Michael Pezzetta only stepped onto the ice for a little less than nine minutes on Thursday night in Ottawa, but he was the one who best summed up the Canadian's situation.
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“To go from good to very good and become a playoff-bound team, you have to get consecutive wins,” he said upon returning to the locker room.
When the longest win streak in a season ends at two, we know there's still plenty to eat before we head into April and May. In its mid-season review, Le Journal was right to highlight inconsistency as an issue that needs to be resolved to get “the game” into the playoffs.
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In a little less than three weeks, Martin St-Louis' troops missed two opportunities to continue their winning streak.
First, at the start of 2024, when brilliant performances against the Stars and Rangers were replaced by a dismal performance against the Sabres. After the same win against the New York team, the Montrealers avoided games against the Flyers and especially against the poor Sharks.
And now, on Thursday, after surprising the powerful Avalanche team and the Devils, he was demoted by the Senators.
Good or bad omen?
How can the Canadian survive against the leading formations and collapse against those of his level? The Sabres, Sharks and Senators are all behind him in the standings. This is one of the great mysteries of life.
Some will have noted that on two of those occasions, Nick Suzuki and his teammates played a second game on as many nights. That's true, but it's the reality that the 32 teams in the Bettman circuit are dealing with.
“That’s the league and it’s not going to change. You have to get used to it and find a way to win,” noted Mike Matheson.
With a record of 1-8-0, the Habs have the third-worst record in the NHL in the second game of a two-on-two series.
If we do the math beyond that, we find that had the Habs been able to take advantage of these confrontations against these weaker teams, they would currently be in the playoff picture, right up there with the Lightning and Red Wings.
If the trend of playing well against the superstars continues, we can expect the Canadian to score big against the Bruins on Saturday night. In addition, his players will be rested as they had a full day off on Friday.
But the victory at the TD Garden in Boston has been almost a miracle for two years. Jim Montgomery's Montreal team has only lost three regular-season games on the ice this season. Last year she only lost four times.
Special teams change the game
The Habs will help their cause if the special teams can get the job done. Another element highlighted by Le Journal in its mid-season review. An observation that Kent Hughes also pointed out.
Montreal's massive attack was perfect twice against the Avalanche. That changed the game in this win. However, at the end of a game there is too often a 0 in the power play column. This has happened six times in the last eight meetings.
Additionally, the Habs have picked up at least one ranking point in nine of the last 11 games in which the massive offense moved the needle at least once. In the same sample, the Canadian has only scored at least one ranking point five times when his massive attack is blocked out.
Considering the Bruins' penalty-kill units rank third with an efficiency percentage of 84.6%, exploiting Boston's indiscipline will be no easy task (the Bruins are the second team to give the most to opponents). numerical superiority).