possession numbers and this was a solid game for him.
The Canadiens four games in six nights against Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Boston and the Rangers was always going to be a tough stretch. Starting 1-1 instead of 0-2 should give them a bunch of confidence going forward against Boston on Saturday.