Montreal Canadiens Preseason Game 1 Recap: Canadiens 4 Devils 2
Nice way to start off the year.
Last night, the Montreal Canadiens played a split-squad New Jersey Devils team that was without P.K Subban, Taylor Hall, or Jack Hughes. However, the Devils did sport the likes of Nico Hischier, Damon Severson, Will Butcher, and Kyle Palmieri. Artturi Lehkonen tipped in a Shea Weber slapshot to start things off on the right foot for the Canadiens. Then, Nate Thompson took advantage of a lucky bounce off Devils goalie Mackenzie Blackwood to make it 2-0. A rush at the end of a Devils power play made it 2-1, courtesy of a great snipe by Will Butcher. There were no goals in the second period, but goalie Cayden Primeau got his first taste of NHL action. More on his performance later. Early in the third period, a crazy bounce off the boards behind Primeau’s net led to a Devils goal by Michael McLeod. With the game tied up at 2-2, and the Canadiens on the penalty kill, Jake Evans scored on a shorthanded breakaway to make it 3-2. Nick Cousins then added an empty-netter to end off the game with a score of 4-2.
· Max Domi needs to learn to control his emotions. It’s probably embedded in his genes, being Tie Domi’s son, but two penalties in one meaningless game are unacceptable. The first penalty was a roughing minor. Devils’ scrappy forward Brandon Baddock took a run at Jonathan Drouin, which fired up Domi, and he shoved Baddock. Some roughhousing after the whistle caused the second penalty. I appreciate Domi’s concern for his teammates, but why doesn’t he channel that energy into offense? That way, he can retaliate against the other team without hurting his own.
· Cayden Primeau had a great game. His save on Blake Coleman a minute after he stepped on the ice was fantastic. He also had a highlight-reel save on Kyle Palmieri in the third period. The crowd was chanting “Prim-eau, Prim-eau” after each great save. Expect to hear that chant many more times in the coming years.
· Nick Suzuki had a solid game. He did a great job on the penalty kill with Artturi Lehkonen, and while not presented with the most skilled of linemates, he worked well with Jordan Weal and Charles Hudon. He’ll get more chances to prove himself, I’m sure.
· Speaking of Hudon, the guy was all over the ice out there. He knows that this is likely his last chance to prove that he can play in an NHL role. And if he keeps on putting in that kind of effort, he just might grab a spot.
· The power play was putrid. Granted, the Canadiens were without Tatar, Kotkaniemi, Gallagher, Petry, Poehling, Byron, Danault or Armia. All of them could contribute to the power play this season. I’m reserving judgement on the power play. For now.
· Next stop: Kraft Hockeyville in Bathurst, New Brunswick, for a game against Sergei Bobrovsky and the Florida Panthers, on Thursday at 7:00 PM EST, 8:00 AST.
Go Habs Go
Signed, Le Bo