The Montreal Canadiens have been again in Columbus, Ohio, for the second time in per week, after dropping a high-scoring affair final week. This time the sport was utterly totally different as each golf equipment took care of their very own zone significantly better.
Montreal received it 3-1.
This was no-event hockey for the primary 24 minutes of the sport. Lastly, pleasure got here within the type of back-to-back breakaways for the Blue Jackets. Each have been clear-cut breakaways with no Canadiens defenceman to be discovered.
Mathieu Olivier was stopped after which Gustav Nyquist was thwarted. Each have been excellent saves. Samuel Montembeault let in 5 the week earlier than in Columbus, however on this one, he was attempting to ensure he didn’t once more really feel the trauma of that cannon repeatedly pounding in his ears.
The Canadiens have a goaltending battle this season with the winner to this point surprisingly Montembeault over Jake Allen.
Allen’s taking part in two of each three, however Montembeault has the .915 save proportion whereas Allen’s has fallen beneath .900 to .898. It has taken Montembeault, who was extremely touted as a third-round draft decide, to seek out his method into the NHL, however in his second safe season on the age of 26, he’s changing into dependable, and he could possibly be the Canadiens’ appropriate backup for the close to future.
It’s laborious to think about Montembeault because the go-to man when the Canadiens are vying for playoff collection wins, but when he maintains a .915 as a backup, that’s completely acceptable. Definitely at 26, age is on his aspect, and now that he has discovered his method, it appears as if he’s getting higher and higher.
Goalies that determine it out at 26 have a few years forward of them nonetheless. Montembeault solely must consolidate this extra because the season progresses to show this pattern dimension into an even bigger one.
Juraj Slafkovsky had a reasonably robust recreation on Tuesday evening when he obtained his first probability ever to play as excessive because the second line. Nevertheless, he was dropped again to the fourth line one evening later. Slafkovsky remains to be studying and generally you possibly can clearly see the errors.
A very good instance is when Slafkovsky obtained a clear search for a shot on the facility play, however didn’t have his mind or stick able to shoot when an ideal go got here. He wanted to be within the prepared place to fireplace it, like Cole Caufield at all times is primed to tear it.
Slafkovsky can be good at occasions to create such excessive hopes. The Canadiens tied it due to an Arber Xhekaj objective that was keyed by two excellent Slafkovsky moments.
Firstly, it was his excellent go that arrange the frenzy into the offensive zone. Because the strain continued, it was Xhekaj with the purpose shot that was screened as a result of Slafkovsky was timing a fly-by previous the goalie. Very good smarts from the 18-year-old in that second. He obtained an help for his effort.
Montreal took the lead on a David Savard objective. Caufield confirmed the dynamic nature of his recreation with a win of the offensive zone then a go to Kirby Dach, who fed it into the crease the place it caromed off Savard.
Dach has 17 factors in 20 video games for the Canadiens. The primary line that appears to contribute each single recreation contributed once more on the sport winner.
The sport was in search of a objective and the column was in search of a goat, and each have been discovered early within the third interval when Mike Matheson made a horrible giveaway. Matheson had the puck in his personal zone and appeared to have time to make a smart move.
He flipped the puck 40 ft hoping that one way or the other Joel Armia may get to it, nevertheless it wasn’t even shut. Olivier skated in entrance of the weak try and stole it simply. He fired a wrist shot previous Montembeault for 1-0 Blue Jackets.
Aside from that, it was a good recreation from the Canadiens who needed to play significantly better defensively after permitting seven in opposition to Buffalo.
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A lot was anticipated of the Laval Rocket this season, nevertheless it’s going poorly to this point with the Canadiens prime affiliate in second final place within the North Division.
It’s actually fairly straightforward to determine what went mistaken this 12 months and why expectations are usually not being met.
It’s the lineup. There have been so many gamers that have been anticipated to return to Laval to dominate within the AHL, however they received jobs within the Nationwide Hockey League as a substitute.
Think about if Arber Xhekaj, Kaiden Guhle, Jordan Harris, Justin Barron, Corey Schueneman and Jonathan Kovacevic have been manning the blue line for Laval. That will be formidable, and the targets allowed can be low in Laval, as a substitute of second worst in the complete 32 staff league.
Additionally, in internet, Cayden Primeau has not been in a position to comply with up his excellent Calder Cup playoffs with a powerful common season. His save proportion is a disappointing .895. He was .936 within the playoffs final 12 months. Losses in hockey begin with sub .900 goaltending.
On offence, Laval hoped to promote tickets on the again of the Juraj Slafkovsky pleasure, however he additionally has been too good for the AHL.
The reality is that when consultants assess the deep prospect pool that the Canadiens have, together with all these in faculty hockey, junior hockey, and in Europe, there’s the chance that not one participant in Laval proper now will ever be a daily on the Canadiens.
The very best hope to be a daily NHLer is Justin Barron on defence, however he must play higher. On offence, Jesse Ylonen has the perfect probability, however he too is something however a given on a membership with a particularly deep and gifted prospect pool.
Many wish to put the warmth on the top coach in Laval, Jean Francois Houle, however the lineup he has isn’t something near what he anticipated, and followers of the Rocket had hoped for.
Nevertheless, that can change quickly because the prospects proceed to roll in. Normal supervisor Kent Hughes continues to stockpile quite a lot of gifted gamers who will arrive and make Laval a extra thrilling place once more.
The Abbotsford Canucks shaded the Rocket 3-2 at Place Bell on Wednesday evening.
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