Game Recap: Canadiens vs. Lightning; Few Thoughts

On the back of a 3-goal night from the captain, Tampa Bay defeats the Canadiens 7-1 - Photo courtesy of ESPN.

On the back of a 3-goal night from their captain, Tampa Bay defeats the Canadiens 7-1 – Photo courtesy of ESPN.

Stamkos ties entire Buffalo Sabres team in shots-on-goal for the day while adding 3 goals in a rout of the Canadiens.



The most prolific goal scorer over the past 4 seasons struck in a big way on Monday as the Lightning made the Canadiens look like the 1974 Washington Capitals.

Victor Hedman, Ryan Callahan, Ondrej Palat and Vladislav Namestn…something, also scored for Tampa Bay in a game where Carey Price certainly wasn’t at his best. Brendan Gallagher buried the lone goal for the Canadiens in a penalty-filled affair.

5:24 into the opening frame saw Victor Hedman score on a soft backhand through a rugby scrum of players in Price’s crease. Last year’s Vezina Trophy snub went for a very unnecessary skate to the benches and botched a clearing attempt that hit Nikita Kucherov directly in the stomach. This led to utter mayhem in the Canadiens’ zone. At one point, Namestnikov had his head in a very questionable place between Price’s legs. After a mad scramble the puck popped out to Hedman who was wide open in the slot because Rene Bourque wasn’t very interested in the idea of a collapsing strategy. Somehow the NHL managed to award specific players assists and they went to Kucherov and Namestnikov.

Nathan Beaulieu took a confusing interference penalty at 8:59 and Stamkos promptly capitalized for his 1st goal of the season but this Lightning fan couldn’t care less.

Tampa Bay Lightning's Steven Stamkos celebrates his goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Montreal Canadiens in Tampa, Florida - Photo courtesy of Hockey Inside Out

Tampa Bay Lightning’s Steven Stamkos celebrates his goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Montreal Canadiens in Tampa, Florida – Photo courtesy of Hockey Inside Out

Hedman flung a pass to Stamkos on the half-boards who quickly fed Callahan on the right post. He made a quick half spin to force the puck to the net but was denied by Price and Mike Weaver. Fortunately for Stamkos the puck kicked around in a couple skates and eventually slid out to his lethal blade where he buried the 1st of two powerplay goals on the night. Every Montreal Canadiens player saw this happen and did very little to prevent it.

Shortly after Tampa made it 2-0, the Canadiens celebrated their only goal on the night. At 9:51 Brendan Adam Mathew Gallagher redirected a perfect feed from Jarred Tinordi over Ben Bishop’s glove. Gallagher began the entire play by being born in 1992, followed by playing for the Vancouver Giants, then being drafted in 2010, leading to him winning an offensive zone faceoff against that long, confusing named player on the Lightning. Weaver followed it up with a tape-to-tape pass to Tinordi who intelligently demonstrated poise by waiting for Gallagher to get in a good position before firing a shot-pass that he tipped in. Hope was there for a comeback.

Montreal was severely out-shot in a 1st period once again: 12-5.

At 3:48 of the 2nd period this happened to Jiri Sekac and now he hates the NHL. It also brought back memories. It seems like this kind of thing happens a lot to the Canadiens; every player doubles as a goaltender, apparently.

Fast-forward to 13:15 of the 2nd period when Steven Stamkos made it 3-1 for the Lightning. After being pursued by Alex Galchenyuk and nearly losing possession, the back of the Lightning net helped lead to Hedman’s gorgeous 114-foot pass directly on to Stamkos’ tape who somehow managed to split Andrei Markov and P.K. Subban. The Lightning captain made a backhand-forehand deke to beat Price between the legs. This was Hedman’s 3rd point of the night.

After Subban took an interference penalty on Hedman, Stamkos completed the hat trick. From the half-boards, Filppula slung a pass back to the point and Hedman fed Stamkos at the top of the right circle. Stammer wasted no time and fired a slapshot that beat Price short side thanks in part to a Callahan screen. The only positive the Canadiens can take from this goal is that it allowed the fans to see a shot of Stamkos’ 22-year-old sister, Sarah Stamkos, in the crowd. 4-1 Tampa Bay; Filppula and Hedman registered the assists and I’m officially tired of writing “Hedman”.

Carey Price was on the bench with a lot of facial hair to start the final frame. He hasn’t been kind to Fantasy Hockey team owners.

Lightning Ryan Callahan celebrates goal on Monday, October 13th against the Montreal Canadiens – Photo courtesy of

6 minutes and 26 seconds into the 3rd period saw the Lightning go up by 4 goals. Matt Carle, while pressured, harmlessly dumped a puck off the boards and out of the Lightning zone. Ryan Callahan gathered the puck at centre ice and then helped make Subban feel a lot worse about his game. A quick move to the backhand was all it took and Callahan made a strong move around Subban to beat Tokarski far side along the ice on Tampa’s 3rd shot-attempt of the period. Carle got the only assist on the goal and the Canadiens officially stopped trying everywhere on the ice.

17 seconds later defenseman Stralman weakly slid the puck into Montreal’s zone and it caromed off the boards and then the side of the net out front. Weaver misread the play and ex-Ranger Brian Boyle was the beneficiary. His one million-foot long reach helped him gather the puck and throw it on net where Ondrej Palat happily buried the rebound for the 6th Lightning goal on 27 shots. Weaver is still wondering how the puck ended up on the other side of the net. Tokarski is confused. Boyle and Stralman were credited with assists on the pathetic goal.

The bleeding didn’t stop there.

With 3:05 left in the 3rd period, the guy with the confusing long name scored his 1st of the season to put Tampa Bay up 7-1. With Brett Connolly pressuring, Tinordi mishandled a puck in front of Carey Price and it slid into the corner. Manny Malhotra attempted to clear the puck off the boards but it was weaker than Tim Hortons coffee. Namestnikov knocked it down and fired a shot 30-feet wide. A trend continued when a Montreal Canadien was beaten to a puck by a Tampa Bay Lightning. Kucherov managed to get to the puck before any Canadien and threw a great pass to that guy who buried it short side. The lone assist went to Nikita Kucherov for his 2nd point of the night.

Montreal then provided some humour with these two penalties that occurred simultaneously.

Nothing went right. At all.

Nothing went right. At all.

Final: It doesn’t matter.

The Canadiens were outshot 41-17 in this game. That isn’t very close.

Few Thoughts

  • The special teams have been rather atrocious. Not only has the powerplay not converted, it hasn’t even really come close.
  • Mistakes are bound to happen with a young-ish core; take the good with the bad. It’ll benefit the club in the long run.
  • Pacioretty looks disinterested with zero confidence (this coming from his biggest fan). His breakaway against Bishop proved that. He had 2 goals, 3 points and 16 shots in his first 4 games last season; he has a goal and 10 shots this season.
  • Stralman’s kick save on Jiri Sekac changed this entire game.
  • It seems like the 4th line exists solely to play in the defensive zone.
  • Even in this loss, Galchenyuk and Plekanec’s chemistry is front and centre.
  • Stamkos scores a lot against the Winnipeg Jets.
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