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Habs Prospects

Roy, Mailloux & Miller Shine For Canadiens Rookies Against Bruins



Montreal Canadiens Mesar and Mailloux

The Montreal Canadiens rookies faced the Boston Bruins on Saturday afternoon in Buffalo, the second game of the 2023 Prospect Challenge. The Habs carried the play throughout most of the game, finishing with a well-earned 4-1 win.

The lineup was slightly different from their previous outing against the Sabres, with standout Owen Beck removed from the roster, allowing 2022 first-round pick Filip Mesar an opportunity to play on the first line. 2023 first-round pick David Reinbacher was also given the afternoon off.

It should also be noted that Jayden Struble was playing alongside Logan Mailloux on the top pairing, which presented Mailloux with a much better opportunity to prove his worth.

Franco-Ontarian Connection

Cedrick Guindon is a very interesting prospect.

But before we can discuss his play, I have to admit a certain level of bias when it comes to my analysis.

Why? We’re both Franco-Ontarians, and it’s always fun to remind people that there are almost a million of us out there. Guindon is from Rockland, which, to be fair, is very close to the Quebec border. On a good, windy day you could almost toss a frisbee to Masson-Anger.

Alright, back to the (somewhat biased) analysis.

After a great start to the season for Owen Sound, Guindon is one of the prospects that faded down the stretch last year, which is to be expected from an 18-year-old, but is still an area of concern when discussing prospects.

It’s harsh, but he doesn’t necessarily have the talent level to stand out from the crowd in the Canadiens prospect pool, which means he has to play a near-perfect brand of hockey to get noticed.

He started Saturday’s game in style, scoring the first goal for the Montreal Canadiens, a powerplay marker that put the team up 1-0. Both Mesar and Jan Mysak had great scoring chances prior to Guindon finding the back of the net.

He followed it up by playing a solid defensive game, all the while continuing to contribute from an offensive standpoint, including a high-quality scoring chance toward the end of the second period.

Overall, it was a very strong outing for Guindon.

King Performance

It was also a very solid game for Joshua Roy, one of the prospects that will be vying for a roster spot in the NHL at the main camp.

He had several good scoring chances and was highly engaged in every play, which isn’t always the case when Roy hits the ice.

Watching Roy closely is always entertaining, especially if he’s giving his all. He does so many smart things that go unnoticed by most, and that’s one of the main reasons I think he will eventually end up playing in the NHL.

His defensive acumen is great and he clearly has a nose for the net.

On Saturday he was cutting off passes as if he were an 18-year-old Montrealer who had just gotten his license, and he quickly transitioned the play from defence to offence, essentially driving the play for the Canadiens.

He assisted on Jan Mysak’s goal by offering Mailloux a passing outlet, which again, is the type of play Roy makes regularly. He’s the glue that keeps things going in all three zones.

On that note, Mysak had a very good game, an encouraging sign for a player who has struggled to earn ice time in Laval. Remember, the coach for the Habs rookies is none other than J-F Houle, the same guy who will be allocating the ice time once Mysak returns to the AHL.

Roy wasn’t satisfied with one goal.

He doubled his tally midway through the third period, doing what Le Sniper Beauceron does best: frustrating goaltenders. It should be noted that Chris Ortiz made a very solid play to set up the goal.

Much Better Outing

Speaking of Mailloux, he enjoyed a rather solid bounce-back game following his tough start to the tournament. At first, it seemed like the nerves from the opening game had followed him into the second matchup, which led to a couple of turnovers, but he quickly settled down, giving fans flashes of what he can bring to the table in a professional setting.

In the play where Mysak scored it seemed like Mailloux was in trouble. He was behind the net and facing double pressure from the Bruins forecheckers.

This is the type of play that can lead to a disastrous outcome, but Mailloux calmly protected the puck and found Roy with a very good outlet pass, especially when we consider the pressure-filled situation.

Far be it from me to offer suggestions to a player who is clearly much better than myself at this particular sport, but it seems like Mailloux is at his best when he doesn’t have too much time to consider his options.

If he keeps it simple, good things happen.

He also had a nice rush in the second period, showing off his underrated speed by generating a high-danger chance out of thin air. In addition, he finally started taking the same number of shots that we were accustomed to seeing when he played for the London Knights, another encouraging sign.

It was a strong bounce-back game from the 2021 first-round pick.

Honourable Mentions

Pairing Struble with Mailloux was a great decision, as the two did a fairly good job at both ends of the ice.

Struble’s physical prowess is difficult to ignore.

As Jim Madigan once told me, Struble is not just a little stronger than his opponents, he’s “a specimen,” of physical dominance whenever he’s on the ice. Consequently, Struble did a very good job clearing the front of the net when things got chaotic, and he joined the rush at the appropriate times.

Xavier Simoneau had another solid outing, but that’s not surprising.

I have a sneaking suspicion he’s the real-life equivalent of Happy Gilmore, except he’s a very good hockey player and he knows how to skate. But all the other shenanigans are in play, and that’s what makes him one of the most entertaining players in the AHL.

Quentin Miller does not get as much hype as Jakub Dobes, but he was excellent against the Bruins. He’s a smart goaltender who excels at tracking the puck, which gives him an edge in positioning.

I’ve only had a few chances to watch Miller, and most of the time he was coming into a game as the Quebec Remparts backup, but so far I’ve been impressed every time he’s given the net.

Montreal Canadiens Prospects With Work To Be Done

It was a tight-checking game, which means players didn’t have many opportunities to shine, but given his experience in professional hockey, it would be nice to see Miguel Tourigny take charge a little more often. That’s not to say he had a bad game, but his decision-making wasn’t always on point.

The same can be said for Riley Kidney. He had a decent game and even had a scoring chance or two, including a shot that glanced off the crossbar in the dying minutes of the third period, but he’ll need to stand out if he’s to climb the list of Montreal Canadiens prospects.

As for Mesar, he was engaged in the play, but he had a hard time finding open ice, which was one of the major issues last year when he played for a dysfunctional Kitchener Rangers team.

But please don’t take the criticism to heart in their case, they did not have bad outings. Overall, it was a very strong showing for the Habs rookies against the Bruins.

The Montreal Canadiens rookies are back in action on Monday, facing the Ottawa Senators. The puck drop is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. ET.


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Claude Lemay

To be fair, Riley Kidney started on the wing but when he was called to take the face-off, he won most of them. He was back-checking and was dangerous in the opponent zone. Had he been given better wingers, he would have been more prominent.
I think that he will have a good year in Laval and get attention from NHL teams needing a good center prospect.

Rick W Murray

The bruins will finish dead last rejects and retreads. According to The Perez Hilton of sports Jimmy Murphy the bruins are linked to just about every centre in the nhl.