THE OVERTIME HERO!
– Montreal Canadiens (@CanadiensMTL) November 10, 2023
I don’t know about you, but when the Habs pushed their game into overtime yesterday, I figured Cole Caufield would score or the CH would push it into a shootout.
After all, that’s how it works this year. No one other than Cole Caufield has scored in overtime this year in games involving the Flannel.
All this to say that Caufield had his chances and, what’s more, he managed to give his team a power play via a stupid penalty called on him by goaltender James Reimer.
Numerical advantage? Overtime? The little forward wasn’t asking for much.
The man who hadn’t scored since October 26 against the Blue Jackets proved, once again, that given time and space, his shots are simply unstoppable.
Of course, you’ll tell me that both guys scored on the power play, where the first wave features the team’s two highest-paid forwards. And that’s true.
But the fact remains that Martin St-Louis knows that a little time away can do the boys good. It reminds them of the privilege of playing together… and maybe, just maybe, the time spent on the power play becomes more precious. Maybe it does.
“A little time away from each other can be good!” – Martin St-Louis pic.twitter.com/YWqYRxcemh
– L’Antichambre (@Antichambre) November 10, 2023
And it obviously worked tonight. Both guys scored… and the power play worked. After all, in addition to the two stars, Sean Monahan also scored on the PP… only to have his goal disallowed.
10th straight game with a goal on special units for the Canadiens
– Guillaume Villemaire (@GVillemaire13) November 10, 2023
The last time the club didn’t score on special units was in the pathetic game against Minnesota… on October 17. It’s been a little while, we agree.
At 21.8%, the Habs have the 13th-best power play in the league. And since expectations were low, that’s a positive. No?
But hey. Those aren’t the only two players who had a good game for the Montreal Canadiens, who finally had a good performance in November.
1. Cayden Primeau, playing for the first time in over two weeks, looked very good in the game. It’s never easy to shake off the rust, but Primeau did it well.
He kept his team in the game (especially in overtime) and that shows why waivers don’t seem to be an option. Aside from the fact that the CH needs depth in front of the net in its organization, the kid’s got talent.
Primeau’s first win with Martin St-Louis as coach and Kent Hughes as GM is no mean feat. Jeff Gorton had been in the job for about two weeks on December 16, 2021…
The #CH wins in overtime in Detroit. Already a third overtime goal for Cole Caufield this season.
Cayden Primeau’s first NHL win since December 16, 2021 (against the Flyers). Ends eight-game losing streak. #RDS
– Luc Gelinas (@LucGelinasRDS) November 10, 2023
2. The Habs defense was tighter than usual last night. Honorable mention to Justin Barron (over 22 minutes of play yesterday), who is becoming more and more indispensable on the Habs’ blue line.
You can tell when a guy is playing up to his talent. He helped the CH give up fewer than 30 shots (29) for the second time this year, and for the first time since the excellent game in Vegas. In fact, it was the CH’s best game since Vegas.
3. Juraj Slafkovsky’s playing time was special. He played very little at the beginning and end of the game (he spent long minutes on the bench at the end)… even though he wasn’t playing like a guy who deserved to be benched.
Sending Slafkovsky to 3c3 could be an opportunity to boost his confidence. No?
– Nicolas Cloutier (@NCloutierTVA) November 10, 2023
4. Ben Chiarot and Jeff Petry were on the other side. With Joel Edmundson injured and Shea Weber’s and Carey Price’s careers over, they’re currently the only two active players in the big “defensive corps” of the 2021 series.
But in 2023, are you watching these guys with boredom? That’s the question.
So we won’t know if Rafaël Harvey-Pinard can hold his own against his team-mates in training. To be continued.