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The Habs had several strong performances from their goaltenders over the past week but they weren’t able to convert it into a big week in the standings as they only skated away with two of a possible four victories.  Plus, we reveal the November 3 Stars results.

The Week That Was

Dec. 4: Canadiens 4, Kraken 2 – In order for the Habs to get on any sort of run here, they’re going to need their forwards to get out of some long scoring droughts.  This game was a step in that direction as Sean Monahan scored twice to snap his slump, Tanner Pearson added his first in 20 games, and Josh Anderson picked up his first goal of the season.  When the secondary scoring is there, good things will happen and this was one of those games.

Dec. 7: Kings 4, Canadiens 0 – While the score was the same as the first matchup, this was far from a carbon copy of the game.  For the first half, Montreal was right in the thick of things and had made some good adjustments after struggling mightily in Los Angeles.  However, the Kings countered and as the game went on, they took control.  Quinton Byfield had a pair of goals in the victory.

Dec. 9: Canadiens 3, Sabres 2 (SO) – Cayden Primeau was tested early and often in this one and was unbeatable through 40 minutes, allowing the Habs to take the lead with Jayden Struble and Nick Suzuki scoring 14 seconds apart in the second.  However, some defensive zone miscues allowed Buffalo to tie it up and after an overtime that didn’t break the deadlock, the youngsters made the difference in the shootout.  Jesse Ylonen scored to tie it in the third round while Juraj Slafkovsky – who missed all of overtime while sitting for a late fight – potted the winner in the fourth round.

Dec. 10: Predators 2, Canadiens 1 – After an eventful game in Buffalo, this was basically the opposite.  Both teams were on the back end of back-to-backs with travel and it showed.  Colton Sissons scored both of Nashville’s goals and while Jake Evans got one back late in the second (his first since the season opener), this was as close as they could get, spoiling a good outing from Jake Allen.



# Player GP G A +/- PIMS SOG ATOI
8 Mike Matheson 4 0 1 E 6 7 25:58
11 Brendan Gallagher 4 0 1 E 4 14 14:22
13 Mitchell Stephens 4 0 0 E 0 3 8:50
14 Nick Suzuki 4 1 1 E 0 10 20:54
17 Josh Anderson 4 1 1 -1 0 13 16:10
20 Juraj Slafkovsky 4 0 0 -2 7 6 17:49
21 Kaiden Guhle 4 0 0 -3 4 3 22:22
22 Cole Caufield 4 0 1 E 0 17 19:56
26 Johnathan Kovacevic 4 0 1 +1 2 6 17:50
27 Gustav Lindstrom 3 0 0 -2 2 4 16:49
28 Christian Dvorak 4 0 1 -1 4 7 15:15
40 Joel Armia 3 0 0 E 0 6 13:01
47 Jayden Struble 4 1 0 E 0 1 13:20
52 Justin Barron 4 0 0 -2 0 6 20:05
55 Michael Pezzetta 2 0 0 E 7 4 8:54
56 Jesse Ylonen 4 0 0 -1 0 0 10:25
58 David Savard 1 0 0 +1 0 0 20:10
70 Tanner Pearson 3 1 0 -2 0 7 11:05
71 Jake Evans 4 1 1 E 0 4 17:40
91 Sean Monahan 3 2 1 E 0 4 18:06


# Player Record GAA SV% SO
30 Cayden Primeau 1-0-0 1.86 .958 0
34 Jake Allen 0-1-0 2.05 .938 0
35 Samuel Montembeault 1-1-0 3.01 .920 0

Shootout – Skaters:

# Player G/ATT
14 Nick Suzuki 0/1
20 Juraj Slafkovsky 1/1
22 Cole Caufield 1/1
56 Jesse Ylonen 1/1

Shootout – Goalies:

# Player SVS/SF
30 Cayden Primeau 2/4

Team Leaders:

Goals: Monahan/Suzuki (8)
Assists: Matheson/Suzuki (14)
Points: Nick Suzuki (22)
+/-: Jake Evans (+6)
PIMS: Arber Xhekaj (47)
Shots: Cole Caufield (104)

News And Notes

– There was some good news on the injury front with David Savard being activated off injured reserve, giving the Habs a second veteran blueliner in their lineup.  Mattias Norlinder was sent down to make room on the roster.

– Of course, this is Montreal so there has to be some bad news as well.  Tanner Pearson suffered an upper-body injury against Buffalo and will be out for at least a month.  There hasn’t been a corresponding recall from Laval yet but that will be coming soon.

– While Brendan Gallagher has looked more effective this year, his production is down ever so slightly from a year ago.  He has five goals and five assists in 28 games so far this season.  Last season through 28 games, he had five goals and six helpers. 

Last Game’s Lines:

Caufield – Suzuki – Slafkovsky
Monahan – Evans – Anderson
Ylonen – Dvorak – Gallagher
Pezzetta – Stephens – Armia

Matheson – Savard
Guhle – Barron
Struble – Lindstrom

The Week Ahead

Wednesday vs Pittsburgh – Kyle Dubas made some big moves to change up Pittsburgh’s roster over the summer, the Habs being involved in the biggest of those, helping to facilitate the Erik Karlsson trade.  However, despite their upgrades on paper, they’re seventh in the Metropolitan Division and are one of the lowest-scoring teams in the NHL.  Somehow, with Karlsson, Kris Letang, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Jake Guentzel, their power play hasn’t scored in ages and has a success rate of just 9.5% (and you thought Montreal’s power play was lousy…).

Saturday vs New York (I) – It’s the final home game of the year with the Habs getting booted out of the Bell Centre for their annual end-of-year road trip after this one.  The Islanders have lost more than they’ve won this season but are in a playoff spot thanks to seven extra time losses.  Typically known as a defensive team, they’re more in the middle of the pack in that regard this season.  They’re also banged up on the back end, missing Adam Pelech, Ryan Pulock, and Sebastian Aho (the blueliner, not the Carolina forward with the same name).

3 Stars Results

We weren’t able to keep the ballot for the 3 Stars on the main page as long as we would have liked so votes were limited.  Rather than do a full article off a limited sample size, here are the quick voting results for November’s 3 Stars:

1st Star: Samuel Montembeault
Stats: 6 GP, 3-2-0 record, 2.60 GAA, .914 SV%

2nd Star: Alex Newhook
Stats: 14 GP, 4 goals, 5 assists, 9 points, even rating, 17 shots, 4 PIMS, 17:07 ATOI

3rd Star: Kaiden Guhle
Stats: 14 GP, 2 goals, 3 assists, 5 points, -3 rating, 17 shots, 12 PIMS, 43 blocks, 21:38 ATOI

Honourable Mention: Mike Matheson
Stats: 14 GP, 3 goals, 8 assists, 11 points, -9 rating, 33 shots, 10 PIMS, 26 blocks, 24:48 ATOI

Final Thought

With Tanner Pearson out for a while, the Habs are going to have to call someone up soon.  It could be as soon as Tuesday but they could wait until Wednesday if they want to save a few bucks. 

Earlier this season, Emil Heineman had played his way into a recall thanks to a good training camp and a decent start to his season before an upper-body injury (or a concussion, more specifically) set him back.  A few others got their chance instead.

Now that he’s back and has a few games under his belt, it should be Heineman getting this chance.  Pearson’s spot isn’t opening up an opportunity in a scoring role but rather one in the bottom six.  That’s where Heineman fits in the future depth chart as a winger with good speed, good size, a good shot, and an ability to play a bit of a physical game.  Isn’t that exactly what they need right now? 

This injury gives the Habs a chance to assess if Heineman truly is close to being NHL-ready while testing him in the role he’s likely to fill if he becomes a full-timer.  You always hate to think of an injury as an opportunity but the timing lines up well if they want to give Heineman a look.