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Canadiens Forwards Caufield & Dvorak Lead Charge In Week 3

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Montreal Canadiens forward Cole Caufield (2)

Despite losing to the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday, the Montreal Canadiens finished the third week of NHL action with a winning record, beating the Buffalo Sabres and the St-Louis Blues on the road.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the best performers in what was an exciting week for Canadiens fans.

American Sniper

With 7 goals and 3 assists in 9 games, it’s becoming quite apparent Cole Caufield is enjoying the polar opposite of his tough season debut in 2021-22.

In the three games last week, Caufield finished atop the Canadiens in terms of goals (3), assists (2), points (5), shots on net (10), and individual high-danger chances (5).

And while it’s certainly entertaining to see Caufield score at will, there’s no denying he struggled to produce solid underlying numbers through the first six games of the year, but last week, his numbers saw a significant uptick.

When Caufield was on the ice, the Canadiens enjoyed an advantage in shot share, expected goals, and high-danger chances, a very encouraging development when it comes to projecting whether he can sustain his current production.

Scoring goals is a great start, but improving underlying metrics is a lot more important when it comes to helping the Canadiens win on any given night.

Whip it Good

You could easily argue Christian Dvorak’s hat trick against the Blues was coated in luck, and you wouldn’t be wrong, but the fact of the matter is the Canadiens desperately need secondary and tertiary scoring, and that’s exactly what Dvorak provided.

Caufield and Nick Suzuki generate the vast majority of the Canadiens’ offence, and while that may be extremely entertaining for the fans, it’s also unrealistic to assume opposing teams would not eventually adjust to their style of play and consequently negate the Canadiens’ biggest, and only offensive threat.

Players like Dvorak, Josh Anderson, Evgenii Dadonov, and Mike Hoffman must contribute regularly if the Canadiens are to continue to defy the odds.

Waiver Wizard

Jonathan Kovacevic is yet to register a single point this season, and yet, the defenceman leads the Canadiens in several key statistical categories, including shot share (57.7 percent) and control of the scoring chances (52.6 percent).

Jordan Harris and Jonathan Kovacevic Pairing Providing Stability

During Kovacevic’s shifts last week, the Canadiens controlled 58,8 percent of the shots, 66 percent of the goals and 54 percent of the scoring chances, incredible results for a rookie.

It’s also worth noting Kovacevic’s defensive partner and fellow rookie, Jordan Harris, is also enjoying a fantastic season. and together, their play has kept the Canadiens treading water in games where the team struggles to control the puck.

Those types of numbers wouldn’t be surprising if they were based on a game or two, but at this point in the season it’s fair to say Kovacevic and Harris aren’t just providing great value for the Canadiens, they’ve been a dominant presence when it comes to controlling all the key aspects in a hockey game that lead to wins.

(All statistics via NaturalStatTrick)

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