Jiri Sekac has been a mystery of sorts since the Montreal Canadiens signed him on July 1. In his unofficial NHL debut, Sekac scored a goal and definitely did not look out of place while playing with Tomas Plekanec and Jacob De La Rose.
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Another player who made a point in the Canadiens 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins was Christian Thomas. Thomas, acquired last year from the New York Rangers for Danny Kristo, scored a power play goal and set up Drayson Bowman‘s game-winner in the game’s final minute beautifully.
Thomas was probably the best player from start to finish for the Canadiens. He is a goal scorer and if he can do it regularly he will be in the NHL more often than not. He was a long shot to make this team, and probably still is, but he’s slowly entering the conversation.
The Canadiens last two first round picks had a mixed day as well. Michael McCarron looked physical and played well until leaving the game with an upper body injury. He didn’t look good in the scrimmages, but it’s hard for a physical player to impose himself against teammates.
Nikita Scherbak’s turnover led to Ryan Spooner‘s opening goal but later in the game he had scoring chances and his line with Rene Bourque and Charles Hudon was very good in the final two periods. It takes these young players time to adjust to the speed. What you’re looking for is improvement and adjustments. Scherbak did that within the same game.
On defence, Jarred Tinordi, Greg Pateryn and Magnus Nygren weren’t great (Joe Finley wasn’t either, but he’s like 12th on the depth chart) which opens the door for Nathan Beaulieu, and maybe even Francis Bouillon. The biggest thing here is that the pre-season is seven ganes. We shouldn’t judge too harshly on one game, especially the first one.
All in all, it was an entertaining game and a win against the Bruins. All in all a successful opener, which might have created more questions than answers. But a pre-season with a lot of questions just gives us more reason to watch besides the obvious ones.
The Canadiens are off today and will return to action Thursday against the Colorado Avalanche in Montreal and again on Friday in Quebec City.