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Canadiens Postgame

Canadiens Roy, Slafkovsky, & Caufield Star In Big Win Over Devils



Montreal Canadiens Joshua Roy

The Montreal Canadiens were in New Jersey on Wednesday to face the talented Devils.

It was a big test for Martin St-Louis’ team, though they did create momentum by beating the high-flying Colorado Avalanche on Monday.

That momentum carried into the game against the Devils, leading to goals from Juraj Slafkovsky, Cole Caufield, and rookie Joshua Roy. Their offensive contributions combined with Samuel Montembeault’s great play led to a 3-2 win for the Canadiens.

Let’s check out those highlights!

Monarchy Maker

Joshua Roy hasn’t looked awful since his promotion, but from his very first shift, it was evident he would need some time to acclimatize to the speed and lack of space in the NHL.

That’s perfectly normal for any young player, particularly a player who only made his professional hockey debut four months ago.  No one was expecting Roy to jump into the NHL and immediately become an impact player.

On Wednesday night we saw a different version of Roy. One that understood he has to make his passes a little quicker, and his release a little faster.

It was a very encouraging game for the 20-year-old. It started with a good scoring chance created by Justin Barron in the first period, which was followed by a nice pass from Roy to set up his centre, Sean Monahan, a few shifts later.


Don’t look now, but Juraj Slafkovsky has goals in back-to-back games, not to mention 10 points in his last 15 games.

The youngest player in the lineup is using his size to his advantage, parking himself in high-danger areas and outworking opponents to jump on rebounds.

He’s also doing a much better job connecting with passes, which wasn’t always the case in the early parts of his career.

Against the Devils, he drove to the front of the net and took advantage of a fantastic pass by Cole Caufield, more on that later. It was his sixth goal of the season, scored with the confidence of a player who feels more comfortable with every passing shift.

We’ve established Nick Suzuki is enjoying his emerging season as a legitimate No.1 centre. There are calls for Selke votes given his impressive defensive play, and he constantly drives the offence for Martin St-Louis.

He was crucial on the Slafkovsky goal due to his forecheck, which created chaos deep in the Devils’ zone.

But any centre is limited by the play of his wingers. In Suzuki’s case, the lack of quality wingers throughout his career has been well-established.

Now that he’s playing with Caufield and Slafkovsky, and both players have found their scoring touch, we should see an uptick in scoring.

Especially if Caufield continues to make excellent passes as he did prior to the opening goal of the game.

Caufield has been involved in five of the team’s last seven goals and seems to be skating with the usual swagger he displayed in previous years.

King Of The Hill

Roy was not content simply creating chances for his teammates or taking a few good shots on the net. The Sherbrooke Phoenix product scored his first career NHL goal after a great set-up by Monahan, who did all he could to ensure his young linemate had the opportunity necessary to take the right shot.

Simon Nemec was completely lost on the play, which is rare for the young defenceman.

Regardless, Roy seized the opportunity, which will certainly serve as a confidence booster for the second-youngest player in the lineup. It should also be noted that he led all Canadiens players by taking five shots on the net.


Lack Of Discipline

A recurring theme for the Montreal Canadiens this season has been their indiscipline, which has cost them leads on several occasions.

Nick Suzuki’s double-minor for high-sticking late in the second period was the team’s third high-sticking penalty, and though you could argue the Devils deserved an interference penalty moments before Suzuki lost control of his stick, the Canadiens simply aren’t talented enough to defend multiple, avoidable penalties.

The Devils scored twice during their four-minute powerplay, tying the game just two minutes into the third period.

Big Money Monty

Despite the two quick Devils goals on the powerplay, it must be said that Samuel Montembeault had yet another excellent game for the Canadiens.

The Devils took over from roughly the midpoint of the game, leading to a bevy of high-danger chances for their many talented forwards.

As per usual, Montembeault kept the Canadiens in the game for longer than they deserved, yet another recurring theme for this team.

Cole Train

The game-winning goal was scored via Caufield’s stick, but it was not the typical goal we’ve come to expect from the sniper.

Caufield outworked his coverage to pounce on a loose puck in the crease, giving his team a fragile 3-2 lead with a few minutes left in the game. Full marks to Monahan for his work on the play. Just like the Roy goal, Monahan played a crucial role, freeing the puck long enough for Caufield to sweep it into the net.

It was Caufield’s sixth game-winning goal of the season.

The Montreal Canadiens are back in action on Thursday. They will face the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre. The puck drop is scheduled for 7 pm et.

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