Another day, another Montreal Canadiens loss. This one was of the overtime variety, so the Habs picked up at least a point against the Pittsburgh Penguins at home. Marco Scandella made his hometown debut, Carey Price had a stellar night, but the Tricolore got caught in overtime.
Pittsburgh had more shots, shot attempts, scoring chances, high-danger scoring chances — they probably deserved to win in regulation — but the Habs held them off. The Pens probably would have gotten their regulation win without the exploits of one Artturi Lehkonen.
He finally got some puck luck to the tune of two goals in the losing effort.
I'm not saying Artturi Lehkonen is underrated.— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) January 5, 2020
BUT...he has more 5v5 points than Ovechkin right now.
And did I mention he's 46th in the NHL when it comes to 5v5 points? Not bad at all.
Anyhow, he was really good tonight.
Your video review:https://t.co/I6P7ub7DoN
Is Lehkonen a better player than Alex Ovechkin? I don’t think anyone would argue that, but the fact that he’s above a player like that in five-on-five points is impressive. Most of the game is played with five players on each side, and he’s top-50 in the league for points in that setting.
He was a part of a penalty kill unit that was 100% on the night, and even generated a scoring chance while shorthanded.
Lehkonen nets his 2nd goal of the night and his 100th NHL point pic.twitter.com/2Gm0dntaPV— Main Team (@MainTeamSports) January 5, 2020
This is one aspect of the game that Lehkonen excels at. If you’re breaking out of your zone and he’s on the ice, you had better be aware of exactly where he’s at. He can and will jump one of your passes with an active stick on the forecheck.
Usually, with his luck, he would hit the post, then the crossbar, and the puck somehow ends up in the corner for a new Penguins breakout. In this case, he executes a slick steal of the puck, gets the roll he needs in close, and gives his team the lead, albeit temporarily.
It is typically unlucky for him that the team couldn’t manage anything outside of his production on the night. He actually had a chance early in the overtime to take the win himself and hit the post, so he managed to find bad luck even in a game where things were going his way.
Even if the answer for Montreal right now is a rebuild, I personally hope that they view Artturi Lehkonen as a key part of that. I think he’s worth it.