Rookies: Intense comeback for Guhle


BUFFALO- Kaiden Guhle couldn’t have asked for a better test after a few months away from the rinks.

The Montreal Canadiens defensive prospect had an intense and robust game, punctuated by several breaststroke sequences, against the Ottawa Senators rookies. If he wanted to make sure he was well recovered from his lower body injury, he was well served.

« It was a good feeling to have the guys back in a game after spending the week training with them, » Guhle said after his team won 7-2 on Sunday. I got comfortable as the game progressed and felt better and better. »

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The 20-year-old full-back didn’t hesitate to get physically involved, and made some great breakthroughs in the enclave that didn’t come to fruition. However, we were able to see that he had lost none of his dynamism and his skills on the skates. He says he is now ready for training camp, which begins on Wednesday.

« I really like the way he plays, » boasted coach Jean-François Houle. He is a guy who is confident and we can already see that he will be a good pro. He’s a leader, he talks a lot to his teammates on the bench. He has a bright future ahead of him. »

The pedal to the metal since the start of training camp, Quebec forward Xavier Simoneau was rewarded for his efforts by threading the needle twice during this match. Each time on a pass from his former Charlottetown Islanders teammate, William Trudeau.

“We lived together this summer, it must be because we ate the same thing, he laughed. […] I did not come here as a tourist. I try to make my name and my own way. I had a great weekend and couldn’t ask for more. »

In his second game of the tournament, Juraj Slafkovsky was more discreet than when he returned. The Slovakian colossus had some nice flashes around the net, but he couldn’t control the game as much as he did against the Buffalo Sabres.

The CH rookies will return to Montreal in the next few hours, and invitations for the main camp will be sent out at the conclusion of the rookie camp on Tuesday.

Here are three other takeaways from this last game against the Senators:

A plus, a minus

Besides the group of freshly drafted forwards that all the spotlight was on – Slafkovsky, Filip Mesar and Owen Beck- Emil Heineman is probably the attacker who won the most points during this tournament.

The 20-year-old Swedish winger had good flashes in all three games and demonstrated the power and accuracy of his wrist shot by scoring twice in the tournament, including one on the power play against the Senators. He also prepared some great game pieces thanks to his vision and good skating.

The same cannot be said for Jan Mysak, however, who was virtually invisible in all three games. We had the right to expect a better performance from him, especially since he was named to the all-star team of the World Junior Championship, just a few weeks ago.

The icing on the sundae

William Trudeau has been attracting attention since the start of the rookie tournament. The Quebec defender stood out for his involvement in attack and the solidity of his defensive game.

In uniform for the third time in as many games, the 2021 fourth-round pick has made his presence felt. He was used on the power play and set the stage for a superb goal by Simoneau in the second period.

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: Xavier Simoneau adds! Simoneau pads the lead! OTT 1, MTL 3#GoHabsGo pic.twitter.com/ZW22z8y1Kp

Among the big names in the fight for a position on the blue line, Justin Barron was particularly involved in all facets of the game. He fired several shots on goal and was very active behind.

Tree the Terror

Owen Beck warned us a few days ago that Arber Xhekaj had yet to fully demonstrate his toughness and wickedness. We can say that it is now done.

In addition to bothering his opponents with subtle and timely slashing, the 6-foot-3, 238-pound defenseman continued to dish out solid shoulders. One of them – served after the whistle in the second period – did not please the Senators, who tried to let him know.

At 6-foot-4 and 216 pounds, Zachary Massicotte threw down the gloves on him and probably regretted it right away. Xhekaj dominated the fight and the Quebecer, stunned, had to retreat to the locker room and did not return to the match.

“He wanted to stand up for his team, commented the CH defender. Someone had to do it, and he has the template for it. I tip my hat to him. I still don’t like to see a guy fall like that. This is something that can happen to all of us. »

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