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Nick Suzuki dominated and neutralized Auston Matthews and his trio
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot
Last night, the Montreal Canadiens looked seriously good against the Toronto Maple Leafs in a 3-2 loss in their first game back at the Bell Centre.

The Habs were in no way outclassed by the Leafs, who should be dominating the Habs given their better line-up.

Even so, a closer look at last night’s game reveals that, in some respects, the Habs dominated the Maple Leafs.

The Tricolore’s first trio neutralized and even dominated Auston Matthews and his trio.

This was largely, if not entirely, thanks to the brilliance (once again) of Nick Suzuki.

Unfortunately, the Habs captain didn’t get a point last night, but that didn’t stop him from demonstrating the range of skills that make him such a solid center on a first line.

Suzuki was excellent in the face-off circle, winning 14 of his 20 duels (70& efficiency), giving his teammates possession of the puck as soon as play resumed.

This is a very important factor in a game, especially when the opposing trio contains the NHL’s top scorer, and perhaps even its all-time leading scorer.

There’s a reason why Auston Matthews was virtually absent from last night’s game.

Nick Suzuki did a colossal job at his expense on the defensive end, while finding a way to dominate the offensive end as well.

Because yes, Suzuki and his trio dominated the expetcted goals split at 65% when they were on the ice against Auston Matthews’ trio.

That’s quite a feat against the NHL’s leading scorer, who has 54 goals in 63 games this season.

You could say it was a quiet game for Leafs number 34, and that’s just Nick Suzuki.

The Habs captain is a role model not only for his trio mates, but also for the rest of the team.

Because, let me remind you, even without a point, Suzuki has demonstrated the full extent of his talent and abilities, being a very reliable center defensively and equally dangerous offensively.

Suzuki will probably never score 100 points in the NHL, but he has so many assets that a player like him is clearly a first-team center.

With the support of a (hopefully healthy) Kirby Dach next season, Suzuki will be able to dominate even more, as he’ll have another high-quality center behind him to lead the charge when he’s not on the ice.

In short, Nick Suzuki’s progression is truly beautiful to watch, and every season he improves in every aspect of his game.

Remember, he’s only 24 years old.

In Rafale

– CF Montreal in action today against Inter Messi Miami.

– Mike Cammalleri was at the Bell Centre last night.

– A big win last night for the Rocket.

– Things are going very well for Bradon Gignac.

– Jarome’s son continues to dominate in the WHL.

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