The Montreal Canadiens have won seven of the last ten games, and three of four in the last week. Their recent success is due, in part, to the play of Charlie Lindgren. The Habs have been without Carey Price since their loss to Minnesota on November 2. Adding to their woes, on Saturday, the Canadiens announced that Al Montoya suffered a concussion and is out indefinitely.

Montreal Canadiens News November 13: Habs Winning Despite Injuries

Scores and News

The Canadiens started a six-game, two week home stand on Tuesday against the Vegas Golden Knights. The Habs skated well. After allowing two early goals, goaltender Maxime Lagace finished a strong game. Vegas came back and nearly tied it. Thankfully, Charlie Lindgren played an amazing game and stood on his head in the third period. He held on for his first win at the Bell Center.

The Habs had bad puck luck and two goals disallowed against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night. They still took 41 shots and had the lion’s share of the scoring chances. They were undone by a Jason Zucker hat trick. Indeed, their 3-0 loss was a disappointing end to an otherwise decent effort.

Finally, the Habs beat Jack Eichel and the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night. They won 2-1. They won, this time, in overtime. Captain Max Pacioretty scored his career 10th regular-season overtime goal. The goal moved him past Habs greats Aurele Joliat and Howie Morenz. He has the most overtime goals of any Montreal Canadien player, ever.

Commentary

Goaltending Woes

In a week of injuries, the mystery of Price’s injury stood out. The Canadiens are on record as stating the injury is not related to a previous knee injury. It comes at an odd time.

At the time of writing, the situation surrounding Price’s “minor lower-body injury” was still wrapped in mystery. The last game Price played was against the Wild in Minnesota on Nov. 2 and the Habs’ all-world goalie was quite simply terrible that night, one of many nights this season that he’s looked like one of the worst goalies in the league.

As LWOH’s own Nick Lariviere points out, the Habs goaltender has been among the worst in the league. But for the recent inspired play of Charlie Lindgren, the Canadiens have been built based on an assumption of elite goaltending.

If the Habs can’t depend on elite goaltending, it complicates the entire basis for the team as currently constructed. If and when scoring dips, good goaltending will be the difference between sneaking into the playoffs or being a candidate to do well in the draft lottery next year.

Galchenyuk in Focus

At the Last Word on Sports, three writers delved into Alex Galchenyuk, his play, and the likelihood he will be traded. Jeff Diemeke points out that  Galchenyuk’s inspired play and the Habs need for him to produce means he will likely receive more ice time.

Galchenyuk has made the improvements in his game to merit more ice time. Now is time for the organization to reward him. More ice time equals more confidence, more confidence equals more opportunities and more scoring. More scoring equals more wins, and that’s what it’s all about.  This weekend was a good start.

Last Word on Habs pod hosts, Connor Lapalme and Johannes Wheeldon hashed out Galchenyuk’s place within the Habs organization. Connor focused on the value of keeping Galchenyuk, his offensive upside, and the potential Claude Julien could work his magic to help develop him into the sort of player Marc Bergevin wants.

Johannes argued that Galchenyuk is likely to be traded. Whatever his on-ice defensive lapse or off-ice challenges, he is the only player with trade value. With a team with holes at center and defense, someone has to go.

Twitter Takes

Omar White, summarized some fan hot twitter takes in a multi-page post for the folks at Fansided. Some think the Habs should trade Carey Price; Others think the Habs should fire Marc Bergevin. Habs Twitter believes the organization should not give up on Alex Galchenyuk at center. Despite being a knowledgeable fan base, fans in Montreal are not above veering into the irrational from time to time.

Habs and the Paradise Papers

The Canadiens are among 3,300 Canadian organizations to be named in a massive leak of records from offshore law firm Appleby. The leak, known as the Paradise Papers, lists companies that may have benefited from offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda designed to avoid paying domestic taxes. The organization issued a statement to CBC’s Valerie Ouellet, saying that its accounts were “in full compliance with the existing Canadian tax legislation.”

Predictions and Previews

After going 2-7-1 in the opening 10 games of the campaign, the Canadiens are on a 6-2-0 run and now sit one game under .500 at 8-9-1. Next week marks American Thanksgiving. It is a time with major ramifications for the NHL playoffs. As CBC put it, conventional wisdom says American Thanksgiving is “a mark on the calendar where essentially the playoffs are decided.” The Associated Press published a report last year showing that between 2005-2015 teams in a playoff spot entering the holiday have gone on to make the Stanley Cup postseason 77.3 percent of the time.

Previews

The Habs need to keep winning this month to have a shot at a playoff berth. They play all their games at the Bell Center this week.

The Habs face the Columbus Blue Jackets Tuesday. Game time is 7:30 pm EST.

The Arizona Coyotes are in town on Thursday. Game time is 7:30 pm EST.

The Canadiens face their regional and divisional rivals, the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday. Game time is 7:00 pm EST.

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