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Montreal Canadiens Loss To The Los Angeles Kings A Reality Check



Montreal Canadiens los angeles kings

The Montreal Canadiens hosted the Los Angeles Kings at the Bell Centre on Thursday night, hoping to avenge their difficult loss in California on November 25th. They also had an opportunity to hand the Kings their first road loss of the season.

Unlike their to trip Quebec City next season, the provincial government did not have to pay the Kings to attend a hockey game this time around.

The Canadiens started the night by honouring Caroline Ouellette, one of the most dominant Canadians to ever play the game. Ouellette was introduced into the Hockey Hall of Fame this year and continues to grow the game in Quebec via numerous camps and tournaments designed to give girls an opportunity to improve their hockey skills.

Unfortunately for the Habs, despite playing much better against Los Angeles this time around, it’s clear the Kings have too much talent for a rebuilding team like the Canadiens to shut down any semblance of efficiency.

Consequently, the Legault Assisted Kings emerged with a well-deserved 4-0 win.

Rocky Start

Juraj Slafovksy started the game by drawing a penalty due to some solid board work, but the Canadiens failed to capitalize on their opportunity.

The Kings quickly changed the momentum of the game when Jake Evans and Christian Dvorak were involved in an awkward line change that created a traffic jam at the blue line.

It’s not the end of the world, but unforced errors such as sloppy line changes are starting to become very common for the Habs.

The Kings decided to double their lead toward the end of the first period, though it would be more accurate to say Quinton Byfield decided to drive the net by using his big frame to keep his opponents at bay.

It was a very nice goal by the 21-year-old winger, one that Juraj Slafkovsky may want to study for future reference. They both have significant size advantages in almost every situation, but it takes a little while before younger players build the confidence necessary to drive the net constantly.

Byfield is older than Slafkovsky, and therefore we shouldn’t expect the young Slovak to match his impact in the NHL, but it’s also worth noting the Kings did not hesitate to change things up when Byfield’s development in the NHL seemed to stall. They returned him to the AHL on several occasions so that he could find his scoring touch and improve his confidence.


Slow But Steady Growth

Of course, Slafkovsky doesn’t make decisions when it comes to his development. The only thing he can do is perform as well as possible when the team calls upon him.

And that’s exactly what he has done in the last few weeks.

He stood out for the right reasons against the Kings, using his size to protect pucks, his anticipation to create turnovers, and his budding chemistry with Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield to create scoring chances.


If the Canadiens Did Not Have Bad Luck, They’d Have No Luck At All

Nuff said.

GIF Of The Game

Pierre-Luc Dubois may not have ended up in Montreal, but he did receive a warm welcome from his home team.

The Montreal Canadiens are back in action on Saturday. They will face the Sabres in Buffalo.

All Montreal Canadiens statistics are 5v5 unless otherwise noted. Via Natural Stat Trick.