No Ben Chiarot, no Brett Kulak, no Jeff Petry, no Chris Wideman, no Artturi Lehkonen, no Brendan Gallagher. That’s four of their top-six defencemen since Martin St. Louis took over, a hard minutes matchup forward who was also putting up points, and a frustrated but still territorially dominant forward. Against the Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers, and Carolina Hurricanes, the Canadiens’ thin lineup was starting to show.
Against Carolina in particular, the Canadiens looked overmatched and a little tired. With a good chunk of games left on the schedule, I can’t be the only one who was wondering if things would start to get bleak again, because there’s only so much you can do when you’re dealing with so few high level NHLers. The fact is, these Canadiens just keep impressing with their backs against the wall.