Canadiens Overpower Flyers In Dominant 5-2 Win
The Montreal Canadiens overpowered the Philadelphia Flyers with their relentless effort and timely offence, as their opponents looked overmatched from the first drop of the puck.
The Canadiens have been riding a high wave of momentum over the last couple of weeks, playing a more offensive style predicated on quick puck movement.
They showed exactly that tonight, as every member of the team looked engaged from the very start of the game and overmatched the Flyers on almost every shift.
No player was more engaged on the ice, both teams combined, than Mike Matheson; who picked up an assist, led the team in transition and was gliding down the ice with ease.
The veteran defender has truly become the Canadiens’ most important defenceman since returning from injury and has seemingly found his game with some consistent play of late.
The Canadiens’ many youngsters seized their opportunity to take advantage of the club’s many injuries, as Rafaël Harvey-Pinard continued his legendary performance since being recalled from the Laval Rocket.
Jake Allen, who wasn’t significantly tested in this game, stood tall when necessary, pushing back 24 of 26 shots in the game.
Despite Carter Hart making a high quantity of tough saves for the Flyers, he couldn’t withstand the Canadiens’ continuous onslaught, as he allowed five goals on 31 shots.
Your post-game analysis below:
The Montreal Canadiens have spent the grand majority of the season at the bottom of the NHL in terms of power play efficacy, but things have changed as of late.
The Habs, sans Cole Caufield, have seemingly shifted their power play strategy; playing a more fluid and puck-moving style on the man advantage.
Head coach Martin St-Louis is ensuring his players stay in constant motion while on the power play, and it’s resulted in a spike in production.
That change in style was put on full display tonight against the Flyers, as they spent a significant amount of time in the Flyers’ zone and controlled the pace during each power play attempt they earned.
Since the return from the All-Star Break, the Canadiens have converted on 19% of their power-play attempts; a significant boost from the 15% ratio they maintained throughout the season.
Count it for Nick Suzuki. 👀 pic.twitter.com/NuGZdDVvAc
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) February 25, 2023
Making the Best First Impression
Chris Tierney wasted little time trying to fit in with his new team.
A little over 24 hours after being claimed off waivers, the newest member of the Montreal Canadiens notched his first goal in the Bleu, Blanc Rouge in the first period.
The 28-year-old found instant chemistry with Alex Belzile and Micheal Pezzetta on the fourth line; with the trio causing all kinds of havoc in the Flyers’ zone.
The Canadiens are riddled with injuries and needed a stabilizing presence down the middle on their bottom six lines, which Tierney filled admirably well in his first game with his new team.
Chris Tierney, fresh off waivers, makes it 2-0 for the #Habs pic.twitter.com/4zXNyRjkHd
— Matt Drake (@DrakeMT) February 25, 2023
The Kids Are Alright
Not to be undone by the impressive performances from Canadiens veterans, youngsters Rafaël Harvey Pinard, Jesse Ylönen and Justin Barron continued their impressive play as of late.
Harvey-Pinard has been the most impressive of the bunch to date, putting up an impressive 11 points in his 14 games this season since his mid-January call-up.
The 24-year-old forward has found instant chemistry on the top line with Nick Suzuki and Josh Anderson, becoming an integral piece of Montreal’s most impressive line this month.
Rafael Harvey-Pinard chases down the puck and finds Josh Anderson in tight, pushing Montreal's lead to 4!#GoHabsGo pic.twitter.com/SLBhB6sY0v
— Hockey Daily 365 l NHL Highlights (@HockeyDaily365) February 25, 2023
Ylönen spoke earlier this week about the opportunity he had in front of him moving up to the second line last game; and he’s taken advantage of it so far.
The 23-year-old winger now has three points in his last two games, after the deflected a powerful wrist-shot from Barron to restore the Canadiens’ three-goal lead in the third period.
Ylönen has shown more flash of late with the extra ice time and it’s helped build his confidence up.
The same can be said of Justin Barron, who has thrived playing next to Mike Matheson over the last two weeks.
The 21-year-old defender has upped his game in all three zones, but the points are now starting to catch up to him; notching three goals and an assist in his last seven games.
Barron’s decision making and shooting ability were aspects he significantly improved with the Laval Rocket and is now putting on full display in the NHL.
It’s helped him seize the opportunity with Kaiden Guhle and Arber Xhekaj out with injury, showing management and fans alike that he deserves to be a foundational piece of the Canadiens’ defence moving forward.
Un premier but cette saison pour Jesse!
First of the season for Jesse!#GoHabsGo pic.twitter.com/OEiI2FtHXN
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) February 25, 2023
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Savard certainly turned a few heads tonight too. That had to have caught the attention of a couple pro scouts following the team for their GMs. I also think Rem Pitlick might garner some interest from teams. He’s not really in our long term plans, so getting a pick for him at the deadline could be useful if it’s high enough. If it isn’t, then he’s worth keeping around for the role he’s fulfilling right now.