Lowly Montreal comes back against Bolts

by Gary Shelton on April 3, 2022

in general

Cirelli scored a shorthanded goal./ TIM WIRT

Sunday, 4 a.m.

The Montreal Canadiens weren't much to look at coming into the rink Saturday. The scouts didn't go crazy.

But, despite the measurables, the Canadiens were relentless. They were fast, and they were stubborn, and they didn't worry about what the scoreboard said. Despite their shortcomings, they found a way to win.

Yeah, that's Marty St. Louis' team, after all.

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Montreal, under interim coach St. Louis, stunned a sloppy Lightning team, 5-4 in a shootout. The Canadiens are the worst team in the NHL, but overcame two two-goal deficits and a one-goal deficit in the third period to win.

The Bolts lost despite being at home, despite Brian Elliott playing a solid game in goal, despite two power-play goals and a shorthanded goal. How? The Bolts constantly gave up odd-man rushes to Montreal, which cost them in the end.

"Mentally, we made a lot of really bad mental mistakes," said coach Jon Cooper. "It’s too bad. We’ve got to fight through this. You can’t make those mental mistakes we made tongiht. It’s all the way through our lineup.

"We made egregious mental errors. The odd man rushes were inexcusable. I don’t doubt our team’s work ethic, but sometimes, our mental judgement can be questioned. Something's going wrong if you lose while you're scoring four, and if you still lose when you score four and your goalie is the best player on the ice, something went wrong in your game."

Frankly, the Bolts were lucky to get a point out of the night. They didn't score in the third period, in overtime, and they missed all three of their shootout attempts. Brayden Point, Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos all scored goals in the game, but none of them could convert in the shootout.

Elliott stopped 27 of 31 shots, but his defense let him down.

"Too many odd-mans (rushes)," Point said. "Moose had way too many big saves. Just missed assignments. I don’t know if it was fatigue or not, but we were just sloppy tonight."

The Bolts are now tied with Toronto for second place in the Atlantic Division. The Maple Leafs come to town Monday night for a 7 p.m. game at Amalie Arena.

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