What is the real face of CH?

The year 2023 will reveal the true face of Canadians.

What is the real face of CH?

The year 2023 will reveal the true face of Canadians. The bicycle chain has landed recently and the Habs are starting to look like Dominique Ducharme's team from the start of the 2021-22 season.

Note that this is not a blame towards Martin St-Louis or towards Ducharme who, in my opinion, received too much criticism for the failures of his people at the time. He found himself in a particular context with an epidemic of injuries, in addition. No need to elaborate on that.

The Habs do not have the resources to participate in the playoffs and we suspected it, but we still wonder what his identity is, because until recently, we were holding on. I want to see character.

Today, the Canadiens are dead last in the Atlantic Division and they're hoping to end a five-game losing streak tonight in Nashville, but which team will we see?

I told you a few times that it bothered me to see the team accept defeat, but here we just got washed 7-2 in Florida and 9-2 in Washington. It is unacceptable and it looks like the start of the 2021-22 season. It takes a strong reaction.

Without saying that goalkeepers Jake Allen and Samuel Montembeault trumped the game, they managed to steal a few games here and there and keep the team afloat, but they will have to recover. St-Louis says his team is fragile, but if the goalies are also shaking, it will be painful.

The coach will have to find solutions of his own. On the road, it is more difficult for Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield who must compete with the best opposing lines. The injury to Sean Monahan hurts and the other attackers seem unable to take over.

St-Louis is saying the right things, doesn't seem to panic, but he'll have to push the right buttons to revive his team which has won only once in its last nine outings.

Reducing the number of goals against with a young defense is not easy, especially since we have just lost the services of the promising Kaiden Guhle, but we will have to deal with the situation.

Xhekaj reminds me of Souray

Revamping the power play is a priority and we've seen some great things from Arber Xhekaj lately. He moves the puck well and has a great shot. This guy is the surprise of the year in Montreal and he impresses me. He could become a new Sheldon Souray.

I was there when Souray arrived at the Canadiens in March 2000. We didn't expect much from him, but he eventually became a pillar of the massive attack with seasons of 20, 27 and 38 goals between 2003 and 2007.

I'm not saying Xhekaj will equal Souray, but he shows enough potential to be given the chance to occupy the fulcrum, especially since the results with five attackers on the power play have not not been conclusive.

I'm sure GM Kent Hughes will help his coach if he can, but since he's not in buy mode, it's up to St. Louis to find the answers with the staff he has on hand. .

We ask a lot of Suzuki and Caufield and it's up to the veterans to come to their rescue. It's going to take leadership to avoid giving in to panic and the most important player on this side will be Brendan Gallagher. Hoping the guards hold up.

They say it's after the holidays that the men are separated from the kids in the NHL. If we dive further, I know a good junior player who could speed up the reconstruction of the CH if ever the stars aligned. This Connor Bedard is amazing.

– Interview by Gilles Moffet

Superb Winter Classic

I didn't miss a thing from the Winter Classic at Fenway Park yesterday, starting with the pre-game ceremonies. The Penguins and Bruins put on quite a show, and there was something magical about seeing skaters in this legendary stadium. I hope the experience will be repeated at places like Wrigley Field in Chicago. In addition, I find that in recent years, we have improved the quality of the ice a lot in away games and it shows in the quality of the game. Gary Bettman can be happy with what he saw yesterday.

What a season for the Bruins!

The Bruins have found a way to beat the Penguins and if they continue in the same vein, there are several trophies that will end up in Boston, including the Lady Byng (Most Gentlemanly Player), the Jack-Adams (Best Coach), the Vézina (best goaltender), the Jennings (team having allowed the fewest goals) and that of the Presidents (best team in the general classification). You will have recognized Patrice Bergeron, Jim Montgomery and Linus Ullmark among the recipients. Leadership is a game changer in this formation and it's also good to see guys like Montgomery and Ullmark enjoying their second chances.

Ullmark impresses me

Many still doubt Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark, but I watched him closely yesterday and he impressed me. His positional game is impeccable, he does not move unnecessarily and he is compact. He doesn't get out of the game and leave holes like my friend in Calgary, Jacob Markström, sometimes does. Ullmark is a good example for big goalkeepers. He looks like a confident guy and to try to score like he did at 2-1 late in the game, it takes a lot of confidence.

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