“Montreal Canadiens vs. Vegas Golden Knights: Goals, Horses, Goats, and Cards”
The Montreal Canadiens’ exciting final contest at the Bell Centre before their upcoming five-game road trip took place this past Thursday. The Vegas Golden Knights were in town, and Montreal’s best game of the year was arguably against Vegas in Nevada, where they fell in a shootout. As expected, the return match-up was equally thrilling, but the outcome was a 6-5 victory for the visiting Golden Knights.
The game started with a flurry of excitement in the first 10 minutes, setting the tone for the entire contest. The Golden Knights dominated the first half of the period, outshooting Montreal 8-0, but Canadiens’ goalie Cayden Primeau was exceptional, stopping all of Vegas’ shots. Primeau’s performance was reminiscent of his college hockey days, earning him the title of goaltender of the year. Despite being outplayed, Montreal managed to take a 2-0 lead thanks to shots by Alex Newhook and Jonathan Kovacevic.
The game intensified with Vegas coming back to tie the contest at four, but Jesse Ylonen’s two goals and an impressive effort from Primeau made the night a memorable one for the Canadiens.
On the downside, Cole Caufield’s high number of shots this season has not translated into goals, with his shooting percentage dropping to 7.7%. This has raised concerns about his accuracy and performance following shoulder surgery. The last time a Canadiens player had a 40-goal season was in 1994, indicating the rarity of such accomplishments.
Furthermore, Arber Xhekaj’s injury during the game raised concerns about the impact on Montreal’s defensive lineup moving forward.
The Kitchener Rangers are emerging as the early favorite to win the Memorial Cup, boasting a powerful offensive lineup with top scorers from the Ontario Hockey League. Filip Mesar, the Canadiens’ first-round draft pick, has found success with the Rangers, showcasing his talent and chemistry on the ice. The addition of Mesar has significantly boosted Kitchener’s offensive capabilities, a potential precursor for an exciting spring season for Montreal fans.
The game against the Vegas Golden Knights was a rollercoaster of emotions for Montreal Canadiens fans. While there were standout performances from Primeau and Ylonen, concerns over Caufield’s performance and Xhekaj’s injury linger. Meanwhile, the promising prospects of Rangers’ success and Mesar’s contributions provide hope for an exhilarating season ahead for the Montreal fans, irrespective of the Canadiens’ results. As the season progresses, uncertainties linger, but the undeniable thrill of hockey remains for fans and players alike.