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Yesterday’s victory propels the CH to fifth place in the NHL standings

Let’s face it. The Habs are off to a good start this season… so much so that they’re tied (with the Canucks, Leafs and Wings) for fifth place in the NHL standings.

This is no joke.

One might have expected the club to fall apart after Kirby Dach’s injury, but just the opposite is happening right now. Martin St-Louis’ men have won four of their last five games, after all…

Last night’s game against the Jets wasn’t perfect, but the CH still found a way to salvage victory. On top of all that, Mike Matheson left the game and never returned to the bench…

After the game, the Habs announced that the defenseman had suffered a lower-body injury and would be evaluated daily. He will be travelling with the team out West, and it’s understandable that he’s not seriously injured:

A chance, honestly.

David Savard is already sidelined at the moment and to see the Habs lose Matheson would have been even harder on the defensive brigade.

After all, we’re talking about the two most experienced defensemen on the CH blue line….

But hey. Matheson’s injury aside, there are a few things to take away from the Flanelle’s performance against Mark Scheifele’s beloved Montreal Jets. #Not

What’s it all about?

1. Juraj Slafkovsky had a tough game. Probably his worst game since the start of the campaign.

He wasn’t making the right decisions, he was soft on his skates… And he seemed to lack confidence in his movements. Slaf was virtually invisible offensively. He collected two shots on goal, but finished the game with a -2 differential and was one of Martin St-Louis’ least-used forwards (12:02).

2. The Habs scored (again) on the power play.

Sean Monahan took advantage of a fine pass from Nick Suzuki and then stripped Laurent Brossoit, resulting in a beautiful play.

Montreal’s powerplay struggled at the start of the season, but now things seem to have settled down. The CH is now 12th in the NHL for powerplay success percentage (22.6%)… Which is obviously good news.

Alex Burrows has found a way to “make it work”, and over the past few games we’ve noticed a lot more movement in the opponent’s zone under these circumstances.

But the important thing is that the players are communicating on the ice, which makes the job a lot easier, as Eric Engels explains:

3. Kaiden Guhle… Wow.

We wondered how the defender would react after missing the club’s last four games and he was frankly excellent.

It’s amazing how calm the young man is on the ice. Sometimes, watching him, you’d think you were watching a defenseman with 15 years’ experience in the showbusiness…

He was really good last night, and it’s worth noting that he was still wearing a tinted visor. The young man even reminded us that he has offensive qualities in his toolbox, with two assists.

It’s hard to ask for more.

4. Justin Barron plays like the Justin Barron we were sold when he was acquired by the Habs a year and a half ago.

The young man is getting comfortable on the ice and seems to be full of confidence. He took advantage of his brother Morgan’s visit to the Bell Centre to score his third goal of the season (in five games)… But beyond the goal he scored, he was good in all three zones of the rink.

That’s what we ask of him.

5. There were… lots of… uh… lots of empty seats.

It looked like it, and it’s been a long time since I’ve seen the Bell Centre so empty on a Saturday night.

And yet, the Canadiens declared a full house, and it seems that all the tickets were sold…

6. Joel Armia played his first game this season in a Canadiens uniform and rewarded himself with a goal.

He offered an interesting level of energy on the ice and was involved from start to finish.

He obviously understood the message sent to him by the organization. Perhaps he’s also eager to perform to increase his value… Which could give him another chance to shine elsewhere in the NHL.

7. The Habs once again came from behind in the game to run away with the win. It looked like a copy/paste of Thursday night’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

8. It’s time for the NHL to remove the shootout from its formula. That’s all there is to it.

9. It’s been pretty rare since the start of the season, but the Habs struggled at even strength in the second period. Two quick goals were scored by Jets captain Adam Lowry…

And it has to be said that the second period was no great spectacle for the Montrealers.

10. In closing, we must mention Jake Allen’s performance.

The goaltender is having a great time, and he continued his good form with his third straight win. Allen stopped 42 pucks (on 45 shots)… And he’s telling everyone that he deserves to be the CH’s number-one goalie.


The CH flies to Vegas today for their first game of the Western trip.

The Coyotes and Blues will be on the menu later this week.

It will be interesting to see if the Habs issue a recall before the trip… And it will be interesting to see if a decision is made regarding Cayden Primeau.

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