For the first thirty minutes, it was awfully quiet in the Bell Centre. Considering how it’s usually the loudest barn in the league, there just was nothing to get excited about.
Les Canadiens would end up walking away with their first preseason loss to the Washington Capitals tonight, and had it not been for the outstanding effort of Carey Price, the game may have been uglier.
There are a few takeaways from this match as we get closer to the beginning of the regular season which opens October 8th (against the Maple Leafs).
It’s clear that the veteran players are ready to play. Tomas Plekanec, Max Pacioretty, Andrei Markov, and PK Subban all had solid games.
Alex Galchenyuk had an exceptional night in his new center position, and Brenden Gallagher didn’t let up on his speed or movement to the net all night.
The two biggest positives came from the exceptional “mid-season style” play from Carey Price who once again did everything to give the team in front of him a chance to win the game. It was his first 60 minute outing of the year. The other positive takeaway came from the faceoff circle, where Les Tricolore dominated. At the midway portion of the second, the Habs were 63% at the dot. An area they struggles in last year.
But le Bleu, Blanc, et Rouge just couldn’t seem to open up against a much tighter checking Caps team – an improved look for Washington, who’ve generally shown a more open ice style of play. That resulted in a pounding when it came to shots on goal. By nights end, the tally was 31-18 in Washington’s favour.
Everyone knows it’s hard to win hockey games when you’re outshot nearly 2-1.
There were some poor choices that lead to penalties, that had they not been taken, would have substantially improved Montréal’s chances, and when having the man advantage, once again, the power play unit couldn’t get the job done.
There is also some buzz around the Jared Tinordi hit on Nate Schmidt in the later portion of the game. Tinordi received 5 minutes each for elbowing and fighting, plus a game misconduct. If you haven’t seen the hit, check it below and leave your comments.
It is likely irrelevant to the big picture as Tinordi will most likely be getting his marching orders back to Hamilton as early as this evening. However, if he were to face supplemental discipline, it could have an effect on a call up later in the season if it was required.
Montréal will now start preparations to face the Chicago Blackhawks Tuesday night.