The Montreal Canadiens played their second pre-season match up at the Bell center last night against the Ottawa Senators who opted not to dress Alex Kovalev. I really didn’t expect Kovalev to play because I’m sure he’ll get a favorable reaction from the crowd and he is quite fresh in voicing his desire to return to Montreal someday…
This game marked the second win in the pre-season for the Canadiens and another loss for the Senators as the Canadiens won 2-1…
I had a hard time really watching the game last night as I had signal problems trying to watch (yes… that means I was not at the Bell Center) but you can bet I watched what I could.
While the flow of the game wasn’t always apparent to me due to signal quality some players did stand out for me.
Ben Maxwell has come to camp in pretty good shape. He’s added some weight and he’s looking pretty good. Last night he had a breakaway chance and then later scored when he got the puck from a weird bounce off a ref…. he made a great move around LeClair showing puck handling skill and patience.
Maxwell played well in Hamilton last season and he’s showing that he’s knocking on the door this year.
Eric Neilson showed that he understands his role quite well and is capable of filling that role. He participated in 3 different bouts… while in the last one he really didn’t seem to be able to set up and was ambushed… Neilson played in Rimouski along side “Sid the Kid” as the team’s enforcer.
There’s a write up on Neilson over at HABSInside/Out featuring an audio interview with Neilson. After listening to the interview, I really like what I hear from Neilson. He’s excited to be at the camp and seems to love the role he brings. I was also impressed because he talked about scouting the other enforcers he might face during a game…. so he gets familiar with their style and what they bring.
Brian Gionta played well last night and I think that if he continues to play alongside of Plekanec, they could certainly forge some chemistry. Brian may also turn out to be a great influence on Plekanec… being a small(er) player who’s not scared to get into the corners and in front of the net.
Gionta managed to get many shots on goal and just like the previous night seeing Gomez and Cammalleri score, Gionta got the winner.
I’m glad that Gionta got that out of the way.
At the end of the game, Gionta missed an open net ….. give him that shot over, and he’ll make it.
One guy who I’ve been wanting to see play is Shawn Belle… I don’t think he really stood out last night, but a few times I did notice what he could bring.. He’s a big frame guy, he can skate and he’s a true defensive Dman. He can throw a hit and take ‘em. I’d love to see him play really well.
Waiting to see tonight’s lineup.
Video highlights by Sportsnet, and before you watch I have to say that I didn’t find some of the comments very funny. Referring to Gionta’s size and how the Montreal Media would call for his trade after missing the open net.
Save it for comedy night where we can amuse you and ourselves with some tomatoes flying at you…