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Slafkovsky, Suzuki Hit Milestones In Canadiens Win Vs Flyers

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Montreal Canadiens nick suzuki

After a five-game road trip, the Montreal Canadiens were back home, at the Bell Centre, to face John Tortorella’s Flyers.

For the Habs, apart from Cayden Primeau getting the nod, there were no changes to a lineup that bested a red-hot Colorado Avalanche team, on their home turf.

Players tend to be flat on the first home game right after a stretch on the road, but perhaps this was the exception that proves the rule, as the home team imposed their style of play early on against a hungry team in the hunt for a playoff berth.

A few personal milestones were achieved in the process – here’s your recap of the 4-1 Canadiens win.

Streaking Slafkovsky Adds To Montreal Canadiens Record

The 19-year-old first-overall pick kept his point streak alive with a fantastic dish on the first goal of the game.

Slafkovsky now owns the record for the longest point streak by a teenager playing for the Montreal Canadiens, with a ninth consecutive game on the scoreboard.

Without much fanfare, the hulking winger now has 23 points in his last 25 games – which equates to a 75-point  pace over 82 games!

But when considering all the other good things he does, like his forechecking, board play, and puck protection – not to mention his fun, “team first” attitude – it’s hard not to get excited about his ceiling and the type of career he may have donning the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge.

The kid is showing flashes of dominance while being a positive play driver, breaking records of one of the most historic franchises of the league in the process, all before turning 20.

Looks like he’s arrived, folks.

Nick “Milestone” Suzuki

The Montreal Canadiens captain also improved his stats, reaching the 30-goal mark in a single season for the first time, quickly following up with an assist on the Habs’ second goal of the tilt.

With those two points, the stage was set for him to reach the 70 points plateau, which he was very close to getting, before seeing his second goal being called back.

Will he hit the mark on Saturday against the Hurricanes?

Cool, Calm Cayden

You have to think playing against his dad’s former team (Keith Primeau wore the orange-and-black for six seasons) bears a special meaning for Cayden.

And he rose to the occasion.

Author of two straight shutouts on home ice, the Montreal Canadiens netminder came into the contest with a lot of poise and confidence.

He was a big factor in securing the two points, stopping 29 shots, and was one minute away from getting a third consecutive home shutout.

Much luck was needed, however as the visiting hit the post on a few occasions, two goals were overturned (!), and 22 shots were blocked in front of him (kudos to Savard’s team-leading eight).

Primeau had to hold the fort as the Montreal Canadiens were overwhelmed in the third period, failing to register a single shot on net for over 10 minutes.

With the emergence of Samuel Montembeault and the promise of a bright future between the pipes with the likes of Jacob Fowler, Jakub Dobes, and Yevgeni Volokhin, could the Montreal Canadiens be the next goalie factory?

Old Montreal Canadiens Habits Die Hard

Arber Xhekaj, who singlehandedly offered the visiting team a couple of powerplays (tallying six penalty minutes) can certainly thank Primeau for limiting the damage.

It’s a good thing the Flyers are the worst team in the league in this department, otherwise, things could have gotten ugly.

And while none of these penalties were egregious, this is the kind of antics that got the big defenceman demoted to Laval, earlier in the season – will the Martin St. Louis elect to sit him next game?

Give him a paddlin’?

 

Stick taps to Matt Drake for the clips and MoneyPuck for advanced metrics.

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Tyrone

Luckily for us, Ottawa and Arizona both won as well. No harm done in the Tankathon. Best of both worlds. 😁👍

Me2

@ Tyrone,

This is not a strong draft year. There are as many defence men listed in the top 10 as forwards, and that’s always a sign of a weaker draft. I don’t think moving up a few spots in the draft order matters all that much this season like it did last year when Connor Bedard was available. There is no generational talent available this year as there was last.

It’s important that the team play well down the stretch, that matters more than moving up a few spots in the draft order.

Moving out Allen has settled the goaltending, with Montembeault and Primeau now getting regular playing time, neither having to sit around twiddling their thumbs now that the 3-goalie monster has been finally slayed.

Montreal has a wealth of young talent coming up, but they’re mostly on the blue line, and we all can see there isn’t enough room for all of them. Hughes and Gorton should be, and probably are, seeking out available forwards on other teams who they might be able to poach in trades for some of their excess blue liners.

Should be good trades made at the draft and over the summer.

The time for tanking, it’s over. We’re now looking forward to players developing, fitting together and the team sorting out its lack of scoring.

Tyrone

I don’t want them to tank either. I’m quite pleased at the compete level we’re showing and the team culture that’s building. I was just drawing attention to the fact that we’re getting the best of both worlds. We’re playing really well and we’re not dropping down the draft ladder. Having said that, the higher we draft the better our odds are of adding Celebrini or Demidov or the player we want most vs having to choose from what’s left. What I don’t want is all the teams above us to pick away all the best forwards, leaving the BPA a Dman and HuGo choosing him as a result. I also want to decrease the odds of Ottawa (and Buffalo) of winning the lottery, even if it’s only a little bit, because the last thing we want to happen is for either of them to add yet another premier talent to the tremendous prospects/players they already have too.

Me2

I wouldn’t be too concerned with what other teams are doing or whom they might draft. The draft is a bit of hit-and-miss, unless you are drafting a can’t miss prospect. Celebrini is ranked consensus #1 right now, but even he is not considered can’t miss.

Montreal is loaded with prospects already, an excess of wealth. If not this summer then next summer for sure, Habs should be looking to acquire ready talent from other teams, perhaps thru free agency but more likely thru trading their excess young talent.

And, they could always use those prospects to make deals at the draft to move up to get the guy they want.

Tyrone

True, but the easiest solution of all is to just draft the best guy possible ourselves by having the highest pick we can get, then use the wealth of assets to shore up any holes we have. Considering Ottawa and Buffalo and even Detroit also have a wealth of incredible young talent, we have to find a way to be better than they will be, and one way is to draft better players as high in the draft as possible. Then, it’s up to the development team and coaches to bring them all along, and management to tinker and trade. It’s going to be far from easy to achieve what we’re all hoping for from this rebuild.

Me2

I see draft picks as capital, something that can be used in trades. You can move picks in exchange for players who are ready to step into your lineup right away.

With picks, they will need time to develop, whereas if you can get an NHL-ready player who addresses a need your team has right now, then you’re speeding up your rebuild.

All things being equal, I’d agree that picking 5th beats picking 8th, no doubt about that. And that strategy was fine 2 yrs ago or last year.

I don’t think that’s where they should be now, however.

Tyrone

I agree picks are currency. We’ve seen HuGo use it at both drafts with the Dach and Newhook trades, so I have no reason to believe that they won’t do it again. I just don’t believe they will use our pick to do it. The Winnipeg pick and hopefully Savard (but more likely a young LD like Harris, Struble or possibly even Norlinder) could be packaged to bring back a top 6 winger option. I’d love to use our currency to pry Askarov from Nashville (or maybe Knight from Florida) too.

Dana

Many of the articles I’ve read describe this draft as a strong top 15-20 prospects with Celebrini the consensus best player, but not a generational type but a franchise guy.

Let’s take Berkley Catton and his 54/62/116 line. On his team (30-32-5 )Connor Roulette was second at 108 points and then a drop to 71 and then no other ppg players. He drove the offence, with Roulette. He is a fleet footed, maneuverable, puck carrying, deceptive player with good vision, excellent release, excellent compete, excellent engine and soft hands. His stats measure favourably with the 100 points Suzuki had in his draft year on a 38-22 team where he was the clear leader. Same height but Catton is much lighter than Nick. Catton has a higher offensive ceiling than Nick but not so for a Helenius, a significant difference in those highly ranked prospects.

We like to talk about the guys from 2019 draft but this year will likely be better than that year. I’d like to see us draft 6 or better. It is likely the last year we get a high first rounder on positional merit for the next decade+ as we march towards the playoffs next year and contender status after that. This years pick will impact the degree of that status, we need a highly productive impact player to fill in a top 3 role or no lower than top 6. Catton is one of 4, maybe 5 guys that fit so winning coukd very well impact our ability to draft one. If you look up, Calgary and not just Ottawa, is within reach if we finish hot. The team is playing well, we finish where we finish but in an ideal scenario, we draft bottom 6

Me2

Never said there weren’t good players available. Yes, there are. But the time when the main concern was the draft for the Habs, those days are now in the past, that part of the rebuild is over.

Now, let’s start parlaying some of that vast wealth of young talent into NHL guys who can score. Focus now should be on raiding the farm systems and rosters of other teams for the type of player you need. Move out defence men for forwards, guys who can step in right now and produce.

Dana

With major holes in the projected future playoff lineup and a clear opportunity to address at least one of them with our first pick, I’m not sure how you arrive that addressing our roster needs through the draft is a thing of the past?

We are only two years and a bit into a rebuild. This is tail end of the the peak time to address needs through the draft based on the current status of tge rebuild. Going forward from 2025 our picks will belater in the first round unless acquired. Trading later selections in the first round and other prospects and roster players for immediate roster help will also contribute to the plan, as you suggest

You are also right that our pipeline of prospects is promising but there are no top 6 forwards and we require 2. Beck and Farrell are bottom 6, Mesar and Kidney may never make tge team and Florian Xhekaj will be bottom 6 and likely 4th line. And those guys will play important roles but they won’t produce the offense we will need to cup contend.

Exciting times just around the corner for our Habs( actually I’m excited for them now) so hopefully we get an incredibly talented , highly productive forward like Cayden Lindstrom or Demidov to push the rebuild into overdrive in a year or two.

Me2

Right, but if the team thinks there might be a similar player to the 2 guys you mention, and that player’s got a year or 2 of experience and is farther along in his development and maybe ready to step right in now, then getting that player should be taking precedence.

Tyrone

Damn refresh BS!

Last edited 19 days ago by Tyrone