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Suzuki & Xhekaj Score For Canadiens In Crazy Loss To Oilers

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Canadiens forward Nick Suzuki scoring

The Canadiens have participated in several defence-optional games this season, but the matchup against the Edmonton Oilers wasn’t just a defensive mess, it also featured a complete lack of discipline from both teams.

It was the hockey equivalent of a high school cafeteria Sloppy Joe.

In other words, it was an entertaining yet shambolic game, the kind of game that keeps fans glued to the TV and leads to hair loss for coaches.

The Oilers eventually prevailed 5-3 thanks to several questionable shifts by Canadiens veterans, ending their bid to sweep the western road trip.

Captain’s Cabin

This is going to shock you, but Nick Suzuki scored yet another power-play goal from his office.

It was Suzuki’s 13th goal of the year, his eighth with the man advantage.

Eventually, he’ll stop scoring on every fourth shot from that spot, but for now, Suzuki is scoring at will when he has the time and space to pick his shots.

The goal gave the Canadiens a 1-0 lead and put an exclamation mark on what can only be described as a great 20 minutes for the road team.

The first period also included a noteworthy play that saw rookie Kaiden Guhle shut down the best player on earth, without taking a penalty. Guhle had three shots and four hits in the first period, including two hits on McDavid.

Rare Event

Not only did Joel Armia finally hit the scoresheet for the first time of the season, but Evgenii Dadonov also got in on the action, scoring his second goal of the season off the type of rebound that would also lead to goals in almost every single edition of the NHL video game.

The timing was crucial, seeing as it came on the heels of three different 5 on 3s for the Oilers, a result of several brain cramps and yet another poor decision by veteran defenceman Joel Edmundson that led to a 5-minute major and a game misconduct.

Edmundson continues to struggle in almost every single aspect of the game. Whether it’s his on-ice results or his lack of chemistry with various defensive partners, he’s had a very hard time finding his rhythm since he returned from injury.

And despite the notion that he brings a significant amount of leadership to the locker room, which is easy to believe, the type of indiscipline he showed on Saturday night is the polar opposite of leadership.

Sniper

Just as everyone expected, undrafted rookie Arber Xhekaj went into the game against the Oilers as the top-scoring defenceman, with 3 goals in 21 games.

He added to his surprising production on Saturday night, earning the first power play of his career to tie the game late in the second period.

While the veterans continue to struggle, the rookies have led the charge, which is a good news/bad news situation for the Canadiens.

You want to see young players surpass expectations, but they shouldn’t have to do it without the support of those who are supposed to be leading by example.

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