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Canadiens Postgame

Kirby Dach Powers Canadiens Past Canucks in 5-2 Win



Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens jumped on the Vancouver Canucks early and never looked back, as they cruised to a 5-2 win, thanks to an impressive effort from Kirby Dach.

The Canadiens took advantage of their opportunities and got some timely goaltending from Samuel Montembeault; frustrating the disappointing Canucks with their relentless pursuit of the puck and smart decision-making in all three zones.

Kirby Dach has looked like a different player since lining up next to Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield. He continues to show why he was selected 3rd overall in the 2019 NHL Draft, as his Hockey IQ and great on-ice positioning continue to help him be in the right place at the right time. The 21-year-old has now amassed four goals and eight assists for 12 points in just 14 games.

Unfortunately for the Canucks, it was yet another underwhelming game for goaltender Thatcher Demko, who continues to struggle in the netminder’s circle this season. He looked to be fighting the puck for most of the game and looked unprepared for many of the shots he faced, especially early on in the first period.

In Demko’s defence, he wasn’t afforded much help from his teammates, as two goals allowed came from blatant turnovers in vulnerable situations, while another was a minute into the game on the power play. The Canucks failed to string together two shifts of sustained offensive-zone pressure before the Canadiens would take control of the play; killing any ability for them to get some momentum going in this game.

That is until the third period, when the Canucks began to play with far more edge to their game; beating the Canadiens to pucks and sustaining offensive pressure for minutes at a time. They were able to crawl back into the game little by little, making the Canadiens sweat for a few minutes.

Ultimately, it was Kirby Dach that was able to end any notion of a comeback with a timely goal late in the third period and seal the deal for the Canadiens.


Canadiens Come Out Roaring

The Montreal Canadiens wasted no time taking over this game right from the first puck drop, as Nick Suzuki wired home his team-leading 10th goal of the season on the power play 55 seconds into the game.

The 23-year-old has been on fire for the team over the last six games, posting six goals and four assists during that span.

After Arber Xhekaj increased the Canadiens’ lead to 2-0 after a seeing-eye point shot, the top line struck again.

Kirby Dach continued his impressive play of late by jumping on a turnover from J.T. Miller and sliding the puck past Demko for his second goal of the season and the Canadiens’ third goal of the period. He would later add a dagger goal in the third period to cap off an impressive outing.

The Canadiens finished the first period with three goals on just 11 shots on Demko, and were able to overwhelm their opponents via an aggressive forecheck and dominance in the neutral zone.

Hoffman Heater

Mike Hoffman had been trending in the right direction since the beginning of the season with positive underlying numbers, but now the important numbers are following suit.

In the last 24 hours, Hoffman has scored three goals for the Canadiens and has seemingly found his mojo, all while playing more disciplined in the defensive zone.

His goal was possible, in large part, to his aggressive forecheck in the defensive zone, allowing him to beat Jack Rathbone on the outside and come in for the breakaway against Demko.

He’s continued to show good things with the time that’s given to him and, what’s even more susprising, is he’s doing it all at even strength.

Known as a power play specialist throughout his career, Hoffman has looked like a more involved player overall this season under Martin St-Louis, and it’s paying dividends as of late.


Growing Pains

The Montreal Canadiens have done a good job this season at fighting back against adversity and mounting comebacks from significant deficits, but have had trouble holding back the same kind of pressure when they have the lead this season.

The Canadiens had a comfortable lead for most of the game, but truly began to sweat in the third period after the Canucks scored two consecutive goals halfway through the frame.

It’s not that the Canadiens gave up those goals, but how they seemed to take their foot off the gas peddle in the third and invited the Canucks to get a footing in the game.

It’s all part of the process of learning how to win for this rebuilding club, but you can rest assured that Martin St-Louis will be reminding his players after the game tonight.

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