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Juraj Slafkovsky: the only good thing to come out of the Bruins game

Exactly one week after the Montreal Canadiens’ stunning victory over the Boston Bruins, the CH is back on its feet, and not just a little.

If last Saturday’s victory over the Bruins had really impressed fans and given hope that the Tricolore could deliver that kind of performance night after night, well, the last week, and especially last night’s game, has just dashed all that positivism around the team.

Last night was the culmination of a very difficult week for the CH, with three consecutive losses.

Yesterday’s 5-2 loss, however, clearly earns the Golden Palm for worst game of the week.

It’s not complicated: the Habs just didn’t seem to be in the same league as the Boston Bruins.

Everything was going too fast for the CH, while the Bruins were executing everything perfectly in all three zones.

It was frustrating to see how the Tricolore players could do absolutely nothing, chasing the puck most of the time, only to have it quickly and easily taken away by the Bruins.

In short, there was nothing positive to take away from Saturday night’s game.

Actually, there was ONE positive point to take away from this game, and that was the performance of Juraj Slafkovsky, who got two points (a goal and an assist) in an NHL game for the first time in his career.

The Slovakian winger scored his second goal of the season with a good shot on goal against one of the best, if not the best, goaltender in the league right now, Jeremy Swayman.

It’s great to see Slaf on the score sheet, because even more so recently, he really deserves to be racking up points at a better rate.

He plays good hockey, and his performance yesterday proves it once again.

However, we still expect more from him, especially for a first overall pick.

Let’s hope that patience will pay off one day in his case.

What else can I take away from this painful game between the Boston Bruins and a garage team?

1. The trio changes didn’t offer any new chemistry.

Martin St-Louis changed all these trios for the match against the Bruins, and this gave us some very interesting combinations on paper.

Unfortunately, as was the case throughout the game, we didn’t get much from each of these new trios.

None of them really stood out, and Slafkovsky got his two points when he wasn’t even with his assigned trio-mates, Sean Monahan and Jesse Ylönen.

In short, it remains to be seen whether St-Louis will swap trios yet, or give each of them a second chance.

2. Cole Caufield has me worried.

The CH’s number 22 was once again more than invisible last night.

He doesn’t stand out as much as he used to, and he never seems to be able to give himself good scoring chances, especially at five-on-five, as he did last year.

Is he simply playing with a lack of confidence, or has the NHL game tightened up on him, making him more closely watched?

I don’t know the answer, but what is certain is that one goal in his last ten games is by no means enough or normal for Cole Caufield.

He must be the first to be in a bit of panic mode.

3. Why isn’t the CH as aggressive on the power play as the Bruins are?

Did you notice yesterday how there’s a glaring difference between the two teams’ power plays?

The Bruins don’t give the CH any space or time to breathe, while there’s constantly a player putting pressure on the player at the point, or the players on the edge of the boards.

This is very effective, as the Tricolore players end up panicking and making a mistake.

On the CH side, it’s just the opposite, as we’re VERY passive and let our opponents play as they please.

We wait for them to get a scoring opportunity or make a mistake, rather than trying to provoke an error in the opposition.

It’s frustrating to watch this glaring difference between the two teams, and I seriously wonder why the CH isn’t inspired by the Bruins by being more aggressive.

In short, these are the elements I retain from this frustrating game in which the Habs really struggled.

Incidentally, the CH is the only team without a regulation-time win in November.

The CH’s next game is Wednesday night at 10 p.m., when the Tricolore travels to Anaheim to take on the Ducks.

A few days off awaits the team.

Let’s see if this will help the players get their act together.

In a flurry

– The William Nylander sequence continues!

– Read more.

– Bravo !

– Nylander matches McDavid’s sequence.

– Not to be missed today.

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