Monday, September 26, 2011

25/09/11: Boston 7, Montreal 3; Habs fall to meaningless 1-4-0

Again, preseason losses aren't something to panic about. In fact, they should be looked at as learning opportunities to fix problems with parts of a team's game or address certain weakensses. But certainly no one would have set out the script for the Montreal Canadiens' exhibition calendar to begin with a 1-4-0 record.

What went wrong last night in a 7-3 loss to the Boston Bruins? What didn't? The score was not reflective of the play, with Peter Budaj - who played the full 60 minutes in goal - admittedly not having his best outing.

But that's not to blame him entirely for the loss. The Canadiens took a few too many chances, including young defenseman Nathan Beaulieu who likely played his worst of the three games he's been in, though still moved the puck well for much of the night.

The team also couldn't finish a number of their own opportunities, most notably a Brendan Gallagher sweet move early in the second the resulted in a puck clanking off the post. Gallagher may have been the team's best forward in the loss, again showing that he oozes with potential.

Aaron Palushaj continued on his productivity streak from Saturday, following up on his 2 assist performance with a goal and a helper last night. After a horrible first part of camp, this recent spurt may allow him to stay with the club through the remaining exhibition games instead of being a part of the cuts coming Monday night or Tuesday.

Yannick Weber is doing little to inspire confidence in his spot in the top 6. While Alexei Yemelin hasn't been blowing anyone away, he has been far more solid and stronger than the Swiss defenseman and looks to be well ahead of him in the depth chart. With no shot of making the team this year and playing in his first preseason game, Morgan Ellis may have actual been the team's best d-man last night, playing in front of many family and friends as he is a native of Prince Edward Island and plays for Cape Breton in the QMJHL.

The Canadiens next preseason game is at home tonight against the same Bruins. Canadiens prospect Michael Bournival is recovered from the knee injury he suffered during camp and expected to make his preseason debut.

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