He knows it’s may not be a realistic expectation, but that doesn’t stop him from pulling out all the stops to give his team the best chance to win.

That meant pulling the goaltender with more than five minutes remaining while trailing the division-leading Panthers 4-2 on Thursday night. The Canadiens managed to close to within one goal when Paul Byron scored with the extra attacker and the bold move that would have been unthinkable under previous coaches had the Bell Centre faithful feeling so good they cheered until the final horn.

Mike Hoffman said he wasn’t surprised that St. Louis pulled out all the stops.

“You need two goals to tie it up so you have nothing to lose,” Hoffman said. “Regardless if there’s two minutes, four minutes, we had a faceoff in the offensive zone and that’s what you’re looking for.”

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