RECAP | Jets – Canadiens: Habs ‘Aren’t Quitting’ Says Coach

Canadiens Lineup

Forward lines

Tomas Tatar – Phillip Danault – Ilya Kovalchuk

Artturi Lehkonen – Max Domi – Nick Suzuki

Ryan Poehling – Jesperi Kotkaniemi – Nick Cousins

Jordan Weal – Nate Thompson – Dale Weise

Defence pairings

Ben Chiarot – Shea Weber

Marco Scandella – Jeff Petry

Victor Mete – Cale Fleury

Goaltenders

Carey Price – Charlie Lindgren

Scratches

Brett Kulak, Lukas Vejdemo

Injuries

Paul Byron, Jonathan Drouin, Matthew Peca, Joel Armia, Brendan Gallagher

Game Report

There are some very good things happening with the Habs

Once again tonight, Carey Price was the best player on the ice. Price made three 10-bell saves in the second period alone including shutting down a 2-on-1 by Kyle Connor and Mark Scheifele. Price continues to keep his team in games as he made his league-leading 35th start tonight..

The Canadiens are getting secondary scoring with Chiarot, Lehkonen and Petry providing all of the goals for the past three games. Since his goal streak, Max Domi has gone dry in the past three and was mostly invisible tonight.

Montreal’s number one centre, Phillip Danault, has no goals and just one assist in his last six. Perhaps not coincidentally, the Habs losing streak extended to six games with a loss to the Jets.

There will be growing pains with young players on the roster. Nick Suzuki and Cale Fleury each made mistakes that led to goals against. But then these players do something that makes your head turn.

Ryan Poehling and Jesperi Kotkaniemi have also been doing things that make folks smile, well most people but maybe not the head coach. Strangely, Kotkaniemi managed just two minutes of icetime in the first period tonight. And Poehling, who has been playing well despite learning a new position, did not break the 10-minute mark in icetime tonight. Nate Thompson took his spot on the third line for several shifts.

Oh, and what of the GM’s distraction that appeared after the five-game losing streak? Kovalchuk played a fine game, showing that he is happy to be back playing hockey in a major market, recording an assist in just over 19 minutes. Bell Centre fans, seemingly desperate for something to cheer about, gave Kovalchuk a loud ovation for a 70-foot wrister during his first shift.

“I’ll give more chances to cheer name,” promised Kovalchuk.

But the general manager is desperate too. Marc Bergevin has repatriated an NDG defenceman and signed the aging first overall pick from 2001. Now the Canadiens losing streak stands at six.

What is his next move?

Plus / Minus

▲  Carey Price, Ben Chiarot, Tomas Tatar, Shea Weber, Artturi Lehkonen

▼  Nick Suzuki, Max Domi, Victor Mete, Jeff Petry, Marc Scandella, Nate Thompson