By JD Lagrange – When you’re hot, you’re hot! With the Boston Bruins, the Montreal Canadiens are the hottest team in the tough Atlantic Division, having won three games in a row. This past week, Martin St-Louis’ team has defeated division rivals Detroit, then Vancouver and Pittsburgh, coming out with all six points available to them. And they are still without Mike Matheson at the blue line.
As we still see some fans mumbling their dissatisfaction through their social media teeth about seeing the team doing so well, a vast majority of the fan base is surprised and excited to see some exciting hockey from their beloved ones. Seeing that the Canadiens are predominantly being carried by the young guys on the team is very encouraging as well.
With that said, let’s see who is hot at the moment and you will notice that there are a few on that list.
The Captain has 19 points in 15 games this season and he is tied for 10th in the NHL’s scoring race.
He has 7G-5A-12 Pts his last 7 games
For the season, he is on pace for 55G-49A-104Pts
The 21 year-old Caufield has 16 points in 15 games so far. An impressive tidbit is that he has been kept off the scoresheet only 4 times all season.
He is on pace for 49G-38A-87Pts for the season.
With 14 points in 15 games this season, Dach is on everyone’s mind right now. To think that some media members and fans were starting to turn on the 21 year-old already, prior to him being moved to the top line…
He has 3G-8A-11Pts, with a +7 rating in his last 7 games
For the season, he is on pace 22G-55A-77Pts.
With 4 goals and a +3 rating in his last 3 games, Hoffman has risen from the dead!
Prior to that, he had 1G-1A-2Pts in 10 games. Now, perhaps some teams will show some interest for a trade?
The 20 year-old Guhle leads all Habs’ defensemen with 7 points this season. Remember, he’s a rookie.
In addition to playing on the top pairing, he has 4 assists, with +3 rating in his last 4 games while playing against the opponents’ top opposition alongside his partner David Savard.
There were some growing concerns about Dvorak to start the season but with a production of 3G-3A-6Pts in his last 8 games, those concerns have pretty much dissipated.
Prior to that, the center was pointless in his first 7 games.
Okay, I’ll admit, a 2-games point streak is a bit of a stretch but there is a heartbeat there.
Prior to that, he had 2 points in 10 games. So while it’s modest and too soon to be qualified as “being hot”, it is something to build on for Drouin. He did only play just over 10 minutes last night against the Penguins though…
Jake has won his last two games. In the process, he stopped 61 of 67 shots for a .910 saves percentage. In those two games combined, which includes last nights’ game against Pittsburgh where he was less than stellar, he maintained a 2.86 goals against average.
With a 3-0-1 record in his last 4 starts, Monty is enjoying the best start of his NHL career. During that stretch, he has maintained an impressive .937 saves percentage with a 2.21 goals against average.
This and that
Sean Monahan has a point in each of his last two games. Last night, he displayed great chemistry with Josh Anderson but had an anchor on his left in Evgenii Dadonov. Since the top line of Caufied, Suzuki and Dach is doing well, and with the line of Hoffman, Dvorak and Gallagher finding the back of the net, Monahan needs some capable wingers. Anderson is one but with the way they’ve been playing, neither Dadonov nor Drouin are it. With his suspension coming to an end, can we please try Juraj Slafkovsky on that line for a couple of games?
With Mike Matheson hinging closer to a return, it will be harder and harder to decide who will be cut from this defense. For a while, we thought that Arber Xhekaj was the most likely to be cut but he played over 18 minutes last night – mostly against the Evgeni Malkin line – and played a season-high 19:19 two games ago against the Vancouver Canucks.
The Canadiens host the red-hot and surprising New Jersey Devils on Tuesday, before heading to Columbus to play the Blue Jackets on Thursday. They will be back in the confines of the Bell Centre to play the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.