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Juraj Slafkovsky admits Arber Xhekaj gave him a few fighting tips

Last night, the Canadiens pulled off a thrilling 3-2 shootout win over the Buffalo Sabres , thanks in large part to Cayden Primeau’s impressive 46-save performance.

But Primeau’s brilliance wasn’t the only positive aspect of the game.

As I mentioned this morning, Juraj Slafkovsky had another great game, being the team’s best forward and giving the CH the shootout win.

It was a very complete performance from the Slovak winger, who stood out in every way, including throwing down the gloves for the first time in his career against Sabres defenseman Connor Clifton.

Speaking of which, Slafkovsky said after the game that he’d received a few tips on how to fight from none other than Sheriff Arber Xhekaj.

Indeed, Xhekaj would have taken the time to show Slafkovsky a few tricks in case the latter came to blows.

I’m sure Xhekaj smiled broadly last night live from Laval as he watched his good Slovak friend throw down the gloves for the first time in his young career.

As you’ll recall, Slafkovsky played in a league with no fighting (the Finnish Liiga) and in international competitions where there was no fighting either, before making his way to the NHL.

So Slafkovsky is really adjusting to the NHL game on all levels, and it shows.

After just over a year, the Slovakian seems to be in full confidence.

Getting back to Xhekaj, it’s nice to see that he’s taking the time to share tips with his team-mates, even though he himself received some from Georges Laraque.

Even though Xhekaj has been sent to the American League (much to the dismay of many fans), he continues to have an influence in the dressing room.

He’s left his mark with his fighting, toughness and attitude.

It just goes to show what a special and unique type of player Xhekaj is, one who will always be of great use both in the dressing room and on the ice.

He’s not perfect, far from it, but he brings something to the table that no other CH player does.

Xhekaj would have been all the more useful last night, when the Sabres easily shuffled the Habs players on numerous occasions, as evidenced by the heavy check on Justin Barron.

The Sheriff clearly found a way to calm the Sabres’ ardor.

In short, this is an issue to keep an eye on, as we all wonder whether Xhekaj will ever return to Montreal, given Jayden Struble‘s recent excellent performances and David Savard’s imminent return to action.

En Rafale

– Jesse Puljujarvi signs a professional trial with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He will be looking to prove that he still belongs in the NHL after undergoing double hip surgery this summer.

– A big duel between two very talented teams.

– It’s harder this season for Matthew Tkachuk.

– It’s the start of Canada’s preparatory games for the World Junior Championship.

– A great success.

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