Canadiens Sabres | The Montreal Canadiens have been a strong team at home so far this season, but it’s been difficult to watch them play away from home. Two games where the entertainment value was poor and they were also restricted.
On Thursday night, though, they had a chance for atonement in Buffalo, New York, and they took advantage of it by defeating the Sabres 3-2.
The year is currently progressing erratically. It was anticipated that this youthful defensive team with four rookies would surrender a lot of goals, but that the Canadiens’ established offensive strength would keep them in the game.
Evidently, no one has informed the defence that they should be making a lot of mistakes and going through a lot of growing pains. They only displayed any signs of problems in one game, one against Minnesota.
With an average of just under four goals per game going into the contest, the Sabres were one of the NHL’s top scoring teams. They anticipated outplaying the young Canadiens, who were utilising Sam Montembeault as a backup goalie.
Once more, the young defenders were trouble-free. With only four cups of coffee between them, Kaiden Guhle, Arber Xhekaj, Jordan Harris, and Jonathan Kovacevic in the NHL appeared to be at ease.
In fact, Guhle scored his first NHL goal, giving the Canadiens the lead midway through the third period with a cannon of a shot to the top corner from an awkward angle. Guhle appears to be a first pair defence in the NHL for the next ten or so years.
This defence appears to be the team’s strength rather than its weakness now that Mike Matheson and Joel Edmundson will be back.
This defence may be formidable with time if Lane Hutson, Logan Mailloux, Justin Barron, Jayden Strubel, or Mattias Norlinder all develop their abilities and join the team.
In order to make a good impression in your career’s early games, this position is meant to be challenging. Defenders with fewer than 10 games under their belt shouldn’t experience this ease.
This defence has the potential to be excellent once they learn how to read plays a little bit better, create better body position overall, and feel at ease with quicker initial passes.
Already, this team is giving up fewer than three goals a game. It doesn’t appear that the team lacks goals against. Surprisingly, it appears that goals-for are the problem.
The dearth of scoring from veterans in the early going this season is one of the unsettling trends.
Although general manager Kent Hughes would want to keep adding draught picks, his quest for a third first-round pick is being hampered by the lack of players performing well enough to warrant a top pick.