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Canadiens Highlights

Canadiens Slafkovsky, Caufield & Suzuki Shine Again Vs. Chicago



Montreal Canadiens Juraj Slafkovsky

The Montreal Canadiens were in Chicago on Friday night to face the Blackhawks. It was the team’s final game before a quick holiday break, a perfect opportunity to build some momentum before heading home to spend some time with their families.

It was yet another eventful game, which included line changes, big hits, fights, and more.

The Habs emerged with a 5-2 win thanks to Juraj Slafkovsky’s game-winning goal.

If you’re looking to talk about the game once you’re done reading the recap, don’t forget to join me for a fun discussion that takes place after every Habs game. Here’s the link to join the fun.

Let’s dive into those highlights!

Save Of The Year?

The Canadiens held an edge in high-danger chances to start the game, but it was Chicago that opened the scoring in the first period when Ryan Donato found the back of the net for the sixth time this season.

It could have been worse, but thanks to an excellent save by Cayden Primeau, not to mention an even more impressive save by defenceman Jayden Struble, the Blackhawks only scored one goal in the first period.

Struble hasn’t been perfect, but his mistakes are few and far between.

As it stands, there’s no way the team can justify re-assigning him to the AHL. He’s arguably their most reliable defenceman, with just 15 games of experience under his belt.

Barron’s Struggles

Justin Barron brings a lot to the table. He’s a potent offensive weapon, and he’s one of the defencemen the Canadiens hope will evolve into a reliable player for the long-term rebuild plans.

But he tends to make very glaring mistakes, as was the case when the Blackhawks scored their second goal of the game.

Those mistakes are very easy to remember, and it skews everyone’s perception of Barron. He hasn’t been bad this year, but he does need to clean up his play in the defensive zone.

Merry Christmas

One of the hardest-working players for the Laval Rocket was rewarded for his loyalty early in the second period.

Mitchell Stephens will never win any scoring races, but he epitomizes a team-first player who will give you an honest effort every night. He scored his first goal for the Montreal Canadiens by winning an important offensive-zone faceoff, then driving the net to tip Mike Matheson’s point shot.

Turning the Tide

The momentum was firmly in Montreal’s corner to close out the second period. Josh Anderson scored his fifth goal of the year after a nice passing play by Jake Evans and Sean Monahan opened up a passing lane.

Anderson may have started the season slow, but he’s found his ryhthm in recent games, which is good news for everyone in the organization, but more importantly, allows him to breathe a little easier during the holidays.


The Canadiens closed out the period in style when Juraj Slafkovsky scored his fourth goal of the season. Slafkovsky, who has now scored in back-to-back games, is rewarding head coach Martin St-Louis for his patience.

It’s not that the top line has played poorly since Slafkovsky joined Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield. In fact, they’ve played quite well. But the points were hard to come by at first.

With goals in consecutive games, not only is the process encouraging, but the results are starting to come to the forefront for the first line.

You’ll notice that Jesse Ylonen was removed from the fourth line for exactly one shift, but still managed to make something happen. The current roster construction may not allow him to play higher in the lineup, but you’d be hard-pressed to argue he’s not doing everything he can to convince St-Louis to give him more ice time.

They weren’t done there.

Suzuki scored his 10th goal of the season midway through the third period to give the Habs a 4-2 lead. Suzuki is a player who is flying under the radar this season. Yes, everyone knows he’s good, but he does not get enough credit for his strong play.

Now that the line is scoring, we could be in for a significant uptick in offence from the Canadiens’ captain.

The Montreal Canadiens will be back in action on December 28, facing the Hurricanes in Carolina. The puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 pm ET.

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