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Pregame: Canadiens vs Canes and Goaltending Help

April 1, 2023, 3:37 PM ET [135 Comments]
Karine Hains
Montreal Canadiens Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Follow me @KarineHains for all updates about the Montreal Canadiens and women's hockey

With the Carey Price era being over and worked being shared between Jake Allen and Samuel Montembeault, it’s no secret that what was once a strength for the Canadiens has now become a weakness, especially since the jury is still out on whether Cayden Primeau will ever be an NHL goalie. For now, this isn’t overly concerning as the Habs are at the start of a rebuild but in a few years, when they’re ready to compete, they’ll need more stability and certainty in net. We don’t know yet if Jakub Dobes will be the answer, but he at least deserves a good look.

At the 2020 entry draft, the Canadiens drafted the Czechia native with the 136th overall pick in the 6th round. Nearly three years on, Dubes has improved significantly, and he’s got two NCAA seasons under his belt during which he played 75 game. Last season, he had 21 wins, a 2.26 GAA and a .934 save percentage. This year, he once again gathered 21 wins with a 2.31 GAA and a .918 save percentage. The entry level pact he signed is good for 2 seasons with an AVV of $925,000 and it will kick in at the start of the next campaign. For now, he’s also signed an AHL deal which will allow him to finish the year with the Rocket.

The Habs held an optional morning skate at the Bell Centre this morning in readiness of their tilt with the Carolina Hurricanes tonight. While the Canes still hold the top spot in the Metropolitan division, they’ve had a tough time of late, losing their last 3 games and after Max Pacioretty momentarily came back from injury only to reinjure himself and be ruled out for the rest of the season, the lost of Andei Svechnikov to a serious knee injury must be a nightmare for the organization. The Carolina outfit will have to make do with a significantly diminished attack in the postseason and they do have goaltending issues as well.

10 forwards, 4 defensemen and 2 goaltenders took the ice for the Habs this morning, Joel Armia will be back in line-up for the game but the Habs will be without Molson Cup recipient for the month of March Rafael Harvey-Pinard, the coach said he needs a bit of time. David Savard will also be missing a second game in a row. Samuel Montembeault will get the start in net. The Habs are still 28th in the standings as things stand with 6 games to go, they are only one point behind the Coyotes and both teams have played the same number of games. While the Canadiens will battle the Hurricanes tonight, the Coyotes have a much easier match-up on their end, taking on the San Jose Sharks who are 9 points behind the Canadiens in 29th place.

Meanwhile, it’s worth noting that Emil Heineman is having himself quite a stint in Laval, the Swede has notched 5 goals in 5 games since coming back to North America and he’ll be a player to watch at training camp, just as he was last time around before being injured during the preseason.

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