ROCKET SPORTS MEDIA — Howdy there, of us! Again with one other version of my three stars of the week column!
Gamers will earn factors every time they seem as a star on this column and on the finish of the yr, I’ll award my three stars of the season.
The Canadiens are off to the Stanley Cup Remaining and listed below are the blokes who I imagine had been integral in getting them up to now.
☆ THIRD STAR: Artturi Lehkonen
I wished to incorporate Shea Weber this week and speak about his objective in sport six in opposition to Vegas and the robust minutes he has logged, whereas enjoying along with his hand damage, however this week he will get an honourable point out as a result of I’ve to speak about Artturi Lehkonen.
Simply earlier than the playoffs, when the Canadiens clinched in opposition to the Edmonton Oilers, it was Lehkonen, Jake Evans and Paul Byron who performed extremely effectively to get the Canadiens the one level they wanted to qualify for the playoffs. That led me to write down about Lehkonen’s historical past as a clutch performer for the Habs.
Thursday night time, with the Canadiens a objective away from the Stanley Cup Remaining, Lehkonen added one other chapter to a rising record of massive moments as a Hab. He scored the biggest goal of the Canadiens season up to now, and he has been the identical as he all the time is with respect to hounding the opposition when he doesn’t have the puck.
When Evans went down along with his concussion after sport one in Winnipeg, the silver lining was the Canadiens had Lehkonen prepared to leap again in and know that he wouldn’t miss a beat, that he would have the ability to do all of the issues that Evans was doing successfully.
With the Habs heading to the Stanley Cup Remaining, one has to surprise if there are extra chapters to be written within the e book of clutch Lehkonen performances.
☆ SECOND STAR: Cole Caufield
On the latest episode of the Canadiens Connection podcast, I mentioned there’s a cause that this Canadiens workforce acquired up to now and groups in years previous didn’t. There’s the highest 4 defence enjoying extremely effectively, there are veteran guys who’ve been on this spot earlier than and know what it takes after which there’s this 20-year-old sniper brimming with confidence.
Cole Caufield had some extent in 5 out of the six video games in opposition to Vegas, 4 of them being objectives they usually had been all objective scorers’ objectives. There generally is a concern that as this run goes on, the second could get too large for Caufield and he would possibly stumble a bit. That has but to occur. Caufield will not be solely scoring objectives, however that smile can’t be wiped from his face. He’s simply having enjoyable and for a participant who is barely two months faraway from his NHL debut, that’s exceptional.
The Canadiens have wanted a man like Caufield for a very long time, any individual who can create one thing out of nothing and get Carey Worth some run assist. He did that in sport six, chipping a move from Joel Edmundson over the stick of Brayden McNabb, beating him huge and utilizing his fast launch to beat Robin Lehner. A show of his creativity that was very a lot wanted in that sport.
Tampa Bay, because the defending champions, will likely be a tricky matchup for the Canadiens and it will likely be fascinating to see if Caufield nonetheless finds a option to ship the manufacturing that he has up to now.
☆ FIRST STAR: Carey Worth
Carey Worth continues his magical play between the pipes, and he has guided his workforce to a spot within the Stanley Cup Remaining. It is a enormous second in his profession, to get up to now with a workforce that was doubted to even win a sport in opposition to Toronto in spherical one, is nothing in need of miraculous.
As I mentioned, there’s a cause this workforce has gotten up to now and different Habs groups haven’t, they’ve discovered a system that works for them, they’ve a great mixture of veterans and youth and the whole lot is clicking proper now, however on the heart of all of that’s Carey Worth. If he doesn’t make the massive save on the proper second, it falls aside.
That’s merely the fact of the way in which this workforce is constructed, they’ve among the best goaltenders on the earth and have devised a system that fits what they’ve, however when issues break down Worth is all the time able to make a beautiful save.
The lengthy record of unbelievable saves by Worth throughout this playoff run solely grows longer, however one that stands out to me was in sport six in opposition to Vegas. Max Pacioretty with a clear-cut probability in additional time to beat Worth and Worth turned him apart. Not the flashiest save he has made this run, however one in all Vegas’ most potent scorers with on a regular basis on the earth to beat Worth and Worth made it look straightforward.
Final week I mentioned that Carey Worth was two wins away from someplace he had by no means been in his profession. He acquired these two wins stopping 63 out of 66 photographs he confronted in video games 5 and 6. Now he’s simply 4 wins away from main the Canadiens to their first Stanley Cup in 28 years.
Canadiens Connection Podcast
Each Saturday, I host the Canadiens Connection podcast with Rick Stephens to debate the most recent points involving the Montreal Canadiens. Use the participant beneath to hear. Remember to share and subscribe!