Canadiens season preview: Goaltending, Suzuki as captain keys

The 2022-23 NHL season begins Oct. 7. With coaching camps opening quickly, NHL.com is having a look on the three keys, the within scoop on roster questions, and the projected lineup for every of the 32 groups. Today, the Montreal Canadiens.

Coach: Martin St. Louis (second season)

Last season: 22-49-11, eighth place in Atlantic Division; didn’t qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs

3 KEYS

1. Replacement Price

Goalie Carey Price was positioned on long-term injured reserve Sept. 7 and possibly will not play this season. The 35-year-old was restricted to 5 video games final season following knee surgical procedure the earlier offseason and continues to be experiencing points together with his gradual restoration. Who steps in? Jake Allen stated on the Canadiens golf event final week he is in negotiations for a brand new contract with Montreal, however is a 32-year-old a bit previous to rebuild round? The door is open for Sam Montembeaulthowever the 25-year-old should enhance after going 8-18-6 with a 3.77 goals-against common and .891 save share final season.

Video: NHL Tonight on Canadiens’ goaltenders

2. The new regime

This would be the first full season of Kent Hughes, Jeff Gorton and Martin St. Louis will probably be working collectively as the Canadiens mind belief. Each has been with Montreal for lower than a yr, so how lengthy will it take them to gel? Gorton was employed as government vp of hockey operations Nov. 28, 2021, after normal supervisor Marc Bergevin, assistant GM Trevor Timmins and senior vp Paul Wilson have been fired. Hughes was named GM on Jan. 18 and St. Louis changed Dominique Ducharme on Feb. 9.

3. The new captain

The Canadiens named Nick Suzuki the thirty first and the youngest captain of their historical past Sept. 12, however can the 23-year-old middle cope with the highlight in some of the demanding markets within the NHL? Suzuki stated he took on-line programs in French and the way he handles himself off the ice as a lot as on it is going to be crucial to his management.

Video: Nick Suzuki named thirty first captain of Montreal Canadiens

ROSTER RUNDOWN

Making the lower

The already muddled scenario at defensemen is not a lot clearer after the Canadiens traded Jeff Petry to the Pittsburgh Penguins and Alexander Romanov to the New York Islanders. They have David Savard (673 NHL video games), Mike Matheson (417) and Joel Edmundson (416), and the remaining three spots needs to be there for the taking. Kaiden Guhle had 40 factors (seven targets, 33 assists) in 42 video games for Prince Albert and Edmonton of the Western Hockey League final season, and the 20-year-old will get an extended take a look at coaching camp. So will fellow 20-year-old Justin Barron after he had 20 factors (5 targets, 15 assists) in 43 video games for Colorado of the American Hockey League.

Most intriguing addition

Sean Monahan is a three-time 30-goal scorer and has 462 factors (212 targets, 250 assists) in 656 NHL video games, all with the Calgary Flames. The 27-year-old ahead, acquired in a commerce Aug. 18, has performed by means of accidents in latest seasons however stated he looks like a child once more after having hip surgical procedure. If he finds a technique to resemble the efficient participant he was earlier in his profession, the Canadiens’ gamble on him would have paid off. Monahan has had surgical procedure on every of the previous two years, the most recent in April, however hopes to be prepared for the season opener towards the Toronto Maple Leafs on the Bell Center on Oct. 12.

Biggest potential shock

Kirby Dach, who struggled at occasions throughout his first three NHL seasons and had 59 factors (19 targets, 40 assists) in 152 video games for the Chicago Blackhawks, is seeking to take a big step ahead with the change of surroundings after being acquired in a commerce in July 7. The Canadiens suppose they will help enhance the manufacturing of the No. 3 decide within the 2019 NHL Draft and plan to offer the 21-year-old middle loads of ice time, together with a task on the facility play. Dach is a key cog in Montreal’s rebuild and will probably be supplied each alternative to grow to be one in every of its offensive staples.

Ready to interrupt by means of

There was a buzz by means of the Bell Center on the 2022 NHL Draft when ahead Juraj Slafkovsky was chosen with the No. 1 decide. Shane Wright, a ahead with Kingston of the Ontario Hockey League, was the favored candidate to be the highest decide however Montreal opted for Slafkovsky’s distinctive mixture of ability and swagger. At 6-foot-3, 218 kilos, the 18-year-old is a youngster in a person’s physique and will begin the season within the NHL with an excellent coaching camp.

Fantasy sleeper

Dach, C/RW (fantasy common draft place: 176.0) — He performed in principally the underside six underneath a number of coaches for Chicago however is a fantasy breakout candidate who may play on the second line for Montreal with a minimum of one beneficial wing in Cole Caufield, Brendan Gallagher, Josh Anderson and/or Slafkovsky. — Anna Dua

PROJECTED LINEUP

Cole Caufield — Nick Suzuki — Mike Hoffman

Jonathan Drouin — Sean Monahan — Josh Anderson

Evgenii Dadonov — Kirby Dach — Brendan Gallagher

Paul ByronChristian DvorakJoel Armia

Michael Matheson – David Savard

Joel Edmundson – Justin Barron

Jordan HarrisChris Wideman

Jake Allen

Samuel Montembeault

.

Leave a Comment