There is nothing normal about Canadians this season. The journalists present at Monday’s training in Broussard had another clue.
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In the penalty shootout competition, where each player had to play their part to score a goal, we had a final between Jonathan Drouin and Michael Pezzetta.
Which of the two made it back to the locker room without being able to beat Samuel Montembolt’s wits? If you answer Pezzetta, you win the Permed Longueuil Trophy, courtesy of Ménick, because he’s the one who hit the target.
All to say the atmosphere was light in the team’s training complex, the day after the day off and two days after the victory over the Nashville Predators.
That didn’t stop Dominique Ducharme’s men from working hard for the big 45 minutes. Three quarters of an hour of individual battles, you fight in the corners of the rink and defend in front of the net.
The intensity level was strong.
We want to build on what we did on Saturday. “We don’t want to take a step back,” the Canadians coach said at the end of the training session.
“There is frustration not getting results, but the group stays united. It was a way to bring fun. When it came time to work, it was time to work. They did this for 45 minutes. Once the task is done you can take the time for things like that,” he continued.
Finally two in a row?
This morning, the Habs players will jump on the ice again before heading to Washington to face the capitals there on Tuesday night.
Although they lowered the flag against the Seattle Kraken on their last outing, the US capital’s representatives are having a great season.
Led by record-breaking Alexander Ovechkin, who has already scored 15 goals in 19 games, the capitals flirt with the top of the Eastern Conference. Thus, this first stop on a three-part trip is not in time for Habs.
In addition to always looking for a second straight win for the first time in the season (0-3-1), he has won only once out of nine matches (1-7-1) on the contenders’ rinks.
“The season is not over after 20 matches. You have to start a winning streak and go one day at a time,” Christian Dvorak offered.
True, except that the Canadian is seven points behind the eighth and final place allowing access to the playoffs. Since 2013-2014, only two teams that are seven or more points behind on American Thanksgiving have made it to the top eight in their league at the end of the calendar: the St. Louis Blues, in 2018-2019, and the Dallas Stars, in 2013-14.
Either way, the formation had at least two matches on hand over the one they were chasing. The Canadian is in the exact opposite situation with four more duels than his rivals.
Returning to the Canadian lap after a stay with the Laval Rocket, Cole Caufield also found a smile on Monday afternoon. He admitted that those six MLS games, in which he scored two goals and made three assists, gave him pause to think.
“I had to clear my mind and find my directions to rebuild my confidence. It worked for me really well. I was able to find myself as a hockey player, relax and forget about the surrounding noises,” he said.
I’m not sure he was really in that state of mind when Mark Bergiveen handed him his OPUS card. But good.
In our Monday edition, the general manager of the Canadians told his colleague Jean-Francois Chaumont that the youngster “often loses the disc”. Sending him to the MLS became the “easy option”. “
What did the main interested party get out of these few games and training sessions on the orders of Jean-François Hall?
“I have to always be on the move, in order to generate more scoring opportunities. I always have to be close to the puck and close to the rival net.”
Allen is waiting for the green light
Missed since the end of the first period of the game in Detroit on November 13, Jake Allen, who suffered a concussion, was able to find his net on Tuesday night. Kayden Primo was sent back to Laval on Sunday night and Allen trained with his teammates on Monday.
However, Ducharme said he is awaiting approval from the medical team before confirming New Brunswicker’s return to work.
The news is also encouraging in the case of Joel Edmondson. The defender will accompany the team in these three meetings. He won’t be wearing his uniform for those, but he’ll continue his snowboarding rehabilitation with the rest of the team.
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