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Sports The Canadiens just may have fixed their power play

22:00  20 october  2019
22:00  20 october  2019 Source:   msn.com

Johansson scores 1:30 into OT; Sabres beat Canadiens 5-4

  Johansson scores 1:30 into OT; Sabres beat Canadiens 5-4 BUFFALO, N.Y. — Marcus Johansson scored 1:30 into overtime, leading the Buffalo Sabres to a 5-4 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night. Jack Eichel scored twice and added two assists, and the Sabres improved to 3-0-1, the team's best start since opening the 2009-10 season 4-0-1. Rookie Victor Olofsson matched an NHL record in becoming the fourth NHL player to score first six career goals on the power play in a game Buffalo converted two of five opportunities.Jeff Skinner also scored and defenceman Rasmus Dahlin had two assists, while Carter Hutton stopped 23 shots and improved to 3-0.

The Montreal Canadiens had an abysmal power play last year. One could easily argue that it was the biggest thing that kept them out of the playoffs The power play was a major reason they were able to walk through the St. Louis Blues on the road. They rank tenth in the league with a 25.8% success rate

The Canadiens have had a difficult time generating any sort of momentum this season. Despite points in their first three game, they’ve yet to put two wins together, usually following up a victory with a disappointing loss. The Canadiens just may have fixed their power play .

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The Montreal Canadiens had an abysmal power play last year. One could easily argue that it was the biggest thing that kept them out of the playoffs, considering how close they came. If they’re to have any chance this year, it was the one area they absolutely needed to improve.

It is still very early, but they’re accomplishing that mission. The power play was a major reason they were able to walk through the St. Louis Blues on the road.

They rank tenth in the league with a 25.8% success rate so far this year, and converted on two of five opportunities in Missouri. It’s fair to be cautiously optimistic, as their current clip will be difficult to sustain, but it’s an incredibly encouraging start, and they’re getting things done in such ways that suggest they’ve turned a corner.

Canadiens soar over the Blues with six-goal outburst

  Canadiens soar over the Blues with six-goal outburst The Canadiens turned on the jets in the third period to defeat the St. Louis Blues 6-3 Saturday at the Bell Centre. The Canadiens outshot the defending Stanley Cup champions 15-10 in the third period and got goals from Artturi Lehkonen, Brendan Gallagher and Max Domi as they improved their record to 2-1-2. Lehkonen put the Canadiens ahead for good when he scored on a wraparound at 7:30, jamming the puck past Jordan Binnington on the short side for his first goal of the season. Gallagher gave the Canadiens a two-goal lead at 11:56 and this was one of those occasions when the new NHL rule on challenges benefitted Montreal.

The Canadiens just may have fixed their power play . Marc Bergevin needs to take risks for the Canadiens to take the next step The Canadiens GM has had a very good couple of years but it hasn’t translated to results on the ice.

The power play was a major reason they were able to walk through the St. Louis Blues on the road. Tomas Tatar scored twice , including the go-ahead Jonathan Drouin had a goal and an assist, and Nicolas Deslauriers and Artturi Lehkonen also scored for the Canadiens , who won their third straight.

Just look at the sight for sore eyes that was Jonathan Drouin’s goal.

When Drouin pushes the puck to Shea Weber at the point, the Blues’ forwards immediately move out to deal with that threat. He defers to Jesperi Kotkaniemi at the other point, who slides down and throws a gorgeous cross-ice pass to a waiting Drouin, who makes zero mistake. It was night and day from what you’d have seen last year.

And that cross-ice movement was reminiscent of the opening goal from Jordan Weal.

Again, a beautiful cross-ice pass by Nick Suzuki opens things up, and Max Domi finds Weal out front for the tally. They weren’t making these plays a year ago, and their predictable reliance on the Weber bomb made them easy to defend against. They have completely changed up this year.

Canadiens squander strong start, fall 3-1 to Lightning at the Bell Centre

  Canadiens squander strong start, fall 3-1 to Lightning at the Bell Centre The Canadiens played 16 minutes of inspired hockey, but that’s not nearly enough when they’re matched against the high-octane Tampa Bay Lightning. Tampa Bay spotted the Canadiens a 1-0 lead, but roared back to score three unanswered goals en route to a 3-1 victory Tuesday night at the Bell Centre. The Canadiens came out strong in the first period and used an aggressive forecheck to keep the play in the Lightning zone. The shots were 8-2 in Montreal’s favour when Yanni Gourde was sent off for slashing Joel Armia and the new and improved Montreal power play went into action.

The goaltender may have stopped Montreal on that occasion, but that was all forgotten among the Blues fans six seconds into the second period. The Canadiens just may have fixed their power play .

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In particular on the afternoon against the Blues, they are spreading things out with the cross-ice passes, and with great success. They’re far less predictable, and this is yielding them quality opportunities.

Even if their current rate is unsustainable, when regression comes, it is hard to see them regressing to last year’s futility with the way they’re moving the puck. Shea Weber has yet to tally with the man-advantage, and he is ostensibly their greatest weapon on that front. If he can heat up too, they could become formidable.

It’s too early to say for sure that they’ve solved the problem, but the early goings clearly suggest that the Habs are on the right track to fixing their biggest weakness.

Stars' hot goaltender Bishop, former Hab Radulov ice Montreal in Dallas .
The Canadiens were hoping to cap a great road trip with a win Saturday, but they had to settle for a good trip after an old friend and an old nemesis combined to lead the Dallas Stars to a 4-1 win over the Canadiens at the American Airlines Center. The old friend was Alexander Radulov, who resurrected his NHL when he played for the Canadiens two seasons ago, and got Dallas going with a first-period power-play goal. The old nemesis was goaltender Ben Bishop, who came into this game with a 1.79 goals-against average.

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