(Philadelphia) The story of the Canadian’s victory against the New York Rangers last Saturday was of course that of Samuel Montembeault’s sensational performance.
However, without making much noise, a singular phenomenon also occurred that evening. One of the worst penalty kill units kept the best power play on the circuit silent.
Damaged during the previous match against the Buffalo Sabres, the four-on-five specialists blanked the powerful Rangers machine. On paper, the 14 shots allowed in 6 minutes of work doesn’t make them look good, but qualitatively the story is slightly different. A look at where these shots came from confirms that Montreal forced the blueshirts to take many of their shots from outside the slot.
“We were more organized,” noted Jordan Harris on Wednesday after CH’s morning training. We knew how good passers the Rangers have. We played closer together: the formation was more compact, and that helped us. The goalkeepers are so good, they will stop shots from outside. »
Head coach Martin St-Louis, for his part, stressed that “small adjustments” had paid off. And that “collectively, we did the job, because individually, the guys were in the right place.”
“At 4 on 5, like at 5 on 4 and even at 5 on 5, the minute a guy doesn’t do his job, the success percentage drops enormously,” he said. When you have two who aren’t doing their job, it decreases even more. We want to continue teaching and stay on the same wavelength. We have sequences where we are very effective. As in anything, we look for this consistency. »
The Philadelphia Flyers are obviously not the New York Rangers. However, there is reason for the Habs to be wary of their opponent on Wednesday evening, a young team in learning, but which has found a way to win 20 of its 40 games this season.
“They are very organized and disciplined,” analyzed Jordan Harris. Perhaps he had just read the powerful portrait of the Flyers’ defensive success published on all La Presse platforms. We didn’t ask him.
“It’s a young group, a bit like us. They grow together and rise up in big moments. It will be a good match,” predicted the defender.
“They don’t do anything spectacular, but they work very hard and play with a lot of speed,” added Justin Barron. A team from [head coach] John Tortorella, you know it will be difficult to face. We have to be ready. »
Cayden Primeau will defend the tricolor net against the Flyers. The Montreal lineup will be the same as in the last match. Rafael Harvey-Pinard accompanied the team to Philadelphia and participated in morning training, but he will not be in uniform.