The Montreal Canadiens kicked off their pre-season on Monday night against the New Jersey Devils, losing 2-1 at the Bell Centre. As losses go, it wasn’t the worst we’re likely to see this season, and there were some performances that suggest the season may not be as painful as it could be.
For one, we may be in for quite the revenge tour from Cole Caufield this season.
Okay, “revenge tour incoming” is perhaps a tad strong as a takeaway from a tune-up game. But a lot of us are thinking it, and expecting something special coming off the 2021-22 season where he was on fire after Martin St-Louis took over the bench. His second half of the season saw him close to a 50-goal pace, and anything close to that would be great news for the status of the rebuild.
Cole Caufield stays doing Cole Caufield things.— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) September 26, 2022
PP snipe makes it 1-0 Habs! pic.twitter.com/KqPodfSh0f
Virtually nobody on the Habs’ roster had a good five-on-five game, but the power play with Caufield as the focal point was encouraging. The power play has been a weak point for the Habs even in some of their better recent seasons, so if he can help bring it back to a respectable level, it is a step in the right direction for the rebuild.
He will be a crucial piece in getting the Habs back to contention, so it’s great to see him kick off his pre-season with a sniper’s goal. You can’t read too much into pre-season games, but he definitely looks like he’s itching to put more pucks in the net as soon as possible.
Bonus highlights time! Kaiden Guhle can really skate.
And Kirby Dach is a large, aggressive man out there.
Closer look. Dach is a large boi. pic.twitter.com/TCfhsvMJS8— Matt Drake (@DrakeMT) September 27, 2022
Finally, Nico Daws somehow drew a penalty by attempting to run a pick play on Juraj Slafkovsky.
Nico Daws draws a penalty trying to run a pick on Juraj Slafkovsky pic.twitter.com/N0cTChpswd— Matt Drake (@DrakeMT) September 27, 2022
Click the play button below to listen to the full Bottom Six Minutes podcast, which will return with another episode after Wednesday’s pre-season meeting with the Toronto Maple Leafs.