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Juraj Slafkovsky was ill (in every sense of the word) last night.
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

Last night, the Canadian more than “measured up” to the Flyers: he crushed John Tortorella’s club.

A 9-3 win shows that the Habs had everything going for them in terms of opportunism. Martin St-Louis’ men found the back of the net on numerous occasions, much to the delight of the Tankathon fans in attendance.

The Habs’ coach must be pleased to see his mentor beaten to a pulp.

Of course, the story of the game was Juraj Slafkovsky. The young Canadien forward didn’t even need 40 minutes to score his first NHL hat trick.

Logan who? Shane who? #Coyotes #Kraken

Last year, Slaf scored four goals in 39 games. And yesterday, in 38 fewer games, he scored three goals. I know we’re only talking about one game, but it perfectly demonstrates the Slovak’s progression.

He’s progressing from match to match and he really seems to be enjoying himself. But worst of all, the young man was ill yesterday. He obviously has a cold these days.

I had a bad night, I couldn’t fall asleep. I’m a bit sick with a sore throat. – Juraj Slafkovsky

So you could say he’s sick in the medical sense, but also in the sense that he’s been sensational.

So it’s not exactly like Michael Jordan’s flu game, Maurice Richard’s moving day, the story of Bob Gainey’s dislocated shoulders in the playoffs or colleague Felix Forget writing despite his health… but what Slaf has done is notable, let’s say.

Even though he became the second-youngest player in franchise history to score a hat trick (and did so while ill), he’s not here to chase records.

What he wants is to see the Canadiens win games.

In 78 games, Slaf now has 19 goals and 29 assists, for a total of 48 points. Will he reach the 20-goal, 30-assist, 50-point plateau by the end of the season?

In four games, he can.

But hey. Slaf wasn’t the only player who stood out for the Habs last night. A lot of guys deserve stars in their notebooks from Professor St-Louis and Principal Hughes.

So, what’s in it for me?

1. Slaf’s three goals are rightly mentioned, but two other Canadiens players scored two goals: Brendan Gallagher and Christian Dvorak. That’s right.

Dvorak, as everyone expected, found the back of the net twice on his return to action. Gally, meanwhile, scored with his nose in the goalie’s bubble and on a breakaway. #AsExpected


Josh Anderson (who didn’t score the goal of the year, but still) and Joel Armia, who is having a great end to the season, also found the back of the net against the Flyers.

Justin Barron, Jayden Struble, Michael Pezzetta and Jake Evans didn’t score.

2. Brendan Gallagher had a superb game, but tomorrow he’ll have to risk not being able to build on his fine performance because he’ll have to answer to the Islanders for his January hit on Adam Pelech.

That’s the code.

3. Mike Matheson may not have had as many assists as Jordan Harris (three to two), but he was still important. He was used less because of the score, which is fine.

He now has 59 points and is having one of the best seasons among defensemen. He won’t be continuing it at the World Championship, however, as his wife is a month and a half away from giving birth.

4. Although the Canadiens have six more goals than the Flyers, it’s still the visitors who have taken more shots. Daniel Brière’s club took 36 shots to the Habs’ 30.

Samuel Montembeault’s defense was less tight at the end of the game, but he gave away all his goals in the final 20 minutes.

5. Ryan Poehling scored a goal yesterday. I invite you to insert a joke about how the former Canadiens player is good in April when the season means nothing.

Why not?

6. After the game, all the Flyers players were waiting in uniform for the media. Normally, that’s not how it works, and it was undoubtedly John Tortorella who asked for it.

It undoubtedly caused a stir in the dressing room.

Remember, the Flyers are fighting for a playoff spot. They needed this win, but it didn’t happen. It’s understandable that the coach is feeling the pinch.

Dany Dubé believes the Flyers will have a new coach next year.


Aside from last night’s fine victory, the Canadiens will have no practice on the menu. There will only be a trip to New York.

Remember that tomorrow, the Islanders are on the menu.

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