The Montreal Canadiens just have problems facing teams like the Ottawa Senators. One cannot say it is the lack of fans. However, Montreal dropped another tough game to Montreal by a score of 6-3. The twist in this tilt between rivals was how Ottawa stood up to Montreal. They were able to even defeat the Canadiens not only on the scoreboard but at even strength too. Yes, Ottawa took on Montreal at their biggest strong point and won.
The turning point in this game was the short-handed goal Ottawa scored to make the game 2-1. Connor Brown converted on the golden opportunity. Montreal scored to get back in this contest at 4-3 Ottawa after 40 minutes.
However, it was that third period where the Canadiens were expected to excel and deliver. They did neither. Ottawa out-chanced Montreal 5-2 when it came to high-danger scoring chances. Overall scoring chances were won by Ottawa by a 2 to 1 margin over the final 20 minutes. Ottawa stayed even with Montreal in the third period when it came to possession.
A defining and telling moment
There was that part of the game which definitely had an effect. Brady Tkachuk and Shea Weber “met”. That is about the nicest way in which it could be put. Anyway, let’s roll that footage a bit.
Watch it again: Brady Tkachuk vs Shea Weber from the Ottawa Senators at Montreal Canadiens game on Apr 3, 2021https://t.co/5S3OkyT1pS
— hockeyfights (@hockeyfights) April 4, 2021
Tkachuk’s insight was unique here but not surprising on his scuffle with Weber.
Brady Tkachuk – When fighting Weber you hold on for dear life. Fighting a guy bigger and stronger than me was something new. It was fun. I think we both thought it was fun.
— TSN 1200 (@TSN1200) April 4, 2021
Saturday night’s game was a complete contrast to what happened on Thursday night. Montreal cruised to a 4-1 win and this contest was in total contrast. Montreal could not answer the bell in the third period. Ottawa has now defeated Montreal four times this season in seven meetings. Their youthful speed combined with their ability to not know any better has driven the Canadiens nuts much like they always do.
It starts with Brady Tkachuk and the rest of the Ottawa Senators. Montreal just has problems facing this kind of tenacious team. This is different than the problems the Canadiens had with the Detroit Red Wings last year. Ottawa is a fast-skating team that can transition from defense to offense fast.
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So, for a Montreal squad that can dominate at even-strength play, Ottawa is just one of those teams that do not care for it. This is especially true when Montreal tries to assert its might. Brady Tkachuk and Ottawa would not have it any other way.
Montreal must be careful. These are the teams that the Canadiens should be able to beat routinely. Though they are 3-2-2 against the Senators, that is a troubling number. The Canadiens cannot afford to have history repeat itself. Otherwise, Ottawa may be last year’s Detroit all over again.