Jordan Weal stood in the left faceoff circle and waited for a pass from Joel Armia.
The puck came directly into the wheelhouse of the right, stopped it and looked for its place, but shot it directly from the crossbar and out of action.
In the second period, Armia was parked in front of the net and the great striker from Montreal Canadiens removed a backhand from the outside post.
In the third game, teammate Nick Suzuki punched a puck in the slot, picked it up, and had a gaping net that Detroit Red Wings goalkeeper Jonathan Bernier swam around his knee in a very vulnerable position. Suzuki couldn't believe the result.
"It should be safe online," he said afterwards. "I don't know, I'm still shocked that I didn't put it in. He's got his block on it, but I definitely had enough room to put it in."
The Canadians had 43 shots on the net. They weren't all of the highest quality, but they registered enough good ones to run away with more than one goal – and certainly more than zero points in the overall ranking.
Instead, they suffered a 1-2 loss to a Detroit team that came to the Bell Center with just eight wins in 31 games and only one in the last 13 games.
The Canadians could not believe this result either.
Talk about missed opportunities. This is a Montreal team that are now 7: 8: 2 against teams that do not hold playoff positions, and the result, according to the grand scheme of things, can have a devastating effect on their own playoff hopes as of April.
"During the first two periods we were more or less soft," said Claude Julien, Canadiens coach, after the game.
Not exactly what you want to hear about yourself when you are a player who powers it out night after night, but it is difficult to dispute if you check the tape.
The brisk Red Wings had an easy pass on the ice in the first 40 minutes, they won the majority of the duels, although they had lost the gunfight decisively, and then led 1-0. Dylan Larkin stripped the strong Canadian Shea Weber off the puck and fed an untested Tyler Bertuzzi for an easy goal.
We asked Julien on Saturday morning what his message to his team would be before we faced this oppressed Detroit group.
"You played very well against Winnipeg (a 5-2 win against the Jets on Thursday)," said the coach. "They are a good skate team, they move the puck well. They came here at the start of the season and played a really solid game. I thought they played really, really well. Although we may not have been in top form, they were really good So there are all reasons in the world to take these guys seriously, and if you believe in parity – what we do – there is no reason to take these guys lightly. "
We wouldn't go as far as to say that the Canadians actually took the Red Wings lightly, but our opinion about them isn't as important as theirs.
"We need to find ways to win these games," said Weal.
"We haven't tested your goalkeeper enough," said Brendan Gallagher, Canada's deputy captain, who denied two (undeniable) penalties in the offensive zone – including one with a 3:32 lead and the Canadians with a 2-0 lead.
We think this is the case, but we will not argue that the Canadians did not find the end point on the net in the first 59 minutes and after a change – against the most generous team in the NHL ,
The former Red Wing and current Canadian top scorer Tomas Tatar scored a goal 47 seconds before they reached Montreal, but it was not too late.
Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman talk to a lot of people in the hockey world and then tell the audience everything about what they heard and what they think about it.
After the game, steam came from the ears of the Slovaks in the dressing room in Montreal.
A few moments later, Julien stood on the podium in the Bell Center conference room and said that another home defeat that brought Montreal's record 8: 8: 3 in front of her fans was unacceptable.
"We really are not in a bad position (Canadians are third in the Atlantic Division and three points behind Buffalo Sabers in second place)," said Julien.
But then the coach offered this sobering thought: "We also have to be aware that there will be some teams at some point (the Toronto Maple Leafs are tied and the Tampa Bay Lightning are two points back). Hand) that will catch fire and I want this to be our team. There is a battle there. We are not in a bad position, but there is a real battle in which there is something moving in the overall standings every night and we are in the situation that if we do not win regularly we will slide down. And I want us to consistently win a little more so that we can advance.
"I think that's the pressure every team in this league has to go through now. It's what it is; there is nothing like:" Let's just play 82 games here and it'll be all right. " Every night is a big night and every win is a big win, so we have to see it that way and make sure we are ready (on Tuesday) to get back on our feet in Vancouver. ”
The Canucks game will be the first of seven games on the road for the Canadiens. You know that things are only going to get more difficult from that point on.
It is what makes a loss like the one on Saturday so difficult to digest.