The Montreal Canadiens seemed to be surprised by a strong start from the Arizona Coyotes early on and never recovered, en route to a 6-3 loss. The Coyotes spread the offence throughout their lineup in this game with the Habs, getting goals from six different players en route to a sixth win in their last seven games.
The Yotes surprised the Canadiens early on, potting four goals in the first period, but goaltender Karel Vejmelka kept in this game with a 36-save performance. The Coyotes were able to wear down the Canadiens and keep them to the outside, as head coach Andre Tourigny had them playing very tight in the defensive zone to limit high danger chances.
Cole Caufield was once again an impact player for the Canadiens, pulling them back in the game with two goals 8 seconds apart in the late second period. The last Montreal Canadiens player to accomplish such a feat was former prolific goal-scorer Stephane Richer in 1987; that’s pretty good company. Caufield used his speed and stickhandling to create havoc in the offensive zone all game as his game continues to evolve under head coach Martin St. Louis.
Samuel Montembeault had a challenging first period, allowing four goals on just seven shots in the first period. Montembeault was surprised early on by letting in two quick goals within the first four minutes of play to Barret Hayton and Anton Stralman and never seemed to be able to find his footing from that moment on. He was replaced in the second period by youngster Cayden Primeau, who performed quite well, given the circumstances, in relief of Montembeault.
Here’s your MHN Postgame Poutine:
GOLD STAR: Karel Vejmelka– Vejmelka was a brick wall for the Coyotes this evening, only being beat by an own-goal and two perfect shots from Cole Caufield. He made big save after big save to stonewall the Montreal Canadiens in the third period, despite the Canadiens spending lots of time in the blue paint. He was unphased by the traffic in front of the net and was able to keep track of the puck at all times, making it very difficult to catch him off-guard.
— Hockey Daily 365 (@HockeyDaily365) March 15, 2022
TABARNAK: Four goals allowed in the 1st period: The Canadiens seemed surprised by the intensity of the Coyotes right from the start of the game, and Arizona took full advantage, scoring four goals on seven shots. Montembeault would probably love a second look at most of those goals. The goaltending is not solely to blame here, as the defence certainly didn’t do Montembeault any favours, allowing many odd-man rushes against.
TURNING POINT: Cole Caufield’s two goals in 8 seconds – The game looked out of reach for the Canadiens with Arizona adding a 5th goal on the powerplay late in the second period. Cole Caufield quickly retaliated on the powerplay with a laser beam from the top of the left circle. He then followed up with another bomb on the rush just 8 seconds to make it 5-3 and bring the Canadiens back in the game.
HONORABLE MENTION: Lawson Crouse– Crouse was a menace all over the ice, playing a robust and smash-mouth style while also picking up the Coyotes’ fourth goal of the game and adding an assist. He played over 17 minutes tonight and was used in all situations for the Coyotes, having gained the trust of head coach Tourigny over the last little while. He continues to show why the Coyotes should retain him moving forward as part of the solution, as he continues to set the tempo for the Coyotes game after game.
BY THE NUMBERS: Here’s how the Montreal Canadiens lined up Tuesday night:
Mike Hoffman-Nick Suzuki– Brendan Gallagher
Cole Caufield-Rem Pitlick-Artturi Lehkonen
Paul Byron-Jake Evans- Micheal Pezzetta
Joel Armia-Laurent Dauphin-Mathieu Perreault
Joel Edmundson-Jeff Petry
Alexander Romanov-Brett Kulak
Corey Schueneman-Chris Wideman
QUOTE TO NOTE: ”I think it’s part of hockey. There’s ups and downs; it’s not easy. Obviously, when the puck goes into the net, you feel a lot better” – Cole Caufield on his early-season struggles and finding his game under St. Louis.
Cole marque son 11e de la saison… huit secondes après son 10e!
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) March 16, 2022