Lucky to play who they were playing against: Capitals beat Canadiens 5-2

A new coach for the Montreal Canadiens and a struggling Caps team is his first test. New magic trainer or new tragic trainer?

Joe Snively pounced on a terrible rebound for his first career NHL goal to open the scoring. Only twenty seconds later, Connor McMichael doubled the advantage. Carl Hagelin found one of his rare goals when he put the puck high on Cayden Primeau from a bad angle.

Rem Pitlick stuck in a loose puck to bring the Canadians to the board. Snively scored his second career goal, chasing Primeau out of the net. Cole Caufield beat Ilya Samsonov with a backhand.

Tom Wilson clears the net.

The Capitals beat the Canadians 5-2.

  • The Caps benefited from some terrible Montreal goaltenders to take a 2-0 lead and generally started the game well. The power play ruined that momentum as usual and the Canadiens got into the action more as the period went on, which is annoying because they’re a terrible hockey team. You want to see more after the two goals in just twenty seconds, which is not what we saw.
  • Joe Snively scored his first in the NHL. He’s the eighth rookie this season for the Caps to score their first, which would sound absolutely crazy to anyone like the “fronts” of COVID. In 2018, I would have thought half the roster was traded in a single offseason.
  • Martin Saint Louis is much less threatening behind the bench. This man has tortured the Caps for too many years. What a player he was. Let’s hope he’s a bad coach as long as he pilots this ship when the Canadiens face the Caps.
  • The Caps defense didn’t do well in the second. They didn’t take Canadians seriously at all and the laziness was evident. In no world should this Montreal team surpass you like they did with the Caps in this frame. 6-0 for Montreal in terms of high risk at five against five. It’s a joke.
  • Joe Snively’s second was much prettier than the first. He absolutely burned Jeff Petry with a nice inside move and passed Primeau who was left sliding in the wrong direction. He makes it clear that he doesn’t want to go back to Hershey.
  • Cayden Primeau showed one of the reasons the Habs suck this season. What an absolutely horrible performance from him with four goals against on 15 shots. He entered the game with an .874 save percentage and a 4.62 goals-against average, which will get worse after this one.
  • I literally don’t even watch the game if the Caps power play is on the ice. Better for my mental health.
  • The Caps did little or nothing in the third. Didn’t like the goals Ilya Samsonov conceded but he was tight in the third as the team in front of him stood tall. They were lucky to play who they were playing against. Yeah.
  • Some of the smoothest referees in a game I’ve seen this season. I disagreed with four of the penalties. Call it that and you should have 56 penalties every game.
  • This team is not playing good hockey right now, no matter how strong. It’s not fun to watch. We can only hope that this is just a crisis that turns around and soon.

Next up for the Caps will be a Super Bowl Sunday matinee in DC against the Ottawa Senators. Alex Ovechkin will be back in the lineup.

Screenshot via NBC Sports Washington

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