MONTREAL — Montreal Canadiens fans know all too well there is rarely a dull moment when it comes to their favourite team, but there aren’t always enough hours in the week to keep up with all the news.
For that reason, we will recap the most exciting and relevant NHL news stories that you may have missed throughout the week every Sunday.
- ICYMI: The Montreal Canadiens had won two games in a row in California, which is rare, but they failed to complete the sweep by losing 4-0 to the Los Angeles Kings. It was one of the team’s worst outings of the season, a reality check for a club that’s still a long way from contending. [Canadiens Embarrassed In Los Angeles By Stronger Kings Team]
- Shockingly, the president of the team that will be paid $7 million to play just two preseason games in Quebec City doesn’t think it’s a bad investment for the province. Luc Robitaille pushed back against the valid criticism regarding the Quebec Government’s recent hockey-related boondoggle. [Journal De Montreal (FR)]
- The team started the season with decent underlying numbers, but unlike Wyclef Jean, the good times have not returned in November. As it stands, they’re among the worst teams in the league when it comes to expected goals against per 60 minutes of ice time.
5v5 Team Defence – November 26 pic.twitter.com/ynmv0qdITQ
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) November 26, 2023
- They’re also one of the bottom-five teams when it comes to generating scoring chances. Only the Ottawa Senators, Chicago Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks have generated fewer expected goals per 60.
5v5 Expected Goals For per 60 – November 26 pic.twitter.com/ajCeBAPFzH
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) November 26, 2023
- Now that the Laval Rocket have suffered a few injuries, not to mention the call-ups to the NHL, some players are taking advantage of the opportunity that comes with an increase in ice time. Jan Mysak is among them.
— Rocket de Laval (@RocketLaval) November 26, 2023
- Prospect Riley Kidney has also seized his chance. The second-round pick has also scored goals in back-to-back games.
— American Hockey League (@TheAHL) November 26, 2023
- Vinzenz Rohrer continues to play a hard-working brand of hockey for the Zurich Lions.
— Patrik Bexell (@Zeb_Habs) November 26, 2023
- With just nine wins in 20 games – only three of which are in regulation – the Montreal Canadiens currently find themselves at the bottom of the Atlantic Division yet again this season. But a poor finish could lead to a very high draft pick, and that’s exactly what the team needs at this point in their rebuild. [Poor Season For Canadiens Could Be Blessing In Disguise]
- Are the Habs a better team this year compared to last year? To get a good idea, we compared the stats behind the first 21 games this season versus 2022-23. As it stands, the team is worse, but goaltending has been their saving grace. [Habs Stats: Comparing The Canadiens’ Start To Last Season]
- NCAA expert Chris Peters spoke to Lane Hutson’s constant evolution. He’s among the many analysts who watch Hutson closely and are impressed by what he brings to the table every game.
— /r/Habs (@HabsOnReddit) November 27, 2023
- Goaltending Prospect Jacob Fowler continues to enjoy a great start to his NCAA career. Thanks to his excellent 12-2-1 record and his impressive .931 save percentage this season, he was once again named the goaltender of the week in Hockey East.
One scored 4⃣ and the other only allowed 2⃣
Solid week, boys 🤝 pic.twitter.com/HW4cGwI9iy
— BC Men's Hockey (@BC_MHockey) November 27, 2023
- Former Montreal Canadiens forward Corey Perry was placed on unconditional waivers for the purpose of contract termination by the Chicago Blackhawks. [Blackhawks Put Corey Perry On Unconditional Waivers]
- Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson held a press conference but did not offer up any additional information. He did, however, squash the rumours circulating on social media.
Kyle Davidson's full opening statement: pic.twitter.com/Qn8xKonDzI
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) November 28, 2023
- Carey Price may no longer be playing, but he’s still serving as a motivator for goalies such as Buffalo Sabres prospect Devon Levi. [Canadiens Carey Price Serving As A Mentor To Stars Of Tomorrow]
- Vinzenz Rohrer continues his steady development in the NL. The 2022 third-round pick is evolving into a hard-working, cerebral player. His transition to professional hockey from the CHL seems to have served him well in establishing a career route that can be sustainable if he were to make the NHL.
5th goal of the season for Habs Vinzenz Rohrer who looks more and more like a Gallagher/RHP player by the day pic.twitter.com/Dvlo53R8tL
— Thibaud Chatel (@Thibaud_Chatel) November 28, 2023
- The Montreal chapter of the new PHWL league will open its season on January 2 versus the Ottawa-based franchise. Their first home game will be on January 13 in Verdun.
Nous serons sur la route pour nos deux premiers matchs.
Le 2 Janvier contre Ottawa
Le 6 janvier contre Minnesota
Notre match d’ouverture est le 13 janvier https://t.co/ihAFEFPs0r
— PWHL Montréal (@PWHL_Montreal) November 28, 2023
- According to Hockey Insider Chris Johnston, the Montreal Canadiens have three players among the top 25 in the league when it comes to potential trades. Goaltenders Jake Allen and Samuel Montembeault are ranked seventh and eighth, whereas veteran forward Sean Monahan is listed a little lower. [Top Three Montreal Canadiens Players Likely To Be Traded First]
- Head coach Martin St-Louis decided to change things up a little. Montembeault was given the start against the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets. In addition, forward Joel Armia replaced Michael Pezzetta in the bottom six. [Canadiens Game 22: Montembeault To Start, Armia Returns To Lineup]
- The changes paid off, as not only did Armia score the game-winning goal, but Montembeault earned another win. Juraj Slafkovsky may have had his best game of the season, as well. [Slafkovsky Excels and Caufield Scores In Win Versus Blue Jackets]
- We asked fans to identify five Canadiens players they’d like to see evaluated to establish whether they’re off to a better or worse start than last year. The results for Juraj Slafkovsky are somewhat encouraging if we acknowledge that his development hasn’t been ideal. Of course, Slafkovsky hasn’t controlled his usage, so it’s difficult to blame him for much when it comes to his stats. Kaiden Guhle is enjoying a much better year, however, players like Josh Anderson, Sean Monahan, and Mike Matheson are all suffering through a significant downtick in results. [Five Canadiens Players Who Have Improved Or Slowed Down]
- The Montreal chapter of the new PHWL league will have its home opener at the Centre 21.02 on January 13. The tickets, which aren’t on sale yet, seem to be priced quite reasonably.
Voici les prix pour les matchs de la LPHF qui seront présentés à l'Auditorium de Verdun. Premier match, le 13 janvier. pic.twitter.com/xiPez9FaWP
— Christine Roger (@ChristineRoger) November 29, 2023
- Martin St-Louis decided to give Cayden Primeau the start against the Florida Panthers in a bid to improve his value on the trade market. [Cayden Primeau Given Start Versus Florida Panthers]
- Unfortunately, it backfired, as Primeau struggled against Florida. But it’s hard to blame him for the loss when you consider the Habs failed to capitalize on their chances. It was also a very poorly officiated game. [Canadiens Struggle In Frustrating Loss To Panthers]
- To make matters worse, Alex Newhoohttps://twitter.com/MarcPDumont/status/1730407020396708127k was forced to leave the game after his foot took the brunt of the impact when he drove the net.
- Josh Anderson, who hasn’t scored all season, took some of his frustration out on Jonah Gadjovich in the dying moments of the game.
What a tilly between Anderson and Gadjovich. pic.twitter.com/c3stCOBz4m
— Matt Drake (@DrakeMT) December 1, 2023
- Phenom Lane Hutson was named the defenceman of the month in the Hockey East conference. The Montreal Canadiens prospect has eight goals and eight assists in just 13 games this season for Boston University.
— BU Men's Hockey (@TerrierHockey) November 30, 2023
- He wasn’t the only Canadiens prospect currently playing in the NCAA that took home an accolade. Jacob Fowler was named the goaltender of the month, as well. He’s having a dominant start to his NCAA career.
Congrats to Jacob Fowler on being named the Hockey East Goaltender of the Month 🔥
Fowler earns his second straight Goaltender of the Month award, posting a 6-1-1 record in 8 starts in November.
He’s now 11-2-1 with 1 shutout, 1.98 GAA & .931 save %.
He’s a college rookie. pic.twitter.com/p8wYzlBblW
— /r/Habs (@HabsOnReddit) November 30, 2023
- Montreal Canadiens goaltender Samuel Montembeault signed a three-year contract extension with a $3.15 million annual average value. All things considered, it’s great value for a goaltender who finds himself among the top 10 in the league for goals saved above expected. It also gives the Canadiens some flexibility going forward due to the reasonable term. [Canadiens Samuel Montembeault Extension Provides Value]
- Now that Kent Hughes has resolved the contract issue with Montembeault, it’s time for him to figure out which goaltender needs to go. Having three goaltenders on an NHL roster is not a tenable situation, and Martin St-Louis is clearly frustrated with the logjam. Whether by a trade of via waivers, the Canadiens need to slay the three-headed monster once and for all. [Canadiens GM Kent Hughes Must Resolve Goaltending Situation]
- Prospect Filip Mesar continues to enjoy a very successful season in the OHL with the Kitchener Rangers. Not only is he currently leading the league in points per game, but he was also named the OHL Player of the Month for November. [Prospect Report: Filip Mesar’s Dominance In The OHL]
- The Canadiens decided to give centre Mitchell Stephens a call-up from the Laval Rocket. It’s great news because it means they’re not rushing Joshua Roy’s development, but it also points to a potential long-term injury for Alex Newhook. [Canadiens Call-Up A Good News, Bad News Situation]
- The Montreal Canadiens continue to flirt with a .500 record, thanks to the notable improvement of youngsters; something that should give fans some hope for the future.. [Canadiens Youngsters Starting To Find Their Groove]