The Montreal Canadiens are off to a very good start to the season, all things considered.
They’re currently third in the Atlantic Division with a 5-2-2 record and have pushed teams like the Stanley Cup Champion Vegas Golden Knights to the limit.
Truth be told, they’re probably a little lucky to have already registered 12 points. Goaltender Jake Allen has been dominant, as evidenced by his .930 save percentage.
The team’s underlying numbers have suffered greatly since losing Dach in the second game of the season. It’s to be expected, and not only because Dach is a key player in the lineup.
The Habs aren’t quite ready to compete for the playoffs, which explains why their share of shots and high-danger scoring chances quickly fell below 50 percent in the last few games.
Montreal Canadiens Practice Changes
With that in mind, it appears as if there may be some changes in the lineup ahead of Thursday night’s matchup with the Arizona Coyotes.
Jordan Harris practiced as the team’s seventh defenceman, which could indicate a return to play for defender Gustav Lindstrom, who has looked much better when playing in the NHL compared to his results in the AHL.
Lindstrom was paired with truculent defenceman Arber Xhekaj at practice.
As for the forwards, despite doing fairly well in limited ice time, forward Michael Pezzetta was the odd man out during line rushes. Jesse Ylonen took his place on the fourth line.
The remainder of the lines were unchanged, which means we’re likely to see Josh Anderson, Alex Newhook, and Juraj Slafkovsky together on the second line, a combination that has struggled to produce anything sembling sustained offence.
Fortunately, the top line, which features Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield, and Rafael Harvey-Pinard, has been excellent of late.
There’s no word yet as to which of the three goaltenders on the roster will be given the net against the Coyotes, but don’t be surprised if Cayden Primeau is given his second start of the season.
Je ne tomberais pas en bas de ma chaise si Cayden Primeau affrontait les Coyotes demain.
— Marc Antoine Godin (@MAGodin) November 1, 2023