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Canadiens Postgame

Canadiens Beck and Roy Stand Out In Sleepy Loss To Maple Leafs



Montreal Canadiens Toronto Maple Leafs

The Montreal Canadiens (1-2-0) hosted the Toronto Maple Leafs (2-2-0) at the Bell Centre on Friday night, in what can only be described as a preseason game that took place.

When historians look back at this game, they will surely agree it occurred, and they will all concur that the Leafs won by a score of 2-1.

We won’t commiserate for too long about a preseason matchup, but let’s just say the game provided everyone in the lineup an opportunity to stand out with just one or two good shifts.

The Good

I’m going to borrow from the legendary Mitch Melnick tonight by paying hommage to Sergio Leone, with a hockey twist. Mitch, if you’re reading this, I genuinely hope you spent your night doing something fun, like watching the Last Waltz for the 44th time with a nice glass of bourbon.

Alright, back to the hockey talk.

There was not a lot of good to speak of in tonight’s matchup, but I would like to send some well-deserved praise John Parker-Jones’ way. He had a very solid outing.

It’s also worth noting that the Joshua Roy, Owen Beck, and Jesse Ylonen line was pretty good, relatively speaking, of course.

Roy was aggressive on the forecheck, and Beck had a few good shifts at both ends of the ice.  They controlled almost 60 percent of the shots, as well as 80 percent of the expected goals, far and away the best result from any Canadiens line on Friday night.

With time winding down in the third period, Sean Monahan and Josh Anderson eventually woke up long enough to take a shot from a high-danger scoring area, which, shockingly, resulted in a goal.

The Bad

You’d be hard-pressed to say Cayden Primeau was the reason the Canadiens lost.

Overall he had a decent game and he even made a few high-danger saves.

But his rebound control was far from great, and he had a hard time tracking pucks throughout the game. I continue to think the Canadiens should give Primeau more opportunities to prove his worth, but it would be nice to see him play the type of elite game that was common during his time with Northeastern.

The Ugly

Many players failed to seize their chance, but few will want to forget their game more than prospect Justin Barron.

He didn’t have a terrible game, all things considered, but he did lose the puck while under pressure on the power play, which resulted in a shorthanded goal for Matthew Knies.

It was the epitome of a hockey sin.

It’s also becoming a common theme with Barron. The longer the puck stays on his stick, the higher the odds become it will result in a turnover.

And then there’s the power play.

Once again, it was brutal.

I won’t waste words describing what went on, but suffice it to say the power play was uglier than those extra wide jeans we all started wearing in the late 90s for some reason.

Fight Talk

I’d like to quickly comment about one of the first-period segments on Sportsnet, if I may. I understand the game itself did not offer much in terms of entertainment, but I also thought it was a little weird that they started a discussion about when Arber Xhekaj and Ryan Reaves would end up fighting.

Not if, but when.

Darren Dreger predicted it would happen during the first game of the year.

I get it, there’s a potential for a big fight there, and I definitely wouldn’t look away if they were to engage in fisticuffs, but the media seems to have an odd fixation when it comes to a potential bout between those two.

Both Xhekaj and Reaves have dismissed the idea that it should be narrative. Perhaps it’s time to listen to them.

The Montreal Canadiens are back in action on Saturday, facing the very same Toronto Maple Leafs at the Bell Centre.

All Montreal Canadiens statistics are 5v5, via Natural Stat Trick.

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Hab in exile

Imagine everybodies dissapointment if Xhekaj and Reaves decide to play hockey instead of beating each others brains to a pulp. I find both have more to offer than their fists.


For my money, JPJ was our best player last night. I’d love for him to keep developing to the point that he actually has an NHL career with us. Having a 6’7” behemoth as one of our shutdown guys during playoff hockey some day in the future sure sounds good to me.