MONTREAL — Even Jake Allen was stunned when Samuel Montembolt split to steal a goal from Nick Berbix in the second period.
“During the commercial break, Jake told me, as a joke, that he’d be in the hospital if he’d done that split,” Montembolt laughed in the Canadian locker room after the win.
The remark was amusing, but nonetheless the Quebec goalkeeper proved, thanks to this little gem, that he can beat the Tampa Bay Lightning when he has a good night.
And the best news in his case is that he is tying them up a lot this season.
“It’s more consistency, more maturity, more experience as a goalkeeper. We can do everything for him, but it starts with the player, he is the one who finds himself in front of the net. Very good progress on his part,” specifies Martin St-Louis.
In the season of reconstruction, Monttembolt’s bid did not go unnoticed. He also received, on Tuesday evening, his fourth consecutive award. He has yet to prove he can play the starting goalkeeper role.
“I think so. When we’re not at our best, goalkeepers save us a bit. Sam, with the way he’s been playing this year, has increased his confidence in the net and he feels good,” described Jonathan Drouin.
According to St. Louis, the four consecutive starts given to the 26-year-old guard is not about determining what he can achieve. “We already know that,” he said.
For his part, Montembolt wants to keep consistency and give his team a chance to win. He can add this victory against Tampa Bay to his arguments for the Bank.
Push modifications against lightning
With a 17-17-1 record on opposing rinks, it’s easy to see that the Lightning doesn’t strike hard away from Florida. However, the Habs just won against one of the top clubs in the NHL.
Even being young in his new career, St. Louis is seen as a cunning coach. By crossing swords twice in four days with Lightning, he was able to deploy push mods.
“It’s part of developing our team to get good results, but (I’m mostly satisfied) with the way we played. It was fun facing the same team, you have a lot of examples to show the players what you want to do and improve,” St. Louis explained.
The discovery was confirmed by Montembeault a few minutes earlier.
“We did a lot of videos. Martin did a very good job with his staff. The meeting was a long time before the warm-up period. The guys were willing to make adjustments and even between periods,” said the goalkeeper.
One of the paid mods was the ability to include Kirby Dash as a suite with Nick Suzuki and Raphael Harvey Benard. St-Louis explained that Dach’s presence on this line was intended to counter the unity of Point, Kucherov, and Hagel.
It was also great to see that part of this task has been entrusted to Harvey-Pinard, who continues to earn points.
“With him, you know what you’re going to get in every game. There are many details in his game, he’s able to follow tips, he goes to the net, he can continue attacks,” said the coach.
In the end, I felt satisfied in the locker room because the wins were limited.
“It’s a high-profile team, top 5 players in the NHL. We had the lead (Saturday) in Tampa, but they found a way to score goals. This time, we didn’t shoot at each other, we just gave ourselves a chance to win.” They have a lot of opportunities to score.
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