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Habs Daily: Florian Xhekaj’s Evolution, AHL Playoff Hopes



Montreal Canadiens prospect FLorian Xhekaj

Here are the Montreal Canadiens news, highlights, and stories you may have missed on Monday.


  • You can’t expect a player chosen in the fourth round to make an impact in the NHL. But every once in a while, a late-round pick can evolve into a very effective player. That seems to be the case for Florian Xhekaj. The 19-year-old forward can win heavyweight tilts, just like his brother, but more importantly, his points-per-game pace has almost tripled and he’s scoring crucial goals for the Brantford Bulldogs. [Canadiens Prospect Florian Xhekaj Involved In Heavyweight Fight]


  • The Laval Rocket can still qualify for the playoffs, but it won’t be easy. There are good chances their playoff hopes come down to the final two games of the season, which will take place against the Belleville Senators, the very team trying to dislodge the Rocket from the final playoff spot in the North Division. [AHL Update: Laval Rocket Playoff Hopes Come Down To The Wire]


  • Both Cayden Primeau and Jake Allen have improved their results since the trade that saw Allen join the New Jersey Devils. It’s not surprising, as consistency is key for any goaltender. It’s an important lesson the Montreal Canadiens should keep in mind as they attempt to take the next step in their rebuild. [Canadiens Goalies: Primeau, Allen, & The Value Of Consistency]


  • Prospect Owen Beck was named the OHL’s player of the week thanks to his back-to-back three-point efforts in the playoffs against the Owen Sound Attack.



National Hockey Now Network

  • March 7 was a compelling experience for those who follow the Calgary Flames. The team had already impressed themselves on March 2 with a win in their first game of the post-Chris Tanev Era with a 4-3 comeback win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. [Calgary Flames]

  • New Jersey Devils defence prospect Ethan Edwards scored a huge goal for the Michigan Wolverines in the first period of their tilt against their in-state rival, Michigan State. [New Jersey Devils]

  • With Quinnipiac’s 5-4 loss to No. 1-seeded Boston College in the NCAA Tournament on Sunday, two of the top free agents in college hockey — Collin Graf and Jacob Quillan — are now free to sign NHL contracts. [Nashville Predators]
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Habs going with 3 goalies was always a bad idea, We can now see how all 3 goalies have improved their play, Montembeault and Primeau with the Canadiens and Allen with NJ.

Not that Montreal was a playoff team this season, but interesting to speculate if the Habs had played with 2 goalies this year how many more points the team might have had.


I would agree, but be careful what you wish for…

Only 2 goalies all season probably makes for like 5-10 more pts in the standings – still not enough to get into the playoffs, but out of the top 10 in the draft 1st rd. So I’m glad it took that long to trade Allen.