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Bottom Six Minutes: Arber Xhekaj is a bad man

The Canadiens beat up on the Senators at the rookie tournament, both literally and on the scoreboard.

NHL: OCT 02 Preseason - Senators at Canadiens Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Montreal Canadiens finally got themselves a win at the rookie tournament in Buffalo, taking down the Ottawa Senators in a 7-2 rout. There was a lot to like from this tournament in general, and this particular game provided an excellent glimpse of what some of their young players can do.

Firstly, Arber Xhekaj is a man with whom one would be unwise to quarrel.

He did take a few undisciplined penalties in the game, one of which precipitated the decidedly one-sided fight above. He’ll need to get a better handle on that, but the early returns suggest that he has every intent on being a nasty physical presence wherever the organization elects to start him this season.

Opinions may vary greatly on the subject of fighting in hockey, but it happens, and “The Sheriff” is probably your huckleberry if he’s in the lineup and you’re looking for trouble...

Elsewhere, Juraj Slafkovsky may not have scored, but he appears to be gaining more patience in the way he’s playing.

Xavier Simoneau stole the show in this particular game, however. He was everywhere, showing his motor, bottomless gas tank, and ability to play a much bigger man’s game out there. Oh, and he also scored two goals in the process, leaving the impression that he will likely become a fan favourite in Laval this season.

Owen Beck continues to show poise, and perhaps more offensive upside than he was expected to have. He should be a very interesting player to follow during the pre-season, and certainly when he’s back with Mississauga in the OHL.

And Arber Xhekaj was not the only defenseman to provide a physical presence in this game. Kaiden Guhle, and Gianni Fairbrother both chipped in with some big hits of their own, providing some sandpaper on the back end in the lopsided win.

Click the play button below to listen to my full thoughts on the game, and we’ll be back with more BSM content once the Canadiens get into the pre-season!