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The Canadiens need Max Domi’s fortunes to change

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It’s closing in on a month without a goal for the Canadiens’ star forward.

NHL: DEC 14 Red Wings at Canadiens Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Montreal Canadiens bounced back from their losing streak with three straight wins over teams from the Metropolitan Division in the past week, including two of the hottest teams in the NHL in the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins. The winning streak came to a grinding halt with a 2-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night, a game where the Canadiens threw everything at Jonathan Bernier, and scored only once in the final minute of play.

In a game like this, teams usually turn to their star, someone who can always be counted on to deliver the goods. Last year, Max Domi was that player as he compiled a career-best season. This year, Domi is producing at a decent rate, right in line with what you’d expect with some slight regression from last season, but he hasn’t lit the lamp in now 10 straight games.

His last goal came in a loss to the New York Rangers on November 23, closing in on nearly a month of drought. With the offence struggling over that stretch, you have to wonder what’s up with Domi’s scoring touch. His isn’t playing poorly, and on the year as a whole is creating chances from the dangerous areas in the offensive zone, but things aren’t going his way.

HockeyViz.com

He has just four assists over the course of this goalless stretch, and it’s unreasonable to expect a point-per-game pace, but everyone knows Domi is capable of more than these numbers.

The road gets a lot tougher for Montreal now, as they’ll spend the rest of 2019 on the road, where Claude Julien can’t match his lines as easily, and Domi will likely see stiffer competition. With a heavy schedule looming and Jonathan Drouin still on the shelf, the Canadiens very much need Domi to start finding the back of the net once again.

Domi rose to the tough occasions last year. To avoid a major slide out West, the Canadiens are going to need him to do the same this year.