MONTREAL — There’s never a dull moment when it comes to all things Montreal Canadiens, but there aren’t enough hours in the week to keep up with all the stories.
On Sundays, we will recap the most exciting and relevant NHL news stories that you may have missed throughout the week so that you can stay in the loop.
- Top prospects Filip Mesar and Owen Beck continue to enjoy very solid Draft + 2 seasons in the OHL. It helps that both players are currently on strong teams, but they’re a big part of why the Kitchener Rangers and Peterborough Petes are enjoying so much success. [Montreal Canadiens Prospects Mesar And Beck Erasing Doubts]
- Saturday night’s game against the Buffalo Sabres epitomized entertainment. Jayden Struble scored his first career goal, Cayden Primeau made dozens of high-danger saves, and Juraj Slafkovsky got into a fight. Oh, and he also won the game with a great move in the shootout. [Canadiens Struble Scores, Slafkovsky Stars In Win Vs Sabres
- The Montreal Canadiens followed up their win with a very strong effort against the Nashville Predators. They had significantly more scoring chances. They also controlled the play for most of the game. But another poor start and a lifeless powerplay cost them in the 2-1 loss. [Ice-Cold Powerplay Costs Canadiens In Loss To Predators]
- There was some bad news on the injury front. Again. Tanner Pearson is going to miss four to six weeks due to an upper-body injury. He took a puck to the hand in Saturday’s game against the Sabres.
L'attaquant Tanner Pearson ratera de 4 à 6 semaines d'activité en raison d'une blessure au haut du corps.
Forward Tanner Pearson will be out for 4 to 6 weeks due to an upper-body injury.#GoHabsGo
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) December 11, 2023
- In this edition of the Montreal Canadiens Mailbag, we discuss several topics, including where Mattias Norlinder will end up, potential trade ideas due to the surplus of goaltenders, trade ideas submitted by Habs Faifhtul, the Laval Rocket’s difficult season, the three-headed monster that is the goaltending situation, the logjam on defence, Kirby Dach’s injury history, and much more.[Habs Mailbag: Defensive Logjam, Rocket Issues, Trade Options]
- Several NHL teams could use an upgrade in the goaltending position. Given that Cayden Primeau, Jake Allen, and Samuel Montembeault are among the top 30 goaltenders in the NHL in goals saved above expected, they could help a few teams reach their goals. [Top NHL Teams That Should Trade For Canadiens Goalies
- Elite Prospects analyst Lassi Alanen released a very interesting breakdown of Canadiens prospect Adam Ensgtrom’s play for Rogle BK in the SHL.
Film Room: How Montréal Canadiens prospect Adam Engström's leveraged his skating and skill to become one of Sweden's top defence prospects #GoHabsGo
— EP Rinkside (@EPRinkside) December 11, 2023
- Speaking of Engstrom, Rogle decided to fire their coaching staff yesterday. Rogle is currently 11th out of 14 teams in the SHL.
According to @SportExpressen Adam Engström's coach and GM (and Canadians) Cam and Chris Abbott has been fired from Rögle.
In regards to the #Habs prospect's development my take is that since Max Bohlin (the defensive coach) stays on, Engström's development shouldn't be hindered
— Patrik Bexell (@Zeb_Habs) December 11, 2023
- Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes had some interesting views on Juraj Slafkovsky’s development path and what’s yet to come for their 1st overall pick. The development of Slafkovsky at this junction of the rebuild is crucial. [Canadiens Kent Hughes On Slafkovsky’s Development & Timeline]
- In addition to discussing Slafkovsky’s improvements, Hughes also mentioned he wants to see Lane Hutson sign his entry-level contract once Boston University’s season is over.
“We’d like to see [Lane Hutson] when the [NCAA] season is over, signed to a contract & start his pro career.” – Habs GM Kent Hughes on The Sick Podcast – The Eye Test (@sickpodnhl)
— /r/Habs (@HabsOnReddit) December 11, 2023
- Speaking of Hutson, for those wondering, he’s still very good. There’s room for improvement in his defensive play, but overall, the prospect is trending toward becoming a star player in the NHL.
Lane Hutson (MTL) remains one of the very best defencemen in the NCAA.
— Lassi Alanen (@lassialanen) December 12, 2023
- Defenceman Jordan Harris is expected to miss another two weeks.
Defenseman Jordan Harris continues his rehabilitation process and will skate after the team practice today. He is expected to return to play in approximately 10 to 14 days.#GoHabsGo
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) December 12, 2023
- Montreal Canadiens head coach Martin St-Louis decided to give Samuel Montembeault the start versus the Pittsburgh Penguins. [Canadiens Game 29: Montembeault To Start Versus Penguins]
- The Canadiens started the game on the right foot and even had a 3-1 lead, but you can never count out a team with Sidney Crosby in their lineup. Crosby had two goals and an assist, powering a Penguins comeback win. [Sidney Crosby Reminds Montreal Canadiens He’s Not Done Yet]
- Habs prospect Owen Beck will once again represent Canada at the World Junior Championship. The 19-year-old centre is likely to play a leadership role for Team Canada as well.
Meet the 2⃣2⃣ players who will wear the 🍁 at the #WorldJuniors!
— Hockey Canada (@HockeyCanada) December 13, 2023
- Some bad news on the injury front. Tanner Pearson took a puck to the hand which forced him to leave Saturday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres. He has since been added to the injured reserve. Laval Rocket forward Emil Heineman received the call from the Canadiens to take Pearson’s place. Heineman has played five games since returning from a concussion, scoring three points. He’s also been engaged in most plays, adding a physical element to his game.
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) December 13, 2023
- The Montreal Canadiens have enjoyed great goaltending this season, but a few concerning statistics are looming over the team’s rebuild. The lack of production among forwards is at the top of the list. [Concerning Statistics Hanging Heavy Over Canadiens Rebuild]
- Cayden Primeau, Mike Matheson, Brendan Gallagher, Jake Evans, and Christian Dvorak were not present at practice, with all five players taking a therapy day. Head coach Martin St-Louis also took the time to talk to Cole Caufield, who has struggled to produce goals of late. [Canadiens Practice: St-Louis Focuses on Caufield, Therapy Days]
- Kirby Dach is still rehabbing his surgically repaired knee, but in the meantime, he’s doing a co-op in equipment management.
Préposé à l'équipement d'un jour
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) December 14, 2023
- Prospect Lane Hutson is gearing up for the 2024 World Junior Championship.
Mini scrimmage here.
— Steven Ellis (@SEllisHockey) December 14, 2023
- As for prospect Jacob Fowler, he is in the running to take over the starting job for Team USA.
According to Chris Peters, Team USA 🇺🇸 coach David Carle says that they haven’t yet decided who will be the #1 goalie moving forward for the World Juniors.
Jacob Fowler continues to make a strong push to be the starter with his stellar freshman season leading to camp.
— /r/Habs (@HabsOnReddit) December 14, 2023
- For the first time in a very long time, there’s a new Montreal Canadiens prospect atop the power rankings. Thanks to his excellent work in the crease, Jacob Fowler took over the No.1 spot from Lane Hutson. Several other prospects climbed the list, while a handful of players dropped in this edition of the Habs prospect power rankings. [Canadiens Prospect Power Rankings: Fowler Reigns Supreme]
- Prospect Lane Hutson took the time to discuss his Boston University teammate, Macklin Celebrini. The two form a deadly duo in the NCAA but will be fighting under different flags at the 2024 World Junior Championship. [Lane Hutson Discusses Macklin Celebrini]
- Jake Evans was missing from practice, which led to a shakeup in the lines. In an encouraging change, forward Jesse Ylonen practiced on the second line with Sean Monahan and Josh Anderson.
*Evans absent ce matin
— Anthony Martineau (@Antho_Martineau) December 15, 2023
- Tickets are now on sale for the Montreal PWHL chapter’s home games.
Get your Half Season Ticket Packages NOW!
Place Bell package 👉 https://t.co/I1A0z1AetM
— PWHL Montréal (@PWHL_Montreal) December 12, 2023
- Prospect Florian Xhekaj thought he had scored the teddy-bear toss-clinching goal last night, but upon further review it was called off, leading to an awkward situation in Brantford.
Florian Xhekaj scores, but the referees say no goal. It's under review.
But it's the teddy-bear toss game, so you know what happened next. pic.twitter.com/5mCj6hVDZb
— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) December 16, 2023