Flyers 1 — Canadian 4 | The goalkeeper who becomes better

The time before, right here at the Bell Centre, Cayden Primeau made us understand that for him, this was just the beginning.

It was the evening of March 12, and he had seen everything, stopped everything, and then the fans started chanting his name. It happened again this time, on this ordinary Thursday evening, especially in terms of the show: after another stop, the people here started screaming Primeau! Primeau! Primeau! as one does in the presence of something great. “I’m never going to get tired of this!” », admitted the young goalkeeper at the end of the evening.

That’s good, because if he continues like this, as he did during this 4-1 victory against the Philadelphia Flyers, Primeau will have the luxury of experiencing other moments like this, in a city that has a habit of quickly falling in love with his guardians.

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The Canadian shot only 17 times and had 2 empty-net goals in the end. The Flyers shot 30 times and probably deserved better, but sometimes there are things that can’t be explained. For example, in the Canadian’s locker room, it’s an old hit from the Austrian group Opus, Live is Life, who played loudly at the end of the evening. That too cannot be explained.

But let’s move on, because Primeau came exactly one minute and one second away from a third straight shutout at the Bell Centre, a pleasure that was taken away from him by a goal from Owen Tippett. He will therefore have spent 178 minutes and 43 seconds in a row on the ice at the Bell Center without allowing a single goal.


Joel Farabee (86) and Josh Anderson (17)

“We don’t play for shutouts,” the goalkeeper insisted at the end of the match. It’s good when you get some, but we don’t play for that. A victory is even better. »

What is good, above all, is that Primeau is starting to give snippets of answers to his bosses. This match was only his 18e match of the season, which represents a very modest sample, it is true. But little by little, the Primeau that we see these days is growing before our eyes.

I try never to think too much about the future. All I want is to be ready when someone decides to call me. I’ve never played this many games since I’ve been in this league, and I have to say it feels good.

Cayden Primeau

“But I’m just trying to improve, and I think I’m definitely a better goalie now than I was at the start of the season. »

His teammates also see the same thing.

“He was huge for us once again,” explained defenseman Jayden Struble. I don’t know how many matches he’s been playing like that, but on every occasion, he gives us a chance to win, like Samuel (Montembeault) does too. Our two goalkeepers were incredible, but we hope we don’t have to rely on them so much in the future! »


Nick Suzuki (14) collides with Samuel Ersson (33)

This part will be important for the future. This team has seen dozens and dozens of players pass through in recent years, but often, too often in fact, the club’s (rare) successes were due to good performances in front of the net.

This Thursday night is a good example: a win is a win, sure, but it would probably be a good idea to throw more than 17 times. In the third, the Canadian got only 5 shots, compared to 16 for the Flyers. Most of the time, it’s something that will lead to defeat.

But hey, why so much negativity? We can also put on our rose-colored glasses and see that this victory is the third in a row for the Canadian. In addition, Nick Suzuki reached the 30-goal mark and Mike Matheson, that of 50 points.

It’s enough to make you want to hum a bit of Austrian pop from the 1980s.

Rising: Mike Matheson


Mike Matheson

A three-point night? That’s good enough to be on the rise.

Down: Arber Xhekaj


Arber Xhekaj

Three punishments alone, and a rather difficult evening in his territory.

The number of the match: 3

The number of goals disallowed in this match, all in the third period; two to the Flyers, one to the Canadiens.

In details

Sanction requested against Guhle


Kaiden Guhle

The city of Philadelphia will host a heavyweight show in nine days. It will indeed be WrestleMania XL, and the Canadian and the Flyers honored the spirit of wrestling on this Thursday evening. No fights broke out, but melee after the whistle was frequent. It got particularly heated at the end of the second period. Canadian defender Kaiden Guhle aroused the ire of Philadelphians by darting attacker Travis Konecny. Such a blow is never well received, but the Flyers were even more shocked by the fact that Guhle was sitting on the bench and actually took out the stick to reach his rival. In the visitors’ locker room, no one named CH number 21, but the condemnations were unanimous. “I think the league is going to look at some things that the refs said they didn’t see. Light will be shed on the events,” first launched the always intense Garnet Hathaway. “It was a pretty dirty game,” added Morgan Frost. His colleague Scott Laughton used the same terms, adding that a player who commits such an act “should be sent off”. Guhle has never been suspended or brought down since the start of his career. A first slap on the wrist? To be continued.

Still in neutral


Nick Suzuki

Officially, it will be written that the Canadian scored a goal in two power plays in this match, for a sublime success rate of 50%. The goal scored by Nick Suzuki ended a streak of six consecutive games without a goal (0 in 17) for CH on a power play. That said, it was also the only CH shot in 3 min 21 s with a man advantage. With the exception of this success, it was rather quiet for the Montrealers in this phase of the game. On the one hand, Ryan Poehling demonstrated one of his qualities by blocking a few zone entries, constantly forcing the Habs to reorganize. On the other hand, CH won two of the four faceoffs during their power play. However, in these two “victories”, Alex Newhook won the puck so clearly that he redirected it between the two players at the point, thus each time offering a “free” clearance to the Flyers.

A first in five years

For the first time in five years, the Canadian has a 30-goal scorer in his ranks. The wisest will point out that a successful team should not be moved by such a plateau, but let’s move on. Nick Suzuki, therefore, became the first since Brendan Gallagher (2018-2019) to reach thirty. Please note, however, that Tyler Toffoli and Cole Caufield could have achieved this, but were stopped respectively by a shortened schedule and an injury. No matter: the announcement of Suzuki’s goal was warmly received by the spectators. Ironically, the Habs captain scored by missing his shot, all this in the heart of a season during which he demonstrated interesting qualities as a shooter. Speaking of plateaus, Mike Matheson also reached one: that of 50 points. He is the first CH defender to reach it since PK Subban in 2015-2016. Let’s just wish Matheson smoother weeks than Subban had after he reached this plateau.


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