After last night, we’re no longer talking about practice. The Montreal Canadiens took on the Ottawa Senators in Bouctouche, New Brunswick, finishing their pre-season winless after a 3-2 overtime loss. Fans would of course hope for at least one win before the real games start, but can at least take solace in certain takeaways from all the losing.
Chief among them; Cole Caufield is scoring 40 goals this season.
He has arguably been the best Habs player in any game he’s played this pre-season. On Saturday, he was up to his usual tricks, picking twine on the power play and making the other team contemplate the meaning of space in so doing.
DEAR LORD, this shot from Cole Caufield.— Matt Drake (@DrakeMT) October 8, 2022
1-0 #Habs pic.twitter.com/WgXeDzZZTc
The space through which he had to fit that puck was about the size of the puck itself. There aren’t many shooters in the NHL who can pull off a shot like that, and the few who can are perennial contenders for the Rocket Richard trophy. He might not win that this year, but seeing his name high up on the list wouldn’t be all that surprising.
Since Martin St-Louis took over the bench, Caufield has turned into who we thought, nay hoped he was. Brimming with confidence, we can expect to see more of that through the course of the season, and it should end up being the silver lining to an otherwise difficult campaign.
I feel confident enough at this stage to predict 40 goals from him. Even if the Habs finish in the basement of their conference again, he should be bringing plenty of entertainment on the way there.
Bonus highlights time!
Kaiden Guhle is good at hockey.
Another day, another Kaiden Guhle goal! pic.twitter.com/1cenb0Bdv1— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) October 9, 2022
Rem Pitlick don’t throw a gift into the fleuve challenge.
Heads up play by Juraj Slafkovsky to set up a scoring chance.— Matt Drake (@DrakeMT) October 8, 2022
Doesn't work, but good awareness there. pic.twitter.com/Ch4nvqEchb
Dives, or not, you be the judge.
Either Chris Wideman gained 200% strength suddenly, or this is a comical dive by Sabourin. You be the judge. pic.twitter.com/mzlL5N2BH3— Matt Drake (@DrakeMT) October 8, 2022
October 8, 2022
Click the play button below to listen to your full Bottom Six Minutes, also available on your podcast platform of choice. We have a bit of a break now, but will return for the regular season opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs this coming Wednesday.