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Canadiens Postgame

Canadiens Goaltender Primeau Steals Show Versus Blue Jackets



montreal canadiens primeau

The Montreal Canadiens hosted the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night, in a game that would have an impact on both team’s draft lottery odds.

Martin St-Louis’ team got off to a great start, but faded quickly, leading to a bevy of scoring chances and shots sent Cayden Primeau’s way.

Fortunately for the Canadiens, Primeau enjoyed one of his best games in recent memory, which allowed the home team to secure a morale-boosting 3-0 win.

Let’s dive into those highlights!

Quick Start

The Canadiens took control of the game from the very first shift when Brendan Gallagher scored his 11th goal of the season.

Gallagher has enjoyed a fairly solid 2023-24 campaign despite all the criticism he has faced. He no longer produces at the same rate as he once did, but when Gallagher is on the ice the Canadiens tend to enjoy a significant advantage in scoring chances and expected goals.

In otherwords, the reports of Gallagher’s death have been greatly exaggerated, as evidenced by his opening goal just 21 seconds into the game.

Youth Movement

The young players in the lineup followed suit once the veterans set the tone.

Juraj Slafkovsky, who is still nursing a minor injury, scored his 14th goal of the season after Mike Matheson set him up perfectly on the powerplay.

Fans will want Matheson to repeat his pass selection going forward, as he doesn’t always identify Slafkovsky as a good pass option on the powerplay. Given that Slafkovsky has the ability to connect on one-timers with a lot of force, which is harder than you may assume, he often represents the best shooting threat on the ice.

Cole Caufield also received an assist on the play, his 33rd of the year. Caufield may not be scoring as often as he once was, but his playmaking has certainly been on full display in 2023-24.

A New King

Once the youngest player in the lineup scored, it was up to the second-youngest player in the lineup to match his production.

Joshua Roy’s smart positioning in front of Elvis Merzlikins gave him all the time and space he needed to deflect an Arber Xhekaj point shot, giving the Habs an impressive 3-0 lead less than six minutes into the first period. Once the Canadiens scored their third goal, the Blue Jackets decided to pull Merzlikins.

In otherwords, Elvils left the building.

It was Roy’s fourth goal of the season, but only his first while playing in front of the Habs faithful at the Bell Centre. It’s a rather safe bet to suggest it won’t be his last.

Roy continues to be one of the team’s best forwards according to all available metrics. The results are only starting to catch up to the process, which is very encouraging since the best is yet to come for the 20-year-old forward.

Hold The Fort

While the Canadiens capitalized on almost every chance in the first period, the same cannot be said about the Blue Jackets. It’s not that they didn’t generate any chances, but rather, Cayden Primeau shut down every high-danger chance he saw.

Despite the lopsided score, the Blue Jackets held a slight advantage in 5v5 scoring chances (5-4). Thanks to Primeau, the Canadiens entered the first intermission with a three-goal lead. On top of stopping many high-quality scoring chances, Primeau saved all 22 shots he faced in the first frame.

There’s an adage that suggests it’s never wise to rest on your laurels.

Now, we should specify the Canadiens did not rest on their laurels against the Blue Jackets.

Rather, it would be more accurate to suggest they bought the plot of land under the laurels and made plans to build their retirement home there.

Consequently, Primeau was left to his own devices after the first period, but he did a fantastic job holding the fort whenever the Blue Jackets came knocking, making over 40 saves to register his second career shutout in the NHL.


The Montreal Canadiens are back in action on Thursday when they’ll face the Boston Bruins. The puck drop is scheduled for 7 pm ET.

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