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Canadians: "1-3-1" is on everyone's lips

Canadians: “1-3-1” is on everyone’s lips

Montreal – “1-3-1”. No, it’s not the result of the last 3 daily draw, but the name of the game system that the Los Angeles Kings called for was on everyone’s lips. After losing 4-2 suffered Saturday night at the Peel Center.

Some decried, yet all recognized that head coach Todd McClellan’s men executed to perfection — at least during the first two periods — this system that makes life difficult for teams as focused on puck possession as CH.

“It’s not really pretty hockey, but there are ways to combat it. It’s just that we didn’t make it tonight,” lamented forward Cole Coffield, who had given the Habs fans hope by cutting the deficit by one goal with 2:28 left in the game. To get the puck for most of the game. »

“It’s definitely not a lack of effort on our part,” continued defenseman Chris Weidman, who briefly played under McClellan with the Edmonton Oilers during the 2018-19 season. The men of the kings are now accustomed to this order and it is all the credit to them tonight. Their five men on the rink were really on the same page. »

“We didn’t have a good first half. No excuses for relative striker Kirby Dutch, who started the game in the middle of Juraj Slavkowski and Mike Hoffman before finishing it on the right of Nick Suzuki and Cole Cofield for twenty minutes. Plus, it’s a team that plays well in defence. No Gives time and place. »

The Kings – with their leading scorer Kevin Fiala and captain Anzi Kopitar up front – further complicated their opponents’ lives from the first minutes by slashing into the net of Jake Allen. They outscored the first period 16-5.

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Kopitar and Victor Arvidsson scored twice in the space of 19 seconds midway through the first half, but it’s not as if Les Glorieux didn’t have their chances after that. Fiala and Kopitar were noticeably penalized at first, but the Canadiens weren’t really able to trouble Pheonix Copley as they played their power play.

“These are normal things for a team returning from a trip out west,” said head coach Martin St. Louis, whose players played their first game since their 4-2 win over the Kraken in Seattle on Tuesday night. It was a tough start. We had no legs and no energy. At least we kept paying the same after that.

“We brought more energy and speed into the third period, but it’s never easy to catch up in this league. Then we tried to help the guys spark in the third, but those were decisions in the heat of the moment.”

According to St. Louis, we shouldn’t draw too much conclusions from the fixtures used in the third period, especially as technical uncertainty hangs over the absence of defender Mike Matheson, whose health will be re-evaluated. per day due to a lower body injury. . Note that Montrealer missed the first 17 games of the season due to another lower-body injury he sustained during training camp. With David Savard, who missed the third match in a row, CH is thus deprived of two pillars in defence.