Connect with us

Montreal Canadiens

Canadiens Lose, Coyotes Win, Habs Improve Lottery Odds



Canadiens vs Leafs Suzuki

The Toronto Maple Leafs easily dismantled the Montreal Canadiens in the final Hockey Night in Canada of the season, earning a 7-1 win.

And while I’m sure you’re all here to read a long preamble, maybe we should just get right into it.

For those looking for the silver linings, which include 2023 Draft Lottery odds, skip directly to the end of the article.

Joel Drivethroughson

Without attempting to harp too much on Joel Edmundson’s value, or rather, his lack thereof in recent games, he was once again victimized by an opponent that put very little effort into reaching a high-danger scoring area, the type of area Edmundson is supposed to protect.

Edmundson has been dealing with significant injuries all season, and chronic back issues do not simply go away. That may be the reason why he’s been much worse than usual down the final stretch of the season. And the lack of healthy bodies is also a factor if that’s the case, but there’s no denying he’s limping into the offseason from a statistical point of view.

I’m not sure which general manager would watch him play and want to spend assets to acquire the defenceman in the summer. It’s a possibility because NHL general managers have a long history of making terrible decisions, but it would not make much sense.

On that note, Edmundson was not the only defenceman to struggle against the Leafs, therefore it would be unfair to blame the loss on him, but he’s definitely not improving his trade value by staying in the lineup.


No Michigan For you

I’m a big believer in adding interesting plays to hockey, and The Michigan is definitely one of those exciting plays.

But as much as the NHL needs more excitement, it’s always fun to see a savvy defenceman shut down the play with an active stick and smart defensive positioning, which is exactly what we saw from Mike Matheson in the first period.

David Kampf went for it, which is great, but was shut down spectacularly by Matheson, which also deserves to be celebrated.

Here We Go Again

I know, I know, I’ve been very harsh when it comes to Edmundson, but he was on the ice for Toronto’s second goal of the game as well.

He didn’t play particularly poorly, at least not by his standards, but you’ll note the puck was already 60 feet away from him before he was within hitting distance of his opponent.

Matheson was left to his own devices, which connotes a forward failed to cover for Edmundson’s failed corner incursion, and attempted to cut off the passing lane, to no avail.

No one comes out of the play looking good, and that includes Joel Armia, but there’s a clear pattern in recent games: opponents simply do not worry about losing the puck whenever Edmundson is on the ice.

Brass Tacks

The Leafs scored many more goals, and frankly, no one on this site wants a detailed breakdown of the Canadiens’, well, breakdown, but there are a few things we need to address before putting this game behind us.

First off, Samuel Montembeault deserves better. Full stop.

Secondly, Johnathan Kovacevic continues to provide great value for the Habs. Not only did he score, but he’s also among the top-5 players in relative expected goals for this season, and one of only two defencemen on the list. Jordan Harris is the other blueliner featured in the top 5.

Thirdly, I want to see a letter on Mike Matheson’s chest next season. And I’m obviously not talking about the captaincy just in case anyone is confused.

I’ve seen some criticism regarding Suzuki this season, and I have to say, it’s just about the laziest analysis possible in hockey, considering Suzuki is producing with questionable linemates on a terrible team.

It’s also rather sad to focus on the best player on the team, but that’s often the way folks who have a difficult time analyzing hockey express themselves: they foolishly criticize the best aspects of a team.

With that being said, Matheson is clearly a leader on this team, and his penchant for trying his hardest regardless of the score is something you want to see on a team trying to find an identity during a rebuild.

And finally, the most important result of the night involved the 2023 Draft Lottery.

The Canadiens lost, and that was rather easy to predict, but the Arizona Coyotes actually won their game against the lowly Anaheim Ducks, which is nothing but great news when it comes to the Canadiens’ Lottery odds.

The Canadiens are back in action on Wednesday, facing the New York Islanders on the road. The puck drop is scheduled for 7 PM ET.

All statistics are 5v5 unless otherwise noted, via NaturalStatTrick.

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Bravo for calling out the Suzuki haters and praising the play of Matheson. 👏


“The Michigan”? I may be the only one but I think it should not be allowed. Why not just allow players to use a lacrosse stick? To me, it’s the same as picking up the puck with your hand and throwing it in the net. Whatever it is, it’s not hockey.

MHN 2023 NHL Draft

MHN in your inbox

Enter your email address and get all of our articles sent directly to your inbox

MHN on Facebook