Connect with us

Canadiens Postgame

Slafkovsky Sets Canadiens Franchise Record In Win Vs Avalanche

Published

on

Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens were in Colorado on Tuesday night to face the Avalanche at Ball Arena. The last time the Avalanche failed to secure a win on home ice was in mid-February, making it a particularly tall order for Martin St-Louis’ team.

But the Habs managed to emerge with a hard-fought 2-1 win thanks to some timely goaltending, a record-setting play by the youngest player in the lineup, and a veteran’s great individual effort.

Let’s take a look at those highlights!

False Start

The Avalanche are one of the most skilled teams in the league, which is why it comes as no surprise that it took Nathan MacKinnon just 43 seconds to score his 45th goal of the year.

Former Hab Jonathan Drouin played a crucial part in the scoring play by keeping the puck in the Canadiens’ zone. It appeared that it may have been offside upon review, but there were no conclusive angles available and the Habs wisely opted not to challenge the goal.

Captain’s Response

As has been the case the entire season, captain Nick Suzuki led the charge for the Montreal Canadiens.

It took him less than 10 seconds to respond to Colorado’s opening goal, registering his 29th goal of the season in the process. It also meant Suzuki set a new career high in points, with 67.  Seeing as Suzuki only recently entered his statistical prime, there’s a very good chance the best is yet to come for the 24-year-old centre.

And the same can be said about Juraj Slafkovsky, who is still among the youngest players in the NHL. The 19-year-old assisted on Suzuki’s scoring play, and that’s notable for a few reasons.

The assist extended his point streak to eight games while also pushing his season totals to 40 points. This means Slafkovsky tied a franchise record held by Henri Richard for the most points in a season by a teenager.

Technically, Richard turned 20 during the season in which he scored 40 points, which means Slafkovsky is the lone record holder, but that’s not all that important.

What matters most is that the youngest player in the lineup has slowly yet surely established his identity in the NHL as a player who is just scratching the surface of his potential.

He’s playing on the top line against the opposing team’s best players, and he’s facing this difficult challenge with aplomb. To make matters even more interesting, he’s still a few years away from his statistical prime.

And to put a fine point on his encouraging sophomore campaign, we can look at the fact that Slafkosvky has scored 26 of his 40 points this season on the road.

Goalie Game

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the excellent play from Samuel Montembeault. The Canadiens held the lead for the first half of the game, but it would not have been possible without Montembeault holding the fort while the Avalanche pressed.

Good Finnish

Thanks to Montembeault’s strong play when his team needed him most, the Habs would go on to establish a lead late in the first period.

Full marks to Joel Armia for taking advantage of a chaotic situation before tucking the puck behind Avalanche goaltender Justus Annunen, a fellow Finn.

Alex Newhook did not officially receive an assist on the play at first, but he was surely happy to see his new team take the lead over the team that unceremoniously traded him this summer. For the record, the Avalanche aired a nice montage to welcome Newhook back to Colorado, which was a nice touch.

Brendan Gallagher also played a crucial part in the play, tying up Drouin’s stick so he could not prevent the Armia goal.

For the record, upon further review, the NHL did eventually credit Newhook for assisting the goal.

Segment

 

The Montreal Canadiens are back in action on Thursday. They will host the Philadelphia Flyers at the Bell Centre with the puck drop scheduled for 7 pm ET.


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

6 Comments
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

6 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
peter

Another excellent game for Armia who was the first star of the game.Again numerous turnovers by Matheson.

Dana

Think that’s 22 points in Slafkovsky’ a past 24 games, at 19. That’s a 75 point pace. What’s the ceiling for a guy with that skill set?

Cy Chapman

On pace? What a manipulative word. You pick the time period you like, along with the number of points you like. How about this ON PACE. You take game one and you stop at game 82? And all the points you have between this period of time we will call a season. Hey, I may be on to something here.

Me2

Good game, shows how important goaltending can be in winning games. The 3-goalie system they were using with the Habs, that was a disaster. It held the team back.

Not that Allen was bad or anything like that, but 2’s company and 3’s a crowd when it comes to goaltending on any NHL team. Just not enough playing time for 3 goalies, and all suffer as a result. If your goaltending is below standard, then your team suffers.

So, that’s been rectified. Montembeault and Primeau now have to show they deserved this opportunity and how well they can play. I think they will do quite well as a duo.

It took the team a long time to get the goaltending sorted, but at last it’s done, and so far the results look really good.

Now, fans have to like what they’re seeing from the team over the last 3 weeks or so, lots of development taking place, future looks pretty good.

Next step, bringing in some scoring, either through trades or free agency. Lots of draft capital and promising d-men in the system who can be offered up as bait.

Me2

Sorting out the goaltending has worked out for the Habs. Montembeault and Primeau have both done well since they traded Jake Allen.

When it comes to any NHL team’s goaltending, 2’s company and 3’s a crowd. The 3-headed monster didn’t work. Now that they’ve finally got that resolved, things are starting to take shape.

Montreal still doesn’t score enough, but that can be addressed in the off-season, either moving out draft capital or some of their excess d-men in the system in return for shooters.

Cy Chapman

Well, I guess with the kind of crap season The Habs have had, even 40 points is reason to see the sun.