The magic numbers were nine and seven: nine games since the Canadiens won their last game, and seven players out of the New York Rangers lineup to help Montreal finally get a win.
The contest meant nothing to the Rangers who rested almost half the team, and that helped as Montreal posted a 4-3 win.
It was 18 games since Jeff Petry scored a goal for Montreal. In this one, he didn’t just break the streak, he smashed it.
Two gorgeous Petry snap shots into the top corner won it for the Canadiens. The second goal was with the game tied at three with under a minute remaining. Petry looked top corner and he ripped it beautifully to his spot.
Also, a positive is that Nick Suzuki hit the 60-point plateau in the contest. That’s a good number for a team that had a hard time scoring this season.
It also has to be considered that Suzuki was often the only player going feeling the only line going, so the opposition could key on them with their best defensive forwards and their best defencemen. When everyone has eyes on only you, and you still get 60 points, that’s a great campaign.
Suzuki continues to grow as a complete player, and now he has found a linemate that he can mesh with for years to come in Cole Caufield. Hopefully, someone can gel in the coming seasons to fit nicely with them and they can be a number-one line that can excite for the next decade.
For now, it’s a celebration of breaking the streak and Petry upping his trade value in the summer with a strong performance on Broadway.
It’s unusual to be disappointed in a win, but a large part of the Canadiens’ fan base was quite unhappy that Montreal ended its nine game losing run.
Montreal could have guaranteed the worst overall record by losing in New York City, but the Rangers just didn’t have enough players to look even remotely like the Rangers. The result left the Canadiens tied in points with the Arizona Coyotes.
However, a funny thing happened on the way to a dramatic Friday night with it all on the line against the Florida Panthers. The Arizona Coyotes came back from a third period deficit of 3-0 to win in Dallas in overtime 4-3.
The win for Arizona sealed Montreal finishing 32nd of 32 NHL teams. The Canadiens will have the best percentage opportunity to draft first at 25 per cent. They have a 20 per cent chance to draft second. Oddly, though, their greatest chance is to draft third at 55 per cent.
The worst they can do is draft third, so they are going to get a high quality hockey player in this NHL draft. That’s the consolation prize on a most difficult season.
The Canadiens have two picks from the 2021 draft who hit the 100 point-mark in the Quebec Major Junior League this season.
The Sherbrooke Phoenix Joshua Roy has been getting all of the press, and for good reason. Roy leads the entire league in points with 113. He also is closing in on a 50-goal season with 47. Roy was a fifth-round pick, so this steal has Habs fans excited.
Getting a lot less press, but not trailing offensively by much is Riley Kidney. He was the better prospect on draft day as he was taken in the second round. Kidney had the milestone moment in his contest on Wednesday night as his first period assist was his 100th point of the season for the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.
It’s extremely difficult to project who will keep developing to become NHLers, but the Canadiens have two solid chances here. The regular season ends May 1st. Both Roy and Kidney have made the playoffs.