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Canadiens Postgame

Canadiens Forward Juraj Slafkovsky Announces He Has Arrived



Montreal Canadiens Juraj Slafkovsky

The Montreal Canadiens hosted the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night in a match-up featuring a team desperate to earn a playoff berth versus a team that is hoping to finish their rebuilding season on the right note.

However, you would not have known the Flyers were the team aiming for springtime hockey, as the Habs cruised to a dominant 9-3 win.

Juraj Slafkovsky led the offensive charge, scoring his first NHL hat trick while also putting the league on notice about his long-term potential.

Before we dive into the highlights we would like to invite anyone interested in seeing the view from the other side of the rink to visit our sister site, Philadelphia Hockey Now.

Net Front Presence

There’s no doubt Slafkovsky has improved his all-around game by leaps and bounds in the second half of the 2023-24 season. And while most of the praise sent his way has to do with his finesse plays, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention he’s doing a much better job using his wingspan and massive frame to create chaos in the offensive zone.

His 17th goal of the season will be quickly forgotten as it was far from a highlight reel play, but it’s the type of situation that arises a hundred times per game, which means quantity is more important than quality in this particular case.

It should also be noted that Mike Matheson and Cole Caufield assisted the goal, which means Matheson is now just two points shy of hitting the 60-point mark this season, while Caufield still managed to produce 60 points for the first time in his career during what has been a very difficult season from a shooting efficiency standpoint.

Slafkovsky’s second goal of the game concluded a very nice passing play in the offensive zone, something we’re seeing with a little more regularity these days.

Nick Suzuki assisted the play, as is tradition.

Tuesday’s game was a celebration of Slafkovsky’s impressive evolution, which means we won’t focus on Suzuki’s play as much as we usually do, but it must be said he’s the engine that drives the Canadiens’ offence.

Triple Montreal Canadiens Threat

As previously discussed, Slafkovsky has added variety to his offensive toolbag this season, something that has served him quite well when it comes to capitalizing on quality scoring chances.

His hat-trick goal was a good example of his budding offensive awareness, not to mention his growing confidence.

Earlier in the season, Slafkovsky would tend to be slow on the trigger when he was involved in a high-danger scoring chance, but that is no longer the case, which means the Canadiens have three players on the top line that command attention for the first time in a very long time.

Joining The Montreal Canadiens Fun

Full marks are to be given to both Christian Dvorak and Josh Anderson. Yes, we know, Anderson has had a difficult season, but he did have a very solid outing against the Flyers. Given how his season has unfolded, we can suspend our frustration for a little while.

Lost in all the excitement was a great return to the line from forward Chrisitan Dvorak. Again, we’re going to focus on Slafkovsky because he’s an important part of the team’s future, but it’s always fun to see a veteran find the back of the net after dealing with a frustrating injury.

The Montreal Canadiens will be back in action on Thursday, facing the New York Islanders on the road. The puck drop is scheduled for 7 pm ET.

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