Canadiens season preview: Goaltending, Suzuki as captain’s keys

The 2022-23 NHL season begins October 7. With training camps opening soon, takes a look at the three keys, the inside scoop on roster questions, and the expected lineup for each of the 32 teams. Today’s Montreal Canadiens.

Fitness Trainer: Martin St. Louis (Second season)

Last season: 22-49-11, 8th place in the Atlantic Division; Did not qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs

3 keys

1. Replacement price

Goalkeeper Carry price He was placed on a long-term injured reserve on September 7 and is likely not to play this season. The 35-year-old was limited to five games last season after having knee surgery the previous season and still struggles with a slow recovery. Who gets involved? Jake Allen He said at the Canadiens golf tournament last week that he is in negotiations for a new contract with Montreal, but is the 32-year-old a bit to rebuild? the door is open for Sam Montemboltbut the 25-year-old will have to improve after moving 8-18-6 by scoring 3.77 goals-to-average and 891 savings last season.

Video: NHL Tonight on Canadian goalkeepers

2. The new system

This will be the first full season that Kent Hughes, Jeff Gorton and Martin St. Louis will work together as the Canadian Mind Trust. They have all been with Montreal for less than a year, so how long will it take for them to fade away? Gorton was appointed executive vice president of hockey operations on November 28, 2021, following the firing of General Manager Mark Bergiveen, GM Assistant Trevor Timmins, and Vice President Paul Wilson. Hughes was named GM on January 18 and St. Louis replaced Dominique Ducharme on February 9.

3. The new captain

Canadians named Nick Suzuki thirty-first and The youngest leader in their history September 12, but can the 23-year-old center handle the spotlight in one of the most demanding markets in the NHL? Suzuki said he’s taken online lessons in French, and the way he handles himself will be as off the ice as will be critical to his driving.

Video: Nick Suzuki picks the 31st Montreal Canadiens captain

Roster Rondon

making the cut

The already confused situation in the defensemen was not more evident after the circulation of the Canadians Jeff Petri For Pittsburgh penguins and Alexander Romanov For New York Islanders. they have David Savard (673 NHL games), Mike Matheson (417) and Joel Edmondson (416), and the remaining three sites must be present to be taken. Kayden Jahl He had 40 points (seven goals, 33 assists) in 42 games for Prince Albert and Edmonton of the Western Hockey League last season, and the 20-year-old will have a long look at training camp. So will his 20-year-old teammate Justin Barron Having scored 20 points (five goals, 15 assists) in 43 games with Colorado of the American Hockey League.

The most interesting addition

Sean Monahan He scored three times 30 goals and has 462 points (212 goals, 250 assists) in 656 NHL games, all with Calgary Flames. The 27-year-old striker, who secured a deal on August 18, has played through injuries in recent seasons but said he feels like a kid again after having hip surgery. If he found a way to resemble the effective player he was earlier in his career, the Canadians’ bet on him would have paid off. Monahan has had surgery in both the past two years, most recently in April, but is hoping to be ready for the season opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Bell Center on October 12.

The biggest possible surprise

Kirby roof, who struggled at times during his first three seasons in the National Hockey League and earned 59 points (19 goals, 40 assists) in 152 games with the Chicago Blackhawks, is looking to take an important step forward with a change of scenery after getting him in a deal. on July 7. The Canadians believe they can help boost production for the No. 3 selection in the 2019 NHL Draft and plan to give the 21-year-old center plenty of ice time, including a role in the power game. Dach is a key cog in the rebuilding of Montreal and every opportunity will be provided to become one of the offensive essentials.

ready to hack

There was buzz through Bale’s center in the 2022 NHL Draft as progress Juraj Slavkovsky He was chosen with choice #1. Shane Wright, was a striker with Kingston of the Ontario Hockey League, the famous candidate to be the top choice, but Montreal chose Slafkovsky’s unique blend of skill and ostentation. A 6-foot-3, 218-pound, 18-year-old is a teenager in a man’s body and could start the season in the NHL with a good bootcamp.

sleeping fantasy

Dach, C/RW (imaginary average draft position: 176.0) – He played mostly in the bottom six under several coaches for Chicago, but he is a fictional candidate who could play in Montreal’s second streak with at least one winger in Cole CaufieldAnd the Brendan GallagherAnd the Josh Anderson and/or Slavkovsky. – Anna Dua

Expected line

Cole Caufield – Nick Suzuki – Mike Hoffman

Jonathan Drouin – Sean Monahan – Josh Anderson

Evgeny Dadunov – Kirby Dash – Brendan Gallagher

Paul ByronChristian DvorakJoel Jeremiah

Michael Matheson – David Savard

Joel Edmondson – Justin Barron

Jordan HarrisChris Weidman

Jake Allen

Samuel Montembolt