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Montreal Canadiens

Allen and Hoffman Lead Canadiens in Win Over Red Wings

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Montreal Canadiens goal by Hoffman

The Montreal Canadiens faced the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night, earning a 3-2 shootout win thanks to a pair of goals by veteran winger Mike Hoffman and an excellent performance in the crease by Jake Allen.

Warranted Offence

Prior to the game against the Red Wings, Mike Hoffman had only managed to score a single goal in addition to a lone assist, which led to the veteran winger watching a couple of games from the press box.

But despite his lack of offence, all signs pointed to a player that was owed a few more favours from the hockey gods.

Hoffman leads all Canadiens forwards in several crucial statistical categories, including shot share (55.5 percent), high-danger shot share (58.9 percent), and expected goals share (58.4 percent).

He finally received his due on Tuesday night, scoring the Canadiens’ first two goals of the game.

You could argue he was simply at the right place at the right time for both goals, but that’s rather fitting given how little luck Hoffman has had since the start of the season.

Hoffman’s sudden offensive explosion isn’t just important when it comes to improving his trade value, it’s a necessary influx of offence coming from a player not named Nick Suzuki or Cole Caufield. Secondary scoring has been the Canadiens’ greatest weakness this year.

Hold The Fort

It’s difficult to oversell just how important goaltending has been for the Canadiens this season.

Whether it’s Jake Allen or Samuel Montembeault, the netminders have kept the team in several games that should have ended with a lopsided score.

Against the Red Wings, it was Allen who stole the show, making 43 saves, including 9 high-danger chances and a penalty shot. He shone exceptionally bright in the second period following a series of questionable penalties that led to three straight penalty kills for the Canadiens.

The Joel Edmundson and Arber Xhekaj pairing, in particular, struggled to contain the Red Wings, leaving Allen to bail them out on several occasions.

The Canadiens allowed five high-danger chances at 5v5 while they were on the ice, which represented 100 percent of the total quality chances by the Red Wings.

More often than not, one, or both players were caught out of position. Their results were similar to the numbers produced by Edmundson and Jordan Harris against the Golden Knights.

Full-Time Gig

By playing his tenth game of the season, Juraj Slafkovsky’s entry-level contract officially kicked in, and even though he was kept off the scoresheet, he led all Canadiens players in both shot control (65 percent) and expected goals (71.6).

The 18-year-old is still been used sparingly by head coach Martin St-Louis, but when he is on the ice, he tends to spend a lot more time in the opposing zone than chasing pucks in front of his goaltender.

Slafkovsky was used for 31 seconds on the power play but ultimately finished the game with just 10 minutes and 33 seconds of ice time, the lowest among all Canadiens players.

Slow and steady is always a wise approach when it comes to managing the youngest player in the league, however, Slafkovsky’s numbers suggest he’s ready for a bigger role.

Unfortunately, he ended the night on a sour note after he took a run at Matt Luff that resulted in a 5-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct.


The Canadiens are back in action tomorrow, hosting the Vancouver Canucks at the Bell Centre.

(All statistics are 5v5 unless otherwise noted, via NaturalStatTrick)

 

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