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Canadiens Postgame

Canadiens Sniper Caufield Finishing Season On Right Foot

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Montreal Canadiens Cole Caufield

The Montreal Canadiens were in Ottawa on Saturday night to face the perpetually struggling Senators. It was a battle of two teams who did not have much left to play for, except perhaps pride.

Oh, and though they’ll never admit it, there was a perk involved for the losing team, as they’d go a long way in improving their Draft Lottery odds.

The Canadiens coughed up four different one-goal leads on their way to a 5-4 shootout loss.

Let’s dive into those highlights!

Magic Mike

There’s no doubt Mike Matheson’s game involves highs and lows. For every three great plays, he tends to have a rather difficult shift. But there’s also something to be said about the fact that he’s the first defenceman since P.K. Subban to hit 60 points in a Montreal Canadiens jersey.

Not to mention he counts for less than $5 million on the salary cap, making him one of the best value defencemen in the NHL from a production standpoint. If fans are expecting a perfect player, they should look to the names ahead of Matheson in the defenceman scoring race and cross reference their salary cap hits.

It may not matter to some, but Matheson is also one of the most entertaining players in the organization, as evidenced by his many highlight plays this season, including his shorthanded breakaway goal that opened the scoring on Saturday night.

Brady Tkachuk tied the game a few moments, the first of two occasions in which he wiped out a Canadiens lead. That gave Habs forward Cole Caufield an opportunity to steal the spotlight, and that’s exactly what he did, starting with an unorthodox goal to restore the team’s one-goal lead.

Caufield would go on to score his 27th goal of the season, a clean shot on the powerplay that gave Senators goaltender Joonas Korpisalo no chance to make the save.

While we’ve become accustomed to Caufield scoring in those situations, it should be noted he has moved away from his somewhat predictable preferred shooting area. Full marks to Caufield for changing things up in an attempt to find his goal-scoring rhythm. On that note, his second goal against Ottawa was an encouraging sign that the sniper has regained much of the confidence he lost during his difficult season.

We also need to discuss the concept that Caufield had a difficult season. Obviously, his shooting luck has been terrible, but he’s going to get close to 30 goals while also establishing a career-high in assists. In addition, he cruised past the 60-point mark.

As terrible seasons go, this one was pretty good.

 

Deciding Play

They don’t ask how, they only ask how many.

Okay, to be truthful, they often ask how, but that doesn’t fit our theme at the moment.

Alex Newhook scored late in the third period when his pass hit a Senators’ defenceman before finding its way to the back of the net.

It was Newhook’s 13th goal of the year, which is reasonable production seeing as he joined a new team and also missed a significant portion of the season with a foot injury.

 


The Montreal Canadiens are back in action on Monday. They will face the Detroit Red Wings with the puck drop scheduled for 7 pm ET. All Montreal Canadiens statistics are 5v5 unless otherwise noted, via Natural Stat Trick.