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Canadiens Game Notes: Filip Mesar Flashes Offensive Skill

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Filip Mesar

A youthful Montreal Canadiens lineup took to the ice at Scotiabank Arena on Tuesday night, dropping a 3-0 decision to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

It was a mixed bag of results from an individual a team standpoint, with both clubs showing a clear lack of chemistry, but the low-scoring affair was the perfect opportunity to keep a close eye on a few prospects hoping to convince Canadiens management they deserve a spot in the lineup.

Beck Watch

Standout Owen Beck featured in his second preseason game, finishing the night with one of the most impressive stat lines among forwards. When Beck was on the ice, the Montreal Canadiens controlled 62.5% of the shots, a relatively impressive result given the scoreline.

As has been the case throughout training camp, Beck displayed the type of defensive awareness that most professional hockey coaches dream about. His anticipation, in particular, led to several sustained shifts in the offensive zone.

Mister Mesar

If Filip Mesar has any glaring weaknesses in his game, he does a fantastic job hiding them. Mesar played alongside Beck, forming the most impressive offensive duo of the night for the Montreal Canadiens.

There are concerns about his size, but if the game against the Maple Leafs was any indication, physical play won’t limit the number of chances he creates.

And he certainly doesn’t waste time creating chances once he gets the puck in the offensive zone. He has a Toucan-Sam affinity for charging the net, as if the posts are hiding a cache of Fruit Loops that will be unveiled if he scores a goal.

If not for Beck’s great performance in previous outings, Mesar would easily be the most impressive forward among the prospects vying for a job at training camp.

Difficult Assignment

Jordan Harris has also had a very good showing at camp, but he did struggle at times against the Maple Leafs, mostly because he played on the right side while Arber Xhekaj played on the left.

His gap control was a little off, which is to be expected, but he also had a very difficult time exiting the zone with control of the puck, due to being stuck on his backhand on many occasions.

Now, here’s the fun part. Statistically speaking, Harris was dominant, leading all players in multiple statistical categories, including shot share (67%) and scoring-chance share (60%).

The longer the game went on, the more Harris found his comfort zone, which led to a few great plays.

Even if he struggles at times on breakouts, he’s doing all he can to convince the Montreal Canadiens he deserves a spot in the lineup.

Honourable Mention

Despite taking a penalty late in the third period, Emil Heineman enjoyed yet another solid performance in a bleu-blanc-rouge uniform. He’s unlikely to start the season with the Habs, but he’s done a fantastic job throughout training camp at getting noticed for all the right reasons, which includes is NHL-calibre shot.

(All statistics are 5v5 unless otherwise specified. Via NaturalStatTrick.com)

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