With 17 goals scored in 4 games, the Canadian is currently showing one of the most frantic rhythms in the NHL.
Tirelessly, for two weeks, a player of the team or the opponent of the moment has repeated it: the four trios of the Habs can “hurt”, to use the words of Bo Horvat, of the Vancouver Canucks.
It is totally true. But the question to ask is: which will be the flavor of the day?
The unit formed by Nick Suzuki, Jonathan Drouin and Josh Anderson had a blast against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the opener, but were silenced thereafter. Suzuki added points on the power play, but their wingers have been shut out in three games since.
Jake Evans and Artturi Lehkonen made their coach happy by each scoring a shorthanded goal, but at 5-5 their line with Paul Byron only generated one net – that, in fact, of defender Alexander Romanov, last Saturday in Edmonton.
The trio of Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Tyler Toffoli and Joel Armia exploded in Vancouver (5 points), but had been held in check for the previous three games.
In fact, only the top line, that of Phillip Danault, Tomas Tatar and Brendan Gallagher, scored in two games – in Edmonton on Monday (6 points) and in Vancouver on Wednesday (3 points).
And for the first time in this young season, Wednesday night, two different lines of the Canadian contributed to the score evenly.
“Our team is full of players who can get up every evening,” admitted Brendan Gallagher by videoconference Thursday afternoon. You wanna be the guy who gets up. It’s our story this year. ”
Rather than worrying about the fact that the lines seem to strike each in turn and not on the same evening, Claude Julien said that this alternation of offensive responsibility made his team less predictable, unlike some formations – namely the Oilers of Edmonton -, in which it suffices to neutralize “certain players to have a good chance of winning”.
Following the underperformance of his shorthanded team on Wednesday, resulting from the seven minor penalties his men received, Claude Julien once again spoke about the importance of discipline for the second of three games against the Canucks in Vancouver, Thursday evening.
He spoke in particular of penalties “that can be avoided”, namely the four penalties for delaying the game this season or the lack of judgment of Jesperi Kotkaniemi, who told the referees his way of thinking on Wednesday.
Besides, Julien called for a better “control of the emotions”, attributing the indiscipline of the moment to an overflow of “excitement”.
Gallagher spoke of the importance to be given to positioning so that he and his teammates are no longer “forced” to be penalized because they are late in the game. “We have to be more precise. [sharp] “, he summed up.
He smiled, however, when a colleague asked him if Kotkaniemi had discussed Wednesday night’s incident with him. ” He said nothing [aux arbitres] that I wouldn’t have said at his age, he laughed. I too have learned my lessons. It is going to be correct. He will learn faster than me. ”
“I told him if he has a problem he can always come see us, Webby [Shea Weber], Paul [Byron] or me, and we’ll talk to the referee. This is just how it works. ”
The Canadiens-Canucks meet at 9:30 p.m. Montreal time. The formation will remain the same as in the last four games. Jake Allen should be in net.