The Canadian continues to slide… in spite of Kovalchuk

Le Canadien poursuit sa glissade... malgré Kovalchuk

Ilya Kovalchuk (17) has played with energy, using its massive shape and size along the ramps, and got a few scoring opportunities. He even got some help, but the Canadian has continued to slide.

January 6, 2020 21h50

Updated at 23: 20


The Canadian continues to slide… in spite of Kovalchuk

Alexis Belanger-Champagne

The Canadian Press


The attack on the Canadian has not regained its bite despite the debut of Ilya Kovalchuk on Monday night at the Bell Centre, and montreal received a sixth reverse of the result, 3-2 to face the Winnipeg Jets.

Kovalchuk was hired in desperation by the Habs last Friday, as five attackers are already in the infirmary.

Even if head coach Claude Julien had hammered in the last days that the veteran 36-year-old was not coming as a savior for the Habs, Kovalchuk has evolved in the first trio, to the right of Tomas Tatar and Phillip Danault.

Kovalchuk has been the second attacker used the most in the game behind Max Domi. It has been used for 19:25, and has played with energy, using his size imposing the long ramps. He got a few scoring opportunities, and has even been credited with using.

“He has been very involved in all phases of the game, noted Julien about Kovalchuk. He wanted to prove that he can still play good hockey and this is what he has done. I liked his game.”

Despite all that, the Canadian has continued to slide because of a few costly errors.

“Once again, this is not for lack of effort,” said Julien. It is however necessary to take the right decisions and minimize the kind of mistakes we make. This is what hurt us lately.”

Nikolaj Ehlers has amassed a goal and an assist, while Josh Morrissey, and Andrew Copp have also hit the target for the Jets (23-16-4). Blake Wheeler has tallied two helpers and Connor Hellebuyck made 29 saves.

Ben Chiarot has managed a double win for the Canadian (18-18-7), which has scored just six goals in his last four outings. Tatar has amassed two helpers and Carey Price has rejected 24 shots. The first period was rather quiet, and even if Price had to report a few times. Price was particularly frustrated Kyle Connor and Mathieu Perreault during a numerical advantage of visitors.

Missed opportunity

Kovalchuk got a nice first opportunity, but he opted for a shot that was stopped easily by Hellebuyck, instead of making the pass to Chiarot, who had a lot of space to his left.

The Jets eventually opened the scoring after 1:32 to play in the second period. Morrissey has pulled out of the point and the puck snuck through traffic and into the net.

The Canadian has deployed his unit of digital advantage the first time a few moments later, but these are the Jets that hit the target. The visitors attacked two-on-zero after a change of Nick Suzuki and Ehlers has completed the maneuver.

The Habs responded at 11:03. Chiarot has been moving the ropes against his former team thanks to a powerful shot. Kovalchuk started the sequence by pushing the Jets into their territory.

Price has saved the furniture for the Canadian end of the period, making a judgment spectacular against Connor during an attack two-against-one.

Tatar has put the table in a manner almost perfect for Kovalchuk twice early in the third period. The puck, however, bounced over the stick of the Russian the first time. Kovalchuk, meeting Hellebuyck the second time.

Copp has widened the gap with 9:44 to go. He escaped after the defender of the Canadian Cale Fleury had lost the control of the disk to the blue line of the Jets and his shot snuck through the equipment Price.

Chiarot has given hope to supporters of the Habs with 8:13 to go. However, the Canadian has been unable to take advantage of a numerical advantage late in the game and could not complete the comeback.

Furthermore, defender Christian Folin has been demoted within the Rocket of Laval, in the american hockey League, in the early afternoon. Folin had been submitted to the runoff Sunday, and has not been claimed by another NHL team.

The Canadian will be back in action on Tuesday, when he will visit to the Detroit Red Wings.

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