The Canadiens romped to their easiest win of the pre-season against a non-competitive opponent.
Minnesota was held to 14 shots – most of them in the last 10 minutes and only one in the decisive second period, when goals by Ryan White, Dustin Boyd and Brendon Nash blew the game open.
Coach Jacques Martin praised the line of Boyd, White and Max Pacioretty for their forechecking, effective use of speed and tenacity in jumping on loose pucks.
The coach said White had reported to camp in better shape after his off-season training. Martin said Boyd’s play has improved as camp has progressed, and praised Max-Pac for an improved understanding of what he has to do to be effective in the NHL.
As for a power play that was 0-for-6, including ineptitude in 5-on-3, Martin said his PP was adept at controlling the puck but had to get to the net more. Martin said the team’s new PP system, featuring a defenceman at the blueline and another in the high slot, is a work in progress.
The return of Guillaume Latendresse?
Not so triumphant. An assist, a shot and six hits in the only category Minnesota dominated, 47-26. But Gui! was fairly invisible and a total non-factor on Minnesota’s three power plays.
And Four Habs Fans’ GG11 asks “How could they not play Kyle Klubertanz against Cal Clutterbuck?”