HabsWorld.net -- 

The Habs got through the second-last week of the season with one of their better weeks in the standings, picking up four of a possible six points.  Along the way, they had their biggest offensive outburst of the season and signed one of their top prospects.

The Week That Was

Apr. 9: Canadiens 9, Flyers 3 – With Philadelphia having a lot to play for as they’re in the thick of the playoff race, no one expected them to come out and lay the proverbial egg.  Their goaltending was atrocious and the Habs more than took advantage.  Juraj Slafkovsky had his first career NHL hat trick, Josh Anderson snapped a 15-game pointless drought with a goal, and Christian Dvorak had a pair after returning earlier than expected from his pectoral muscle surgery that was supposed to end his season.

Apr. 11: Islanders 3, Canadiens 2 (OT) – New York also had plenty to play for as they’re right in the playoff mix as well.  This time, they played like it.  The Isles were able to stifle the Habs offensively, limiting them to just 14 shots in the game although Montreal held the lead twice following goals from Jordan Harris and Cole Caufield.  Those were matched relatively quickly and in overtime, Kyle Palmieri was able to beat Samuel Montembeault from an off-angle to get New York the much-needed extra point.

Apr. 13: Senators 5, Canadiens 4 (SO) – In a game that only mattered in the reverse standings, Montreal’s inability to hold a lead successfully proved costly again.  The Canadiens got out to four separate one-goal leads but the Sens quickly erased all of those, including tying it up with just 65 seconds left in regulation.  The penalty kill also had an off night with Ottawa scoring on three of their advantages.  Following a back-and-forth overtime, Drake Batherson had the only goal in the shootout.



# Player GP G A +/- PIMS SOG ATOI
8 Mike Matheson 3 1 4 +4 0 3 24:08
11 Brendan Gallagher 3 2 2 +3 5 4 13:20
14 Nick Suzuki 3 0 2 +1 2 5 19:15
15 Alex Newhook 3 1 2 +3 2 4 16:12
17 Josh Anderson 3 1 0 +1 2 5 13:39
20 Juraj Slafkovsky 3 3 0 E 2 6 17:09
22 Cole Caufield 3 3 2 +2 0 11 16:58
26 Johnathan Kovacevic 3 0 3 +3 2 2 18:47
28 Christian Dvorak 3 2 0 +1 0 3 13:31
40 Joel Armia 3 1 1 +4 4 9 16:58
47 Jayden Struble 3 0 1 +1 2 2 18:48
49 Rafael Harvey-Pinard 3 0 1 +1 0 1 12:01
52 Justin Barron 3 0 0 +1 0 3 17:51
54 Jordan Harris 3 1 3 +2 0 2 20:50
55 Michael Pezzetta 3 0 0 +2 4 4 9:16
56 Jesse Ylonen 1 0 0 E 0 0 9:29
58 David Savard 3 0 3 +4 2 0 20:19
70 Tanner Pearson 2 0 1 +1 0 1 13:30
71 Jake Evans 3 0 0 +2 0 4 16:51


# Player Record GAA SV% SO
30 Cayden Primeau 0-1-0 3.69 .909 0
35 Samuel Montembeault 1-0-1 2.97 .910 0

Shootout – Skaters:

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

Shootout – Goalies:

# Player SVS/SF
30 Cayden Primeau 2/3

Team Leaders:

Goals: Nick Suzuki (33)
Assists: Mike Matheson (51)
Points: Nick Suzuki (76)
+/-: Johnathan Kovacevic (+11)
PIMS: Arber Xhekaj (81)
Shots: Cole Caufield (306)

News And Notes

– With Boston University being eliminated from the Frozen Four on Thursday, the Habs wasted little time getting Lane Hutson signed, giving him a three-year entry-level deal that begins this season.  He’s expected to play in their final two games.

– Arber Xhekaj won’t return before the end of the season as he underwent shoulder surgery.  Kaiden Guhle, meanwhile, has resumed skating and hasn’t been ruled out yet for the final two games.

– Juraj Slafkovsky is at 19 goals, meaning he’ll be owed an ‘A’ bonus of $250,000 if he scores in the final two games.  He has already reached one of them for ATOI among forwards.  With Montreal being in LTIR all season, any bonuses that are met will count against the 2024-25 salary cap.

Last Game’s Lines:

Caufield – Suzuki – Slafkovsky
Gallagher – Newhook – Armia
Ylonen – Evans – Anderson
Pezzetta – Dvorak – Harvey-Pinard

Matheson – Savard
Harris – Kovacevic
Struble – Barron

The Week Ahead

Monday/Tuesday at/vs Detroit – If nothing else, the Habs will be playing in meaningful games.  Detroit is tied for the final Wild Card spot but don’t have the tiebreaker so it’s fair to say these are must-win games for them.  Lucas Raymond took over the team lead in scoring last week ahead of Dylan Larkin who is quietly averaging over a point per game, a mark that Patrick Kane is pretty close to as well.  Goaltending is their big concern with Ville Husso injured, Alex Lyon looking a bit worn out, and James Reimer just being a veteran stopgap netminder.  None are ideal candidates to carry them through a series but first, they have to get there.

Final Thought

At the moment, the Habs have two non-emergency recalls remaining before the end of the regular season.  That could be dropped to one when Hutson dresses on Monday night.  But with Laval now off until Friday, Montreal has at least one available recall they could make for the final two games of the campaign.  It would be an opportunity to reward a veteran for a solid season or give a youngster a brief taste of NHL action.  At a minimum, I wouldn’t be surprised if one player is recalled in the near future.

We’re also at the point of the year where it’s ‘injury’ season.  I don’t necessarily mean real injuries but rather ‘injuries’, ones where a player could probably play through but with two meaningless games left on the schedule, there isn’t much point in them doing so.  If a handful of these players are shut down with these ‘injuries’, Montreal can create emergency circumstances to add an additional player or two from the Rocket.

Yes, there’s some risk in bringing someone up; if they wind up getting legitimately injured, that’s a tough blow for Laval’s playoff hopes.  But if they want to reward some players or get a look at a player like Logan Mailloux, they can do so while ensuring they’ll still have ample time to rest before two big games against Belleville that will determine their postseason fate.