Smoke and mirrors.
However you want to describe it, they got the job done Friday night at the Bell Centre with a 6-2 victory over the LA Kings.
The Kings dominated in the shots department (46-20) and had the puck for the entire game. But it didn't matter because the best player for the Canadiens was their goaltender Carey Price.
"We totally dominated the first period... Carey Price was really good, wasn't he?" Coach Darryl Sutter remarked after the game.
In what was a sensational game, Price was beat twice, once by Jake Muzzin on a play where he never saw the puck because Andre Markov couldn't clear Trevor Lewis from the front of the net. The other was a laser off the stick of Drew Doughty.
"Price wins games for this team all the time," said Doughty. "We wanted to get pucks to the net and as you saw in the third period we eventually started putting pucks behind him."
So the Habs make it two in a row, with victories over two teams that should be in the playoffs come April. Perhaps the hockey gods wanted to even out games where they deserved a better fate (Buffalo and Chicago.) Whatever the case, Montreal is now just one point out of top spot in the Atlantic division of the NHL.
It wasn't pretty, and if the Canadiens play like this every night, it's not a recipe for success.