While the Montreal Canadiens escaped New York with a win over the Buffalo Sabres, they can give precisely zero thanks to their power play for those two points. Thanks to some stellar goaltending from Samuel Montembeault, and some opportunistic even-strength scoring, they managed to win in spite of another 0% night with the man advantage.
One way to spark said man advantage could be to use Kaiden Guhle, who scored one of those opportunistic goals on Thursday night.
This is some pinpoint accuracy from the rookie, on a shot taken from a angle that is less than ideal. Credit is also due to David Savard for a nice shot fake, and a perfect pass in the wheelhouse, but Guhle really shows here why he could be a catalyst for improving the power play.
The slap shot is definitely a plus tool that he possesses, but it isn’t even his favourite shot to use. He’ll more typically use a half-wrister or a snap shot from the point, and shows excellent selection to maximize the danger of those shots for redirections or shot assists. His shot variety, and innate ability to manipulate defenders before releasing could be a breath of fresh air for a unit that just isn’t cutting it right now.
The current units are anemic at best, and as has been the case in prior games, they gave up more quality scoring chances than they created against Buffalo. Adding a rookie is unlikely to magically thrust them to the upper echelon of the NHL’s power play units, but it could provide a spark that they desperately need.
Guhle is a player that they’ll one day lean on in all situations. They already lean on him for significant minutes every night, so why not give him a shot and find out if he’s ready to help their power play generate some scoring.
Click the play button below to listen to your full Bottom Six Minutes, also available on your podcast platform of choice. We will return with another episode following this Saturday’s game in Missouri against the St. Louis Blues.