MONTREAL – The Canadiens’ first preseason game showed that David Reinbacher instinctively understands offensive spread, that Logan Maillox plays fluidly, and that Josh Anderson and Alex Newhook are willing to exploit their speed in their own way.
Here, in more detail, are some notes from a 4-2 game against a small sample of the New Jersey Devils.
Mailloux quickly at ease
In 2023 hockey, defenders can no longer anchor their skates in the defensive zone as was the case in the era of Petr Popovic, Craig Ludwig or Ken Daneyko.
Logan Mailloux is light years away from this profile. In his first pre-season match with the Canadian, he did not hesitate to support the attack, carry the puck, and take risks – sometimes with extreme boldness – in the offensive zone.
Improving his professional level will go a long way in eliminating some of the mistakes in his arsenal. But his offensive talent, physical presence, and powerful throw will help the Canadian for many seasons.
Against the Devils, his fluid game was easily discovered. His run late in the game was a clear example of this.
Beautiful vision from Reinbacher
For Renbacher, it would be understandable to be more cautious in his first outing in North America. However, he was in control of many of his actions thanks to his intelligence.
Without a doubt, his greatest contribution was his assist for Josh Anderson’s goal. Reinbacher skillfully understood Alex Newhook’s intentions and then moved into the attacking area to receive his pass and slot the ball into the net. Anderson had to get back in the cage.
In addition to this game showing off his offensive nature, Reinbacher had a very respectable outing. However, he misused the puck several times. We especially remember when the puck was stolen so deep in the defensive zone that Dawson Mercer almost scored.
Another time, he lacked a little confidence by getting rid of the puck too quickly.
On another occasion, he dealt very well with pressure from the Devils to restart play.
Slavkowski tries to keep up with Newhook and Anderson
The trio of Alex Newhook, Juraj Slafkovsky and Josh Anderson sounds very interesting on paper. In practical terms, we realize that the Slovakian will need time to adapt to the two veteran players who have already changed their style in order to excel.
Slavkovski is still very young and experience will allow him to develop his attacking abilities in the face of fierce competition. Our conclusion is that Canadiens coaches will want to be patient with him during training camp. After all, his last game was on January 15th.
As for Newhawk and Anderson, they were the most dynamic players on CH. Anderson could have added two more goals to his tally after getting two separate goals without being able to thread the needle.
The imposing winger will certainly not be happy staying on the right for Newhook this season.
The attacking nature of Joshua Roy
There are those players whose natural talent will always stand out even against NHL caliber. Joshua Roy falls into this category. His goal was wonderful, as he completed Xavier Simoneaux’s pass with a live and precise shot.
Xhekaj relaxed his shoulders
Whether it’s a preseason game, last year’s Rookie Championship or the regular season, Arber Xhekaj won’t skimp on his shoulder shots.
Furthermore, he didn’t let go of veteran Tyler Toffoli in a series of seconds. We would have liked to hear what message Toffelli had to convey to him.
Dobes can do nothing against Mercer and Hughes
Goalie Samuel Montembeault played half of the game and made way for Jakub Dobes as the Devils led 2 to 1. Poor Dobes could do nothing in the face of two brilliant maneuvers from Jack Hughes on the power play.
Hughes unchained Anderson to spot Dawson Mercer at the mouth of the net. Then he needed only a split second to shoot into the net.
In this game, the Devils were outscored on the power play by three goals to Montreal’s only one goal.
Otherwise, Dobis was able to sprinkle in some good saves.
Let us add that Montembo was not very lucky in scoring Simon Nemec’s goal from the red line! These goals also come during the preparatory matches.
More details to come.
“Hipster-friendly tv trailblazer. Problem solver. Infuriatingly humble introvert. Reader. Student. Subtly charming bacon maven.”