Carey Price is playing well, Phillip Danault is scoring — and those aren’t even the only positives for the Canadiens

Carey Price is playing well, Phillip Danault is scoring and those aren’t even the only positives for the Canadiens
The Canadiens Phillip Danault celebrates after scoring his first goal of the season in a 5-1 win over the Canucks Wednesday night in Vancouver. Photo by Bob Frid /USA TODAY Sports
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You may have missed Wednesday nights game between the Montreal Canadiens and the Vancouver Canucks because of the start time if you live on the East Coast (11:00 p.m.)
Or, like myself, you tried your best to stay awake and not pass out by the third period (it worked, but I needed a cat nap or three).
Others just werent able to soldier on, understandably.
Fell asleep just as Perry scored. Dont think Im gonna make it. Kids get up too early these days.
Andrew Berkshire (@AndrewBerkshire) March 11, 2021
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So, for those who didnt see (or slept through parts of) Montreal win 5-1 over Vancouver last night, heres something you should know. Were starting to see the return of the Montreal Canadiens who brought hope to their fanbase in January. A team that skates well, applies pressure, and scores goals. They did it against the Jets last weekend and they managed to end their two-game series against the Canucks with another big win. The Canadiens have also earned at least one point in each of their last six games.
While players like Tyler Toffoli and Josh Anderson (whove been great for much of the year) continue to produce, a handful of Canadiens players had strong performances that could go a long way for their own personal confidence.
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Lets start with Phillip Danault. The centre scored his first of the season last night while abiding by one of my favourite hockey principles.
Good things happen when you go to the net.
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And it allowed him to finally throw the monkey off his back.
I think there was more than one monkey. I threw a bunch of monkeys off my back, Danault said.
He deserves it. Hes tried his absolute best in his last few games.
Last week, he had two consecutive games where his faceoff win rates were over 60 per cent. He followed it up with a two-assist night against the Jets. And after a so-so night against the Canucks Monday, he found his name on the scoresheet.
Its his first goal in over a calendar year.
And you might have missed it because of how late the game was.
Fell asleep and missed Danault’s goal. Attaboy!
Non-Fungible Toqué (@eleijon) March 11, 2021
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Lets look at Jesperi Kotkaniemi, who has six points in his last seven games and has played like the teams best centre since Dominique Ducharme took over as interim head coach.
He had four shots on goal last night against Vancouver. Its the sixth time hes had more than two shots on net in a game this season.
During Kotkaniemis first shift, he hesitated for a moment before taking a shot in the slot. Had he not taken a second, he might have caught goaltender Thatcher Demko off guard.
Im not sure if his coaches implored him to shoot the puck decisively after that. If they did, he obliged.
Kotkaniemi goal – Demo doesn’t see the shot release, and can’t react quite quickly enough once he picks it up. Very well placed shot. pic.twitter.com/LdLPRuDkcW
Paul Campbell (@WayToGoPaul) March 11, 2021
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If Kotkaniemi learns to trust his shot a bit more, he can add to his goal tally.
Of course, theres Carey Price.
In his last four starts, hes allowed only one goal in each of them. He told the media Monday that he was feeling better and he definitely looks like it.
Carey Price Sv% in his last four starts: .963, .966, .966, .958. He hasn’t allowed more than a goal in each of them for a 3-0-1 record. The team in front of him is playing really well but he seems to have find his confidence back and made some key saves while needed.
amélia mcguire st-onge (@ameliamcguires) March 11, 2021
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There are other positives, too.
Theres Jeff Petry, who has goals in back-to-back contests and continues to produce in a season that could end up being the best of his career. Tyler Toffoli had a two-assist night against the Canucks as he continues to see success against his old club. Corey Perry continues to show his worth to the Canadiens in a bottom-six role.
Its on the team to sustain that energy when they play the Calgary Flames Thursday night. But the fact that theyve built it up in the first place is an encouraging sign.

  1. Montreal Canadiens tighten hold on 4th place in win over Vancouver Canucks
  2. In the Habs’ Room: Ben Chiarot lands a blow, injuring his own hand in the fight

We managed to get a Liveblog going despite the late start time
Heres the best from last nights Liveblog. Thank you to everyone who showed! Its always really cool to see Canadiens fans in full voice on this platform. Im going to miss interacting with everyone when I leave my Liveblog duties near the end of the month.
Ill get sentimental about that later.
All 4 lines contributing tonight. DD has them going in the right direction! Bob Taylor
Heres what I LOVE about this team. Theyre not even trying to protect a 4-goal lead. Still playing aggresively. Carin Latzel
KK is the future of this club..and Caufield next year Denis Pelletier
Corey Perry still has moves Ryan Katz
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