Canadiens Shutout In Owen Beck’s Successful NHL Debut
The Montreal Canadiens visited the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night, losing 5-0 in a one-sided offensive game.
Owen Beck made his NHL debut, sporting No.62 for the Canadiens.
It’s a fitting number, given that much like Artturi Lehkonen before him, Beck is a cerebral forward that also takes care of the small details during a game, helping his team win in ways that tend to go unnoticed.
18 year-old Owen Beck gets his rookie lap in ahead of his @NHL debut for the @CanadiensMTL on Hockey Night In Canada. 👏 pic.twitter.com/n2fzqGZ9nA
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) January 28, 2023
Martin St-Louis kept his dominant fourth line together, which led to Beck centering the third line, with Jesse Ylonen and Christian Dvorak, although it should be noted Dvorak took the majority of the faceoffs.
Beck looked very good, especially when you consider just how big of a jump it is to go from the OHL to the NHL.
He drove the play up the ice, generated scoring chances, and seemed comfortable with the puck. His penchant for generating controlled entries into the offensive zone was on full display, though it shouldn’t have come as a surprise.
Owen Beck with the best chance of the second for the Habs so far.
Skating looks like that of a guy who belongs. pic.twitter.com/s7HkWi91sw
— Matt Drake (@DrakeMT) January 29, 2023
Beck ranks among the top 5 players in the OHL when it comes to controlled exits and controlled entries. Statistically speaking, a controlled entry into the offensive zone doubles your chances of taking a shot or scoring a goal, which bodes well for Beck’s NHL career.
Both Dvorak and Ylonen struggled to keep up with Beck on quite a few rushes, leaving the 18-year-old a little isolated in the offensive zone and mitigating the overall scoring opportunities.
Regardless of the lack of chemistry between the three, Beck’s surprising entry into the NHL should be considered a successful one.
The Canadiens’ fourth line did not hit the scoresheet, being held scoreless for the first time in four games. But even when the score was 3-0 in favour of the Senators, Alex Belzile, Rafael Harvey-Pinard and Michael Pezzetta displayed the type of work ethic that has led to so much success in recent games.
Belzile came very close to scoring his first NHL, hitting his second post in three games.
Some of the veterans on the team may want to pay close attention to the fourth line’s shifts because as it stands, they’re outworking the majority of their teammates.
The Canadiens struggled to generate sustained offence, but as has been the case all season, Kirby Dach’s line did a great job keeping the puck 200 feet away from their own net.
When it comes to Dach, there’s only one thing on his mind: maintaining possession of the puck while transitioning through the neutral zone.
On several occasions, we saw Dach navigate through a sea of Senators, forcing the defencemen to back down, and thus creating time and space for his wingers.
Dach, who was playing with Mike Hoffman and Evgenii Dadonov, ended up controlling 60 percent of the shots against the Senators, and more impressively, they generated five high-danger scoring chances, more than half of the Canadiens’ total scoring chances.
The Canadiens are back in action on Tuesday, facing the very same Ottawa Senators at the Bell Centre. The puck drop is scheduled for 7 PM ET.
All statistics are 5v5 unless otherwise noted, via NaturalStatTrick
Kerby has slick hands