Wanna blog? Start your own hockey blog with My HockeyBuzz. Register for free today!

In Hainsight: Same Result, Different Story

October 4, 2022, 2:08 AM ET [211 Comments]
Karine Hains
Montreal Canadiens Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Follow me @KarineHains for all updates about the Montreal Canadiens and women's hockey

Nobody in their right mind expected a Canadiens’ win tonight, the Leafs came to town with all of their big guns while Montreal didn’t use Caufield and Suzuki and iced a young blue line, but as is crystal clear by now, the goal wasn’t to win anyways. Martin St-Louis was very candid in his comments this morning when he said that even though his team had 4 losses so far, he felt like they were winning. This camp, just like the upcoming season, is all about development and that’s how they are winning.

Tonight’s was Sean Monahan’s first game wearing la Sainte-Flanelle and it was a reassuring outing. He spent nearly 17 minutes on the ice and looked comfortable, he even showed a good burst of acceleration to earn himself a breakaway but was stopped by a Matt Murray who was in top form. Sure, there was some rust, but it’s normal when a player is taking part in his first preseason game.

The brightest spot up front had to be Juraj Slafkovsky though. Tonight’s performance definitely will not be described as underwhelming as the young Slovak looked really eager on the ice and made his presence felt all night long. In the end, he took 4 shots on target but directed a total of 8 to the net, unlike many of his teammates who were still gun shy. He was the mastermind behind the Canadiens’ sole goal when he showed some good puck handling skills before taking a shot to net and sending the rebound Drouin’s way.

In his post-game comments, the youngster said: “You can say that it was my best performance so far, but it’s far from the best I can do. It was closer to that level”. When pressed on to know what was missing to reach that level, he said tongue in cheek: “I don’t tell my secrets to the cameras”. This kid will fit right in in Montreal, he’s already figured out how to speak to the media and get them onside.

If Slafkovsky was exciting to watch, Hoffman was infuriating. It took him ages to start shooting and when he finally did, they weren’t all quality shots far from it. Furthermore, he was guilty of 3 giveaways and spent 2 whole minutes on the powerplay, time that would have been much more beneficial for a red-hot Slafkovsky. Quite frankly, this is the Bergevin signing I dislike the most and I wish the team could decide to just put him on waivers.

At the blue line, it was a tough night for Justin Barron, caught off position and not hard to dispossess, I truly believe that he would beneficiate from a stay in Laval. Give him big minutes to play and a truckload of games, that’s the best thing that can happen to him.

Overall, even though the score read 5-1 Toronto at the buzzer, this was an entertaining game to watch. Canadiens’ fans will need to learn to enjoy games this season for what they are and that is opportunities for a young team to get some experience. At least, unlike what we saw last season, the team is more offensive minded which makes play much more interesting.

The Canadiens will be right back at it tomorrow night when they take on the Senators at 7:00 PM, just like the Leafs did tonight, the Sens are expected to ice an NHL line-up while Suzuki will be making his preseason debut with Caufield riding shotgun. Expect the likes of Beck, Mesar and Harris to also be in as further cuts should happen after that game.
Join the Discussion: » 211 Comments » Post New Comment
More from Karine Hains
» In Hainsight: Lack of Discipline Leads to Defeat
» In Hainsight: Allen Gets Back on Track
» Pregame: Canadiens vs Flames
» In Hainsight: Missed Opportunities Lead to Unequivocal Defeat
» The Grades Are in - Part 2