Young players are often said to have a “welcome to the National League” moment. Logan Mailloux had one of those moments on Monday. He now wishes it was the only one.
It was in the second period of the game against the Devils. Like Wile E. Coyote, Mailloux set out in pursuit of the not-so-villainous Jack Hughes. A few seconds later, Dawson Mercer scored, while Mailloux found himself empty-handed, a bit like the poor coyote, minus the crazy sign.
When games like this happen, where does the feedback come from? Coaches at the bench, or in the video room the next day?
“It was a bit of both, but I didn’t necessarily need them to tell me, I noticed it when I came back to the bench!” said Mailloux, after Friday’s optional training. It might not be a good idea to go forechecking, shorthanded, against one of the best players in the NHL. So you won’t see me as F1 [first forward on forecheck] on the penalty kill anytime soon! »
Mailloux will have the chance to recover on Friday, when the Toronto Maple Leafs visit the Bell Center for CH’s third preseason game.
“It was my first professional match,” he recalled. I will read the game differently. I watched the video and will make adjustments. »
As was the case during Monday’s match, Mailloux will once again form a duo with Jordan Harris. “Playing with Logan was good. He is talented, he likes to support the attack. Two mobile defenders together, we can create plays,” Harris said.
Furthermore, at the end of his press briefing, Mailloux was invited to answer a question in French. It was known that he had a certain mastery of French, having come from Belle River, where there is a Franco-Ontarian community.
But opportunities to demonstrate this have been rare over the years. The day after his selection by the Canadian in the draft, in 2021, he notably read a statement about his problems with the law, and this statement was in English and French.
Friday, colleague Jonathan Bernier asked him for a comment on the evening’s match. “It will be cool to play the Leafs. It’s my mom’s team, I want to beat them tonight, that would be cool,” he replied.
That said, those thinking of going to see one of the two preseason games this weekend may want to try their luck more on Saturday, because the Canadiens and Maple Leafs’ Friday rosters aren’t exactly full of stars.
Cole Caufield, Nick Suzuki, Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and John Tavares will all be missing on either side.
The Canadian will nevertheless have 11 veterans according to NHL rules. However, there are players such as Gustav Lindstrom and Jesse Ylönen among these “veterans”.
Speaking of veterans, forwards Tanner Pearson, Jake Evans and Brendan Gallagher will be entitled to their first game, and will form a trio. This will also be the case for defenders Lindstrom and Nicolas Beaudin, as well as forwards Joel Armia, Jan Mysak and John Parker-Jones.
Lindstrom’s case becomes intriguing to follow. There are already two injured on the Habs blue line, Chris Wideman, who has not yet put on skates, and Mike Matheson, who missed Wednesday’s game and who has not been seen on an ice rink since. . Lindstrom, a defenseman acquired from the Red Wings in return for Jeff Petry this summer, shoots from the right. He was essentially the seventh defenseman in Detroit last season.
Kaiden Guhle and Juraj Slafkovsky, the only two who appeared in the first two games, will get their first bye.
Cayden Primeau should start the match for CH. Strauss Mann will also be in uniform, but it is unknown if he will play or if Primeau will play the entire game.
The Leafs will also arrive with a modest squad, within which we will however find Matthew Knies, a forward drafted in the 2nd round in 2021, who is trying to carve out a place in Toronto’s first two trios.
Many have noted the presence of the imposing Ryan Reaves in the Leafs squad. The CH will count on Arber Xhekaj, but the big defender did not speak like a guy who expects the gloves to come off.
“Reaves is a tough player, I am one too. We might go for it a few times, we’ll see. [Fighting] is not my goal in preparatory matches. I just want to show the coaches what I can do. »