Call of the Wilde: Anaheim Ducks upset the Montreal Canadiens – Montreal

Call of the Wilde: Anaheim Ducks upset the Montreal Canadiens – Montreal

The Montreal Canadiens took on the 32nd team in the league on Thursday night. A victory was expected, but a victory was not achieved. The Anaheim Ducks won only their second regular-time game of the season. The final tally — 5-2.

Wild horses

Two goals in three minutes and 26 seconds. That was all it took for Cole Caufield to bring a boring game to life. It was the third period and nothing worked, including a power play by the Canadiens that went 0:23.

Caufield took over what he does – score goals.

The first goal was on the power play as Nick Suzuki and Kirby Dach passed it crisply from side to side until they found Caufield in his place. He ripped a one-timer for his 17th goal of the season.

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Finally, the audience had something to cheer about. Hardly back in their seats, it was Caufield again. Most of the time it’s Caufield’s powerful shot that takes the spotlight, but he read the game perfectly on the equalizer.

Caufield saw Jonathan Kovacevic’s shot on target go wide. Caufield went behind the net to retrieve the puck before it even hit the boards. With everyone unaware of this, Caufield turned to the other side and found an open web.

That’s 18 goals for Caufield in 29 games. He’s on track for a 51-goal season.

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Call of the Wilde: Montreal Canadiens fall to Ottawa Senators

wild goats

The Canadians were playing their fourth game in six nights, so they struggled to bring energy into the game. They were lucky to face the worst team in the league in town, otherwise they wouldn’t have been able to stay close.

It wasn’t that anyone was particularly terrible. They were just a tired, legless team. The Canadians have been surprisingly good all season. This time they were surprisingly bad for a change.

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Call of the Wilde: The Montreal Canadiens beat the Calgary Flames on penalties

Wild cards

The Montreal Canadiens are in the process of building a sustainable, hard-hitting team. To achieve this goal, there are certain must-haves.

A talented goalkeeper is an absolute must. A saving percentage of about 0.920 is needed. Usually when building a team, the goalkeeper is acquired last. If the goalie is acquired first, he’ll steal too many games and the general manager won’t lose enough to acquire the other important parts.

Losing is a must. It’s the only way to draft high to get the best players. Also, having a top of the squad who can take over a game is a must.

When the playoffs begin, the top roster plays significantly more minutes than they do in the regular season.

In the playoffs, the two back lines and the last pair of blue lines often do not play significant minutes. They are important, of course, but their job is simply to get a 0-0 result.

These rear players are easy to acquire. They are generally available in each club’s prospect pool and they are available at the close of trading.

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For this reason, a GM should not make safe decisions when drafting. He should swing after a home run and try to attract top talent.

The goal up front is to have as many top six forwards as possible because they will either make it or fail. In the salary cap era, no team has six legitimate top 6 forwards, but the more a team has the better.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have John Tavares, Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander, Mike Bunting and Denis Malgin. That’s probably four or five out of six.

In Edmonton, the Oilers have Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Zach Hyman, Evander Kane and Kailer Yamamoto. That’s strong with five top strikers out of six. The Oilers are up front. Their failure in the playoffs is not due to a lack of goals.

The Canadians have three with Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield and Kirby Dach forming the front row. Now imagine if the Canadians could form a second line as strong or nearly as strong as the first. You would win many hockey games.

Because of that, management’s goal is to get as many top 6 forwards and top 4 defenders as possible before they get that .920 goalie to push the overall rankings up for a decade.

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The second line is not up to standard yet. The Canadians want Juraj Slafkovsky to live up to the hope they had in him when they drafted him as overall champion.

If Slafkovsky develops, that’s four. If the Canadians finish in the top ten in this remarkable NHL Entry Draft in 2023, that will be a fifth player in the top six.

After that Filip Mesar can maybe be in the top six or Owen Beck can improve as fast as he is. Maybe Sean Farrell can take on the role.

They’re all prospects for now, but good prospects as the Canadians are close to filling their top-six.

Now for that defense. We’ll look at the formation of the squad in the top four on Saturday night.

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