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Samuel Montembault relied on his phenomenal memory to hold off Mika Zibanejad in the shootout

Samuel Montembault relied on his phenomenal memory to hold off Mika Zibanejad in the shootout

There are gatekeepers who defend the short-term memory philosophy. They forget defeats and bad goals. But there are also other goalkeepers with a memory like Verne, also known as Bull Hood, in the classic film The Boys.

Montembault has a bit of fern in it. And it serves him well.

According to official statistics, Montembault stopped 45 shots in a 4-2 shootout win over the New York Rangers. But we're not counting the other three saves in the shootout against Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad and Alexis Lafreniere.

Of the three saves in the shootout, the most impressive was against Zibanejad as he pulled out his stick to block a one-handed overhead kick.

“I didn't expect that,” No. 35 said. “I try not to think too much when guys go into penalties. If they do a trick you don't expect, you can get caught. He made the same move on me last year, but he scored. I fell for his trick. He did the same thing again, but I managed “From his follow-up. He hit the ball with a backhand kick with one hand, but I blocked it.”

On March 9, 2023, Zibanejad scored the only goal in a shootout in the Rangers' 4-3 win over CH at the Bell Center. Nearly ten months later, Al-Kibi enjoyed revenge on the Swede.

But Zibanejad's play is not the only one that bears witness to Montembault's great memory.

At the end of his conversation with reporters in the locker room, the masked man talked about his first start in a CH uniform against the Sabers in Buffalo. That was October 14, 2021. Over two years ago.

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He replied: “We lost 5-2 in Buffalo, but if you give me a little time, maybe I can describe to you the five goals that were scored against me.”

Montembault showed it was not a trick by revisiting three of the five targets with surgical precision and imitating the places where they had been hit. However, he made a small error in the final score: 5 to 1.

Marks on the neck

On 45 saves, Montembault recorded a personal high of the season, but it was his fourth-highest total in a Canadian uniform.

He will cherish the memories of that encounter against Rangers for a few more days. He had redness on both sides of his neck.

“I've had three balls to my neck this evening,” he said. “There was a Trouba shot, a Zibanejad shot in the second half, and a simple backhand shot in the first half.”

In the final seconds of overtime, Jacob Trouba fired a missile at Montembault's head. The big hit came on the heels of a shot by Zibanejad that looked like a change of pace in baseball.

“In my youth, I played as a receiver, so I think that was beneficial for me,” Montembault said with a smile.