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Kirby Dach Dominant In Canadiens Big Win Against Red-Hot Jets

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Canadiens players Dach Hoffman Anderson

The Montreal Canadiens hosted the red-hot Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night, earning a well-deserved 4-1 win against one of the best teams in the Western Conference.

Thanks to a head start, Kirby Dach’s transition game, as well as Mike Matheson’s return to play, the Canadiens controlled the entire matchup, putting together one of their most complete efforts of the season

For the first time in a very long time, a Canadiens goaltender did not have to steal a win, although Samuel Montembeault held the fort when necessary, earning his 9th win of the season with 27 saves, including 10 saves of the high-danger variety.

The Problem Solver

There’s no doubt Kirby Dach makes a positive impact on the top line when used as a winger alongside Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield, but seeing as he tends to propel any line he’s playing on to a new level, it’s easy to understand why head coach Martin St-Louis wants to use him as the second-line centre.

He’s the Canadiens’ cheat code, unlocking an immediate uptick in offence as well as stalwart defensive work, as was evidenced against the Jets when Dach featured on a line with Mike Hoffman and Josh Anderson.

The trio did a great job controlling the shots, and more importantly, the scoring chances, owing to Dach’s affinity for maintaining possession of the puck as he transitions through the neutral zone, and his ability to generate controlled entries into the offensive zone.

Unsurprisingly, Dach was the catalyst for Mike Hoffman’s eighth goal of the season, which also involved a nice breakout play by Justin Barron.

Dach went on to set up Josh Anderson’s 12th goal of the year, one of the easiest goals the high-flying winger has scored in his career.

A stick tap goes out to Matheson, who started the play with a nice controlled entry, allowing his forwards to take advantage of the open ice he created in the process.

 

Double Dadonov

I don’t want to take anything away from Dadonov, because he scored two goals and provided crucial secondary scoring for the Canadiens, but it’s worth pointing out Barron’s great pass before Dadonov’s first goal.

It put his playmaking on full display, something the Canadiens dearly lack on the blue line.

If time is running out on Barron’s audition, and it very well might be, he had the type of game that may make Canadiens management reconsider an assignment to Laval.

Dadonov’s second goal was the epitome of a gimme. But since he has enjoyed nothing but terrible luck this season, we’ll consider a small repayment on the part of the hockey gods.

First Line Report

It’s incredibly difficult to fill the gap left by Dach’s absence from the first line, but Jesse Ylonen had a quiet, yet efficient audition with Suzuki and Caufield.

He drove the net, attempted high-reward plays, and did not look out of place with the Canadiens’ best duo.

If Dach is to remain on the second line as a centre, and he probably should, the Habs will need more than just a stop-gap measure on the first line, and so far, Ylonen is showing the type of potential that should lead to an audition extension.

5v5 Heatmap

 


The Montreal Canadiens are back in action on Thursday, facing the Florida Panthers at the Bell Centre. The puck drop is scheduled for 7 PM ET.

All Montreal Canadiens statistics and heatmaps are 5v5, via NaturalStatTrick.com

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