MONTREAL — There is rarely a dull moment when it comes to all things Montreal Canadiens, but there aren’t always enough hours in the week to keep up with all the highlights and news.
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.
- ICYMI: Top forward prospect Joshua Roy made his NHL debut against Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers. He was placed on the third line alongside Sean Monahan and Joel Armia. The game also featured new defensive pairings, as Justin Barron was made a healthy scratch. [Game 42: Roy Makes NHL Debut, New Lines & Pairings]
- Roy had a quiet NHL debut, unsurprising given his lack of professional hockey experience. However, despite losing, the Montreal Canadiens offered Bell Centre fans a good show. They put forth an honest effort and kept the high-flying Oilers at bay for the majority of the game. It was a complete turnaround from their pathetic effort on Thursday versus the lowly San Jose Sharks. [Canadiens Lose in Overtime After Great Effort Against Oilers]
- Prospect Owen Beck has scored nine points in three games since joining the Saginaw Spirit. It’s a good reminder that context is key when analyzing hockey players. Their usage, which includes ice time, teammates, strategies, and more, is always important to keep in mind when discussing their development. Habs fans should keep that in mind concerning David Reinbacher’s difficult year in Switzerland. [Canadiens Analysis: Beck, Reinbacher, & The Value Of Context]
- Former Habs draft pick Terry Ryan played his first professional hockey game in over 20 years on Sunday. The 47-year-old suited up for the Newfoundland Growlers in the ECHL.
— Newfoundland Growlers (@NLGrowlers) January 14, 2024
- Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes met with the media to discuss the team’s progress, long-term plans, the goaltender situation, and other issues at the midway point of the season. Hughes recognized a trade using the team’s defensive depth may be in order, but he’s not going to force any type of move that would lead to the Canadiens acquiring a forward in the near future. [Canadiens GM Hughes Discusses Trades & Lack Of Elite Forwards]
- Head coach Martin St-Louis did not make any changes to his skater lineup ahead of the game against the Colorado Avalanche. He did, however, give veteran goaltender Jake Allen the start against the high-flying Avs. [Game 43: Drouin Returns To Montreal, Allen Starts]
- The decision to start Allen paid off, as the Canadiens emerged with a well-deserved 4-3 win against Colorado. Allen played well, as did Joel Armia, but as per usual, it was captain Nick Suzuki who led the offensive charge for the Habs. [Suzuki & Armia Star In Exciting Canadiens Win Over Avs]
- Unfortunately, forward Jesse Ylonen was forced to leave the game due to an injury.
L'attaquant Jesse Ylönen ne reviendra pas au jeu ce soir.
Forward Jesse Ylönen will not return to play tonight.
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) January 16, 2024
- Canadiens fans gave Drouin a nice ovation in the first period after his former team aired a tribute video during an intermission. It was a heartwarming moment and a nice way to put an end to the Montreal chapter of his career. [GOTTA SEE IT: Canadiens Fans Give Jonathan Drouin An Ovation]
- It hasn’t been an easy season in Montreal. That being said, there have been some bright spots within the organization, as some under-the-radar prospects are blowing past expectations this season and causing significant surprise. [Top-3 Most Improved Canadiens Prospects So Far This Season]
- Canadiens prospect Bogdan Konyushkov now has five goals and 18 assists in 51 games for Torpedo. The defenceman has also served as the team’s captain in recent games.
— Hockey News Hub (@HockeyNewsHub) January 16, 2024
- The numbers have improved since the start of the year, but it’s clear the Canadiens still struggle to defend the rush.
How good is your team off the rush and defending the rush?
For and against 📈
(Lowest and to the right is the best) pic.twitter.com/MoBWUV29qF
— Meghan Chayka (@MeghanChayka) January 15, 2024
- Montreal Canadiens goaltender Samuel Montembeault was given the opportunity to maintain his excellent numbers against the New Jersey Devils. The only other change to the lineup featured Justin Barron returning and Johnathan Kovacevic watching the game from the press box. [Canadiens Game 44: Montembeault Starts, Barron Returns]
- Joshua Roy looked much more comfortable during his third career NHL game. He was creating chances, taking advantage of the time and space available, and he also scored his first NHL goal. Sean Monahan was crucial in setting up the play for the 20-year-old forward.[GOTTA SEE IT: Canadiens Joshua Roy Scores First NHL Goal]
- In addition to Roy scoring his first career NHL goal, Juraj Slafkovsky and Cole Caufield found the back of the net for the Canadiens. As per usual, Montembeault was excellent, keeping his team in the game long enough for the forwards to do their part.[Roy, Slafkovsky, & Caufield Star In Big Win Over Devils]
- Slafkovsky was rather impressed with Caufield’s fantastic pass that led to the game’s opening goal. As for Slafkovsky, he has earned 10 points in the last 15 games, an encouraging sign.
Reporter: “What did you think of Caufield’s set up there knocking that puck out of mid air?”
Juraj Slafkovsky: “He’s a nasty player so you gotta expect plays like that.” pic.twitter.com/7EHDStF8NS
— /r/Habs (@HabsOnReddit) January 18, 2024
- Cayden Primeau was given just his second start of the month against the Ottawa Senators. The 24-year-old goaltender has had great stats on the road this season, but there’s no doubt he’s struggling to find his rhythm with the lack of action.
- [Game 45: Roy And Slafkovsky Aim To Keep Momentum]
- After great games against the Colorado Avalanche and the Winnipeg Jets, the Canadiens laid an egg on Thursday night against the 30th-place Senators. Primeau was swimming in his crease, the defensive structure was absent, and the offensive prowess was nowhere to be found. Joshua Roy’s line played well, and Michael Pezzetta beat up a much bigger opponent, but overall, it was a terrible effort from the Canadiens. [Canadiens Embarrassed Again Versus 30th Place Senators]
- Here’s another look at Pezzzetta’s fight, for those who missed it. He gave up a few inches and about 20 lbs to his opponent, Zach MacEwen.
Michael Pezzetta loves fighting bigger opponents. #GoHabsGo
Big W over MacEwen here. pic.twitter.com/N3Swg7ejCS
— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) January 19, 2024
- Top prospect David Reinbacher was spotted getting some new equipment in Dübendorf, Switzerland
Hey David 👋 😊 pic.twitter.com/TfDXu7XtLa
— /r/Habs (@HabsOnReddit) January 18, 2024
- Every rebuild has ebbs and flows, but there are certainly some very encouraging aspects of the Canadiens’ process that are worth highlighting. An active trade deadline could serve Kent Hughes’ team well, helping them take the next step in the rebuild. [Montreal Canadiens’ Rebuild Showing Signs of Life Despite Inconsistencies]
- Top prospect Lane Hutson had a fantastic night for Boston University. He had four assists in their 5-1 win over Boston College, pushing his season totals to an incredible 27 points in just 18 games.
- Montreal Canadiens prospect Filip Mesar was injured in Friday’s game against the London Knights. The Kitchener Rangers forward did not return to the ice after being elbowed in the first period.
Rangers coach says @CanadiensMTL prospect Filip Mesar took an elbow to the head in the first period. He did not return and no penalty was called on the play. He's listed as day-to-day.
— Josh Brown (@BrownRecord) January 20, 2024