Needing a shootout to top the lowly Buffalo Sabres might not silence your critics, but the bottom line was that the Montreal Canadiens were just happy to get a victory last night, as they told the Canadian Press.
“Let’s face it, we needed it,” P.A. Parenteau said. “After those two performances we had on our home ice, any kind of win was going to be good tonight.”
Indeed, things were looking pretty ugly for the Habs. They came into Wednesday on a three-game losing streak, including being outscored 11-2 on home ice against the Calgary Flames and Chicago Blackhawks. Max Pacioretty said “we want to see some good vibes in the room,” so distancing themselves from those two ugly defeats should help.
All that aside, it’s glaringly obvious that the Canadiens have a lot of work to do.
The good news is that they’ve managed a 9-4-1 record; Montreal’s 19 standings points is second only to the Anaheim Ducks and tops the Eastern Conference. The Habs’ -8 goal differential succinctly argues that Montreal is lucky to be in this situation, though.
To start off the season, the Canadiens managed to steal some comeback wins. Five of their victories came via shootouts and only two wins were by multiple goals. Their possession stats rank in the lower third of the league.
Plenty of signs point to Montreal’s strong start being a mirage, yet there’s enough talent on this team to picture them turning things around. At least some Canadiens realize that there’s a lot of room for improvement, too.