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Canadiens Montembeault & Hutson Thriving At World Championship

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Montreal Canadiens Prospect Lane Hutsons

The Montreal Canadiens sent seven players to the 2023 World Championship, which is taking place in Tampere, Finland, and Riga, Latvia.

Both Samuel Montembeault (Team Canada) and Lane Hutson (Team USA) have stood out from the crowd, but before we get to their performances, we’d be remiss if we didn’t give a stick tap to the fans in Europe, particularly those in Riga.

Habs fans are used to being called the most boisterous fans in the league.

And for good reason, too.

But if we were to compare the fans in Montreal to the fans in various European cities, we would come to a quick conclusion that NHL fans simply cannot hold a candle to the high-spirited European fans.

It was particularly evident on Tuesday when Team Latvia pulled off a surprising 4-3 overtime win over Switzerland in Riga. The fans were loud and intense, providing the type of energy that is commonly seen in major European soccer matchups.

Of course, tribalism plays a big part during international tournaments, and I’m not trying to take anything away from hockey fans in the United States and Canada, but many domestic-league hockey games in Europe also provide the same type of intensity as we saw from the Latvian fans who were celebrating their country’s big win.

Let’s just say that when Canadiens fans get criticized for making a little too much noise or participating in a few too many chants, not only are some missing the forest for the trees, but they’re also preventing other fans from letting loose and enjoying hockey games to the fullest.

And in the long run, that’s what sports are for.

Having fun.

Letting loose.

Allowing yourself to forget about the world for a brief moment.

In other words, it’s time to stop complaining every time a chant breaks out at the Bell Centre.

Sports are better when the fans set an energetic atmosphere.

Team Canada

Canadiens defenceman Justin Barron has been relegated to the seventh defenceman for the majority of the round-robin, though he did manage to earn one assist in Canada’s 5-1 win over Kazakhstan.

Montembeault on the other hand, has played a crucial role for the Canadians and has established himself as the team’s starting goalie.

He has saved 85 of the 90 shots he’s faced, resulting in a sparkling .944 save percentage. You could argue he struggled in Canada’s 3-2 loss to Switzerland, but seeing as Canada proceeded to follow up their loss to Switzerland with a 3-2 loss to Norway, a game that featured Joel Hoffer in the Canadian net rather than Montembeault, we can safely say this is far from the strongest team Canada has sent to the World Championship.

Montembeault has done a fantastic job keeping Canada in the mix while the rest of the team attempts to form a cohesive unit, which is a very encouraging sign for the 26-year-old goaltender, who is expected to be given the reigns as the team’s starter next season.

Team USA

While Team Canada has struggled at times, Team USA has gone undefeated, leading them to the top spot in Group A.

As per usual, Canadiens prospect Lane Hutson has impressed despite not receiving a healthy dose of ice time. Not only because he’s scored two great goals, though that’s certainly part of it.

He’s also shown that his size will not prevent him from thriving against an elevated level of competition. The Boston University defenceman has earned two goals and three assists in six games, more points than he earned in seven games at the World Junior Championship.

MUST READ: Canadiens Prospect Lane Hutson Excels At Every Level

As for Luke Tuch and Sean Farrell, both prospects have been used sparingly, with Tuch being made a healthy scratch on several occasions and Farrell playing on the fourth line.

On that note, both have managed to find the back of the net during their few shifts, which should serve as a confidence booster once their World Championship journey is over.

The USA will face Czechia in the quarter-finals, which begin on Thursday.

Joel Armia

It’s become a running joke within the Canadiens fan community, but there is something to be said about Armia’s excellent play during international tournaments.

Armia has scored twice in seven games for Team Finland and will look to continue his relatively strong play in the quarterfinals. Finland will face Canada on Thursday, in Tampere.

Frederik Dichow

Canadiens prospect Frederik Dichow must be signed by June 1, 2023, or the team will relinquish their rights.

And though his numbers with Frolunda, where Dichow played as the team’s backup goaltender, were underwhelming, his results at the 2023 World Championship have been rather encouraging.

Dichow saved 102 of the 112 shots sent his way, resulting in a relatively impressive .911 save percentage while playing for an underdog Denmark team.

Seeing as Denmark finished fifth in Group A, Dichow is the only Canadiens prospect that will not participate in the quarter-finals, but at the very least, he did improve his odds of receiving an entry-level contract.


All statistics and schedule information via the IIHF.

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Tyrone

I hope we sign Dichow. Goalies need to play to develop and be “in the groove”. Relegated to backup in Frolunda didn’t allow him to do that. The World Championships have allowed him to do that, he just doesn’t have the team in front of him. I’d like to see him in Laval with Dobes splitting duties equally. We’d be in control of his development and he should have a pretty decent team in front of him this year with all the fresh blood our AHL team should be receiving.

John Stone

i told u this awhile ago when u argued the fact we cant rely on that goalie.. i also told u to mark my words due to his position being backup goalie that when given a chance he would blossom to a stud goalie in a few years time.. i also remember u saying that dichow and dobes dont have a snowballs chance in the underworld ( camt say the real meaning .. it was censored)..that they wouldnt break to even an ELC.. its a great example as to why never count ur chickens beforw they hatch.

Tyrone

I don’t think you have the right guy. I’ve never been negative on any of our goalies other than Primeau.

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