Hockey Costs

Young Canadians make costly mistakes in loss to Wild

Minnesota 4, Montreal 1. Kaprizov scores twice for the Wild and the Canadiens finish the first 10 games with a 5-5-0 record.

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ST. PAUL, Minnesota — The Canadiens passed the 10-game NHL season mark Tuesday night in Minnesota.

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They weren’t playing very well, but they weren’t terrible either.

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The result was a 4-1 loss to the Wild that broke the Canadiens’ record to 5-5-0. The Wild improved to 5-4-1 after an 0-3 start.

Did anyone predict the young, rebuilding Canadiens would win five of their first 10 games, especially with veteran defensemen Mike Matheson and Joel Edmundson both out this season?

I did not mean it.

Kirill “The Thrill” Kaprizov scored twice for the Wild, while Mason Shaw and Matt Boldy added singles. Nick Suzuki scored a power-play goal for the Canadiens, who outshot the Wild 35-31. Jake Allen was in net for the Canadiens and Marc-André Fleury for the Wild.

The Canadiens kept fighting to the bitter end, as they have done regularly since Martin St. Louis took over as head coach from Dominique Ducharme last season, but they ended up losing for the first time in this road trip after winning at Buffalo and St. Louis. .

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Last season, the Canadiens were 2-8-0 after 10 games en route to finishing with the worst record in the NHL (22-49-11).

After Tuesday’s morning practice, St. Louis was asked to rate their team’s performance so far this season.

“I’m just really proud of guys just for finding ways,” he said. “There are no perfect matches. Hockey is a game of mistakes and we make a lot of it. But our good is really good too. I’m really impressed how good our good is. So I feel like we’re further along than I thought. As for something we need to improve, I wouldn’t say it’s one thing in particular. I think game to game the game speaks to us a bit and we try to address where I think the biggest concern is. But I wouldn’t say it’s a particular thing.

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The Canadiens made mistakes against the Wild that cost them dearly.

After a scoreless first period in which the Canadians outshot Minnesota 15-7, Shaw opened the scoring for the Wild at 1:09 of the second when he managed to break away from the defender Johnathan Kovacevic just enough to bounce Allen off the ball with one hand. legs.

Less than two minutes later, Joel Armia of the Canadiens took what turned out to be a costly penalty for goaltending interference with Kaprizov scoring a power play goal at 3:29, standing in front of the net and deflecting a pass after coming in behind defender Kaiden Guhle.

Kaprizov made it 3-0 at 14:55 of the second after getting in a two-on-one with Marco Rossi after Guhle caught himself on the ice.

The Canadiens’ young defensemen have played very well this season, but there will be some tough nights and this was one.

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The Canadians didn’t give up and Suzuki scored his fifth goal of the season at 13:30 of the third period to cut the Wild’s lead to 3-1. It was the Canadiens’ third power-play goal in the last two games after scoring just one in their first eight.

Boldy sealed the Wild’s victory with an empty-netter at 16:52.

“We showed times where we were bad,” St. Louis said before the game. “But what I like is that we haven’t been bad for a long time. We have some time in the game where we lose it, but we don’t let it slip away. We bend, but we don’t break. I think that was important. When the teams are rushing at us and it looks like it’s going badly, I think we find a way to figure out how big the next change is and now we pick it up and start from there.

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“When it’s gone wrong and you’re down, well, now you start,” added the coach. “That’s how we build. You build through a game, you build through a season. There is nothing you can do about what just happened that is wrong. You have half a period or half a game left and that’s what we’re focusing on. I think the band was really good at doing that.

The Canadiens wrap up their four-game road trip Thursday in Winnipeg against the Jets (8 p.m., TSN2, TSN3, RDS, Radio TSN 690, 98.5 FM).

A win there would send them home with a 3-1 record on that trip.

No one would have predicted this.

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