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In Hainsight: Soft Game, Hard Practice

November 21, 2023, 1:01 PM ET [432 Comments]
Karine Hains
Montreal Canadiens Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Follow me @KarineHains for all updates about the Montreal Canadiens and women's hockey

Martin St-Louis used to be an NHL player and at times it shows. He doesn’t normally run hard practices, most probably because he didn’t love them as a player, but yesterday he thought it was time to crack the whip. The members of the media present in Brossard noticed and noted that it was no ordinary practice, which considering Saturday night’s embarrassing performance wasn’t exactly surprising.

There was a newcomer on the ice though, as Jayden Struble was recalled from Laval yesterday morning. Although he didn’t last as long in camp as William Trudeau and Mattias Norlinder did, Struble has been the best blueliner in Laval since the start of the season. His call-up was made possible by the addition of Rafael Harvey-Pinard on injured reserve. It looks like the 22-year-old defender will be playing his first NHL game soon since Arber Xhekaj, who’s still considered as day-to-day, didn’t fly out west with his teammates yesterday. Traditionally, this west coast road trip is used for the rookies’ dinner, hopefully, Struble will get an exemption since he hasn’t been earning the big NHL bucks.

Friedman has been talking about the Oilers’ possible interest in a Canadiens’ goaltender and he said on the 32 thoughts podcast: The Oilers were there to see all 3 Montreal goalies play. They saw them all.. I think Allen is the least likely of the 3...I do think those are two of the guys Edmonton is looking at (Montembeault & Primeau). Last night’s game did nothing to reassure the Oilers about their goaltending situation as Calvin Pickard was given the net and ended his night with a .871 SP in a 5-3 loss to the Panthers. Edmonton is currently third from last and needs to righten the ship in a hurry.

The NHL schedule is somewhat light this week since it’s American Thanksgiving, so the Canadiens have an unusual schedule. They’ll play tomorrow night in Anaheim at 10.00 PM eastern time before playing a couple of matinees against the Sharks at 3:30 PM eastern time on Friday and 4:00 PM eastern time on Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings. San Jose is currently the worst team of the league with a meager seven points, while the Ducks are 20th, and the Kings sit in fifth place. On paper at least, the Habs will have a great opportunity to put a stop to their losing streak on Wednesday night.

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