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Canadiens Postgame

Canadiens Youngsters Roy And Harris End Lengthy Losing Streak



montreal canadiens jordan harris

The Montreal Canadiens hosted the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night, providing both teams with an opportunity to end their lengthy losing streaks, which stood at five and 12 games, respectively.

It was also a battle of two teams hoping to improve their 2024 NHL Draft Lottery odds, setting up one of the biggest tank battles since the Battle of Kursk.

The Canadiens eventually emerged with a 4-2 win thanks to very strong outings from young players such as Joshua Roy, Samuel Montembeault, and Jordan Harris.

Some fans will be quick to point to the Draft Lottery odds every time the Habs lose, and there’s certainly merit to keeping an eye on the odds, but you know what they say.

You can’t lose them all.

Let’s dive into the highlights!


The Coyotes controlled the play in the first period by taking twice as many shots as the Habs, but Martin St-Louis’ team did a good job keeping Arizona to the outside, which limited their high-danger scoring chances.

One of the most important aspects when it comes to limiting scoring opportunities off the rush is clogging up the neutral zone, and when need be, adding a physical element to the process, two things the Canadiens did quite well against the Coyotes in the first period.

Monarchy Impact

Those of you familiar with my recaps will note that I tend to reserve a fair amount of praise for Joshua Roy.

It’s not that he’s producing fantastic underlying numbers, though leading the Canadiens in expected goals (xGF%) by a significant margin as a rookie certainly does not hurt his case.

When it comes to Roy, we don’t really need data analysis to establish his value.

His vision, anticipation, and well-rounded skillset allow him to positively influence the game every time he’s on the ice.

Take the Canadiens’ first goal as an example.

Most highlights will show Alex Newhook feeding Joel Armia, who scored his 10th goal of the season. On the surface, it looked like your typical odd-man rush.

But the puck would have never left the Canadiens’ zone if not for Roy’s ability to turn smart defensive play into scoring chances at the other end of the rink.

It’s not a glamorous role by any means, but Roy is doing things on the ice that you would expect from a player like Nick Suzuki, and not the forward with the least professional hockey experience in the lineup.

Creating turnovers and quickly leveraging good work in the defensive zone into offensive chances should keep Roy in the lineup for the foreseeable future.

Harris Reminder

It’s just a coincidence that I recently went on a rant suggesting fans should stop including Jordan Harris in every trade. Or, at the very least, stop treating him as a throw-in or a sweetener in any potential deal.

Harris is worth much more to the Canadiens on the ice than in a trade, and he reminded us why on Tuesday night when he single-handedly gave the Habs a 2-0 lead.

Yes, the Habs have some depth on the blue line, and yes, they are likely to use that depth in a trade down the road, but moving Harris for the sake of reducing the defensive logjam would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Slafkovský Watch

You may have noticed Juraj Slafkovsky taking more penalties of late. On Tuesday, he took two high-sticking penalties, which is far from ideal. But the increase in infractions also coincides with the 19-year-old winger becoming more comfortable using his massive frame to create chaos in the offensive zone.

He’ll have to find his ryhthm and decrease the number of minor penalties, but overall, I don’t mind seeing Slafkovsky play a more physical brand of hockey than he did when he first entered the league.


The Canadiens won’t get much if they do manage to move Tanner Pearson ahead of the trade deadline, but in the meantime, Pearson can help his own case when it comes to a potential contract next season.

His goal on Tuesday was his first since December 4, which also made it a matter of pride for the veteran forward.

You’ll note Harris was once again involved in a scoring play.

This time around he quickly corralled the puck and made a simple, yet efficient breakout pass to spring Pearson.


Montreal Canadiens Top Line Woes

Some will be quick to note the top line hasn’t been at its best in recent games.
Suzuki did score an empty-net goal, but for the most part, the criticism is accurate.
It’s part of the normal ebbs and flows of playing professional sports, but I wouldn’t lose much sleep when it comes to the play of Slafkovsky, Suzuki, and Cole Caufield.
We know they can be a dominant presence on most nights. What remains to be seen is who will step up when the top line fails to drive the play. For now, it seems that any line featuring Joshua Roy will be the front-runner to provide sustained secondary scoring.

The Montreal Canadiens are back in action on Thursday. They will travel to Florida to face the Panthers. The puck drop is scheduled for 7 pm ET.

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