Anthony Richard looked like an NHL player last night.

Anthony Richard looked like an NHL player last night.

Last night, Anthony Richard fulfilled a child’s dream by playing a game for the Canadiens. I guess, in his mind, it didn’t necessarily take place in a college stadium, but oh well.

In the Canadian’s victory, the Quebecois (whose birthday is today, by the way) played almost 11 minutes (10:58) and took two shots on goal. He looked like an NHL player.

But the vision test was also inconclusive. His great speed was put to good use during the match, which is nice, but he really had some offensive gains.

It wasn’t Maurice or Henri, but no one asks it to be: we just want it to be Anthony, a talented hockey player who brings his rock to the collective edifice.

And I’m not the only one who liked his game: Martin St-Louis too.

The coach, in the third half, transferred him with Jonathan Drouin and Josh Anderson after stirring his salad in the third half. He liked the speed of him as much as the energy of him.

Richard will be the first to say that he was too generous in offering a pass to Joel Armia (in second) when he had a good line of fire, but overall he was a good addition to the CH.

He found, as he had to, a way to make himself indispensable. He obtained (and deserved) the trust of his coach and that helped the main stakeholder, but also the club.

If Richard ended up with Drouin and Anderson, it was because Martin St-Louis felt he had to make some changes. Kirby Dach found his regular teammates on the front line (and got his bearings too) while Drouin took center stage in the second unit.

Because it was actually difficult for Dach on many levels, especially in the head-to-head circle.

And again, Drouin got it right. I like what the Quebecois has brought to CH since his return to the game, he even tried to challenge Shayne Gostisbehere after punching Juraj Slafkovsky.

Hat.

It was precisely Juraj Slafkovsky, who until then had a difficult game, who suffered and took his place on the club’s fourth line to finish off the game. He was only 10:34 on the ice.

Will he still be in four tomorrow night for a game against the Avalanche? That remains to be seen.

Oh well. In the end, in this first game played against André Tourigny’s men live from a university stadium, the Canadian managed to save himself with victory.

What do I remember from that game?

1. The Canadiens players obviously needed a short adjustment period. The more the match progressed, the more we got the feeling that the Canadian was taking it easy. After all, in the first period, the Canadiens were really dominated by the Coyotes.

In the first half, the locals shot 17 times and only allowed five shots.

It was a miracle to see the Canadian go level on the scoreboard after 20 minutes of play…especially since the club had fallen back into its bad habits in terms of discipline. Fortunately, after two penalties in the first, the CH was sanctioned from then on.

But if the CH returned to the locker room with an even 0-0 score, it really is the fault of Samuel Montembeault. The Quebecer dominated during last night’s match.

He played exactly how the Canadians needed him. The two goals conceded by the goalkeeper are not lemons, if you understand me.

This gave the boys confidence, who ended up snatching the victory against the favorites of the day. The Coyotes stopped shooting after 40 minutes, but it was a great game for the goalie.

2. Mullett Arena is a nice stadium, but the thing is, it’s not an NHL stadium. That being said, it still offers beautiful images of Montreal cabins.

It must be special to be in the desert when you just got out of a storm in Quebec…

3. We have to talk about Kaiden Guhle, a player who impressed me a lot. He played a strong game with and even without the puck and we saw the confidence that lives in him in the Canadian’s first goal.

He was also entitled to playing time on the power play. I was about to ask that to Santa Claus.

In the absence of veterans like David Savard and Mike Matheson, the Canadiens must see their youngsters take on more. Clearly Kaiden Guhle manages to answer for his coach.

Not the one that gives you headaches in St-Louis, I’m sure.

4. In fact, players who are not necessarily the stars of the club managed to rise up and play an important role in the victory. Yes, Cole Caufield scored, but Guhle made a great play on goal.

Arber Xhekaj and Christian Dvorak joined forces to score the second goal of the match, off a pass from Evgenii Dadonov. And in overtime, it was Mike Hoffman who settled the debate over the Kirby Dach and Joel Edmundson passes.

What was Joel doing on the ice at the time?

Nick Suzuki didn’t get a point in the game, which is rare for him. That being said, the Canadiens found a way to win… and the Coyotes earned a point in the standings.

Extension

The Canadian slept in Arizona and the club will head to Denver today. Tomorrow, Artturi Lehkonen’s avalanche will find itself in the path of the Canadians.

Therefore, CH will try to build on their momentum for the last two games before the break.

Will training be on the menu for Martin St-Louis’ men before he leaves for Colorado? I dont know. But if that’s the case, we shouldn’t learn much.

Other than a goaltender change, I don’t really anticipate any roster changes.


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