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Sports About Last Night: Canadiens better off having kept 'real deal' Nick Suzuki

17:26  24 january  2021
17:26  24 january  2021 Source:   montrealgazette.com

Canadiens Notebook: Players get back into a game-day routine

  Canadiens Notebook: Players get back into a game-day routine The Canadiens held their second and final scrimmage of training camp Sunday night at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard. The Red team, made up of the players expected to be in the starting lineup when the Canadiens open the NHL regular season Wednesday night in Toronto against the Maple Leafs (7 p.m., SN, TVA Sports, TSN 690 Radio), beat the White team 4-1. Jonathan Drouin (power play), Paul Byron (short-handed), Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Nick Suzuki (empty-netter) scored for the Red team, while Corey Perry had a power-play goal for the White team.

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a group of hockey players on the field: Jan 23, 2021; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen (18) and forward Elias Pettersson (40) check Montreal Canadiens forward Nick Suzuki (14) in the first period at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports © Provided by The Gazette Jan 23, 2021; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen (18) and forward Elias Pettersson (40) check Montreal Canadiens forward Nick Suzuki (14) in the first period at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

As the dust settled midday Saturday, 21-year-old Nick Suzuki remained a member of the Montreal Canadiens. Some fans may have been disappointed, but many others exhaled.

Hours later, those relieved fans were likely grinning from ear-to-ear as Suzuki continued his excellent scoring pace, making Canadiens history in the process.

Canadiens Notebook: Corey Perry and Michael Frolik both clear NHL waivers

  Canadiens Notebook: Corey Perry and Michael Frolik both clear NHL waivers Corey Perry and Michael Frolik will stay with the Canadiens. Both veteran forwards were placed on waivers Monday and both were not claimed by another NHL team. That means Perry and Frolik will be on the Canadiens’ taxi squad when they open the NHL regular season Wednesday night in Toronto against the Maple Leafs (7 p.m., SN, TVA Sports, TSN 690 Radio). After the Canadiens placed the two veterans on waivers Monday, coach Claude Julien said he was keeping his fingers crossed that they wouldn’t be claimed by another team.

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Suzuki opened the scoring in last night’s 5-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks, extending a points streak to six games. He’s the 10th player in Canadiens history to have a season-opening points streak spanning at least six games. He’s the second player in league history to have a six-game, season-opening points streak with every contest being away from home.

“I skated with Nick back in London (Ontario) over the break and I know exactly what he’s all about,” Canadiens forward Corey Perry said. “He’s got skill. He’s got vision. He’s got finish and he’s the real deal.”

Why Canadiens’ pursuit of Pierre-Luc Dubois is a complex, risky endeavour

  Why Canadiens’ pursuit of Pierre-Luc Dubois is a complex, risky endeavour The Montreal Canadiens are among the teams reportedly interested in trading for Pierre-Luc Dubois, but such a deal would come with plenty of complications and risks. The post Why Harden doesn’t regret what happened in Houston leading up to Nets trade appeared first on Sportsnet.ca.The Montreal Canadiens went the better part of three decades without a top-line centre and now that they have one emerging in Nick Suzuki, and another one not too far behind in Jesperi Kotkaniemi, they have a chance to trade for one who’s already established.

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If Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin was more willing to throw caution to the wind, Suzuki might have been putting up points in a different area code. In the immediate aftermath, staying the course is proving to be the right choice.

Numerous reports had the Canadiens in pursuit of Pierre-Luc Dubois, a centre who suddenly wanted out of Columbus in favour of a change of scenery.

Some of those same reports suggested that if the Canadiens had any chance of acquiring Dubois, they’d have to part with Suzuki to make the trade work. The same Suzuki who Bergevin traded for, along with a second-round pick and Tomas Tatar, for former captain Max Pacioretty back in 2018.

Dubois (along with a draft pick) was eventually flipped to Winnipeg for Patrik Laine, a goal-scoring winger who has reached the 40-goal plateau, and a young centre in Jack Roslovic.

The Canadiens don’t have any wingers who can score as much as Laine, meaning the Canadiens might have had to sweeten their deal a bit more to acquire Dubois. So if not just Suzuki, who else? Alexander Romanov? Cole Caufield? More roster players? Draft picks? For Bergevin, the asking price may have been a bit too steep.

About Last Night: The Canadiens need to stay out of the box, or it'll cost them points

  About Last Night: The Canadiens need to stay out of the box, or it'll cost them points The Montreal Canadiens have played in three arenas since the 56-game National Hockey League season began last Wednesday, and they’re well acquainted with the penalty box in each of those venues. Indiscipline has cost them at least two points through those four games. They may just be two points, but they’re the only thing keeping fans and media from recognizing the Canadiens as an undefeated squad in the NHL. Montreal’s last two Wednesday night games can serve as cautionary tales. The Vancouver Canucks needed a shootout to defeat the Canadiens 6-5 Wednesday night, as both teams traded goals in an offensive showcase.

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Fortunately, the general manager is not in a position of desperation. Through six games, he has a team with the best record and best offence. Suzuki’s points streak, his ability to be a force at both ends of the ice, and skill have played a huge role in the team’s success. He has even started to draw comparisons to one of the best two-way forwards in the game from media members.

Linemate Jonathan Drouin offered his own two cents.

“He’s a mini-Patrice Bergeron in my eyes, a bit,” linemate Jonathan Drouin said after Canadiens’ 5-2 win. “He’s a player who you can have so much confidence in for so many situations. I’m on the wing. I know he’s going to do his job down low. I know he’s going to do his job on the defensive side. So, it lets me play a bit more in attack.”

Suzuki might not be the next Patrice Bergeron. But he also could be. Bergeron is among the laundry list of players the Canadiens could have taken from the stellar 2003 NHL Entry Draft. The Canadiens could ill-afford to move away from a potential stalwart at the centre ice position with that type of ceiling, especially at a position the team has improved in since drafting Jesperi Kotkaniemi in 2018.

Canadiens Game Day: Josh Anderson excited about first game at Bell Centre

  Canadiens Game Day: Josh Anderson excited about first game at Bell Centre Josh Anderson is looking forward to playing his first game at the Bell Centre as a member of the Canadiens — even though there won’t be any fans in the building because of COVID-19. After starting the season with six straight road games and posting an impressive 4-0-2 record, the Canadiens will play their home opener Thursday night against the Calgary Flames (7 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM). Anderson is off to a good start with the Canadiens, posting 3-1-4 totals in the first six games to match his point total from last season when he had 1-3-4 totals in 26 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

This isn’t to totally downplay Dubois’s superb abilities. There’s a reason why many teams were reportedly in on Dubois, a third overall draft choice from 2016. His size, playmaking ability, and goal-scoring attributes would make many teams want to take a flyer on him. If you’re the Canadiens, however, it might mean giving up Suzuki, another valuable prospect, possibly a roster player, and even a draft pick. Or some combination of all these assets. It could still be the equivalent of parting with an arm and a leg.

The prospect of landing Dubois, but parting with valuable assets, was likely too rich for Bergevin and the team.

Many fans have appreciated Bergevin’s work in the offseason, landing new players like Tyler Toffoli, Josh Anderson, and Joel Edmundson, among others. His aggressive approach has provided positive results in this young season.

If the team continues its run and powers through the North Division, we might look back at the trade he didn’t make as arguably his best move.

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Canadiens fall victim to trap game, lose 3-2 to lowly Senators .
The Canadiens were involved in a classic trap game situation Thursday night and it didn’t go well as they lost 3-2 to the lowly Ottawa Senators at the Bell Centre. After racing to a 7-1-2 record to grab first place in the North Division, the Canadiens faced an Ottawa team that had lost nine games in a row after upsetting Toronto in their season opener. The Senators have a history of playing tough against the Canadiens and that was the case Thursday as Ottawa appeared to be the hungrier team, jumping to a 3-1 lead through two periods. Brendan Gallagher opened the scoring midway through the first period as the Senators gave up the first goal for the eighth consecutive game.

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