Preparatory match | Kaiden Guhle and the signs that don’t lie

For any observer, meaning anyone not on the ice or behind the bench, the golden rule of training camp is simple: don’t get carried away on the first try.

Simon-Olivier Lorange

Simon-Olivier Lorange

Guillaume Lefrançois

Guillaume Lefrançois

It is well known that a limited sample skews the results. And the stories of straw fires are too numerous not to learn from. Jiri Sekac, after all, has already been the flavor of the month.

However, this rule is also counter-instinctive. Without being able to do anything about it, we find ourselves assuming that a positive sign becomes the norm and that a negative element is just a hiccup. Sometimes rightly, much more often wrongly.

But … Sometimes there are these phenomena that are so clear that one wonders if they are not breaking the rules.

Take the Kaiden Guhle party. In his first audition against NHL players, the 19-year-old defender didn’t do so well. He did very, very well in the Canadiens’ 5-2 win.


His calm disarms. On the ice, to the left of David Savard, he played unapologetically. Adam Brooks and Brett Seney of the Toronto Maple Leafs learned it the hard way when their attempt to get into the zone across the board ended in a forceful check against them. Even after blocking a shot from Semyon Der-Arguchintsev (yes, that’s a real name), he went to tackle Wayne Simmonds like nothing. Fresh as a cucumber, our English-speaking friends would say.

Add to that a lot of confidence with the disk and some effective zone exits, and you’ve got a feel for the picture.

In front of journalists, it was frankly disturbing. With his foot wrapped in an ice pack (courtesy of Semyon Der-Arguchintsev, in fact), Guhle declined his answers as if he was talking about the weather at the time. Calmly, almost indifferent.

“What did you think of your match?

– A solid match. I wanted to do everything I could to help the team. There are things that I can improve.

– Were you nervous?

– A little, obviously … In fact, I would say more feverish than nervous.

– Was the level of play what you expected?

– It was even faster than in the American League, but it didn’t surprise me. I was prepared for it. ”

And so on right away.

Comparing his game to Shea Weber’s would be unfair. But in his personality, the similarities with the captain of the CH are obvious.

“He’s confident, in a good way,” head coach Dominique Ducharme said of the youngster. Many people say of him that he is a future captain; we understand why. ”

His maturity, which manifests itself on the ice, is equally carried over into his game. Certainly the keenest observer of his club, Jonathan Drouin praised the defender’s ability to bridge the gap between him and opposing players.

“He’s impressive, especially at his age,” said the Quebecer. It is big, it has a long range, the potential is there on the defensive. Now you must keep getting better every day. I think he will be a very good player for our team. ”

Ducharme continued to temper the environmental wonder by recalling one of his favorite formulas: “Never has a player been too late to the NHL. Because the opposite is true: one could easily make a list of those who were promoted too early.

If he returned to his youth club, Kaiden Guhle would play the season with “even more experience and maturity.”

But the technician has seen the same things that many people. “When I look at it, I think we are going to have an excellent defender for several years. But you have to be patient. ”

Drouin: “It feels good! ”

Another whose baptism could hardly have been more successful is Jonathan Drouin.


His job, of course, was not at stake, but after five months without playing, and with all the emotions one can imagine, his return to the game seems like a new beginning.

Not only did he rack up two assists, but he also played confidently in the new line that he completes with Christian Dvorak and Josh Anderson. The latter also had a great time, with four and three points, respectively.

“It feels good! He said after the meeting. Going back to training, going back to my habits… I’m happy to be back, I feel good. I’m happy to play hockey.”

Of his new center, Drouin had nothing but praise and praised the “great deal” that CEO Marc Bergevin made to acquire Dvorak.

Typically it can take a few games or even weeks for chemistry to settle between a center and its wingers, he noted.

However, “the instincts are already there,” Drouin said. “We know his style, we know where he is on the ice, he is always in the right place. It is very exciting to see where we are going. ”

There is no guarantee that this unit will remain intact until the start of the season, but Dominique Ducharme certainly enjoyed his job Monday night. On the score sheet, that goes without saying, but also in their area where, precisely, they limited their presence.

The best defense is offense, they say. It was a bit like that, yes.

They have said

It was really cool to see a reaction like that. I am happy to play here, I love to play at the Bell Center. It warmed my heart. I even crushed a small tear.

Jonathan Drouin on the warm welcome from fans on Sunday and Monday

I try to supervise him, help him if I can. But it comes from him, we see that he is an extremely smart player on the ice. He feels good and defends well.

David Savard on Kaiden Guhle

Ups, downs. Things that I really liked. Other things that even Jake … he’s smart, he’s capable of evaluating himself and if we look at this together, he’ll tell me the same thing. The four minute penalty may have slowed his pace a bit, but I am hopeful that he will continue to improve.

Dominique Ducharme, on Jake Evans’ game

It is a difficult game to evaluate due to the importance of the special teams. Our penalty allowed three goals, although they are of different types. The number of penalties had an impact on the management of the bench. But five against five, we played quite well. You will find many positive things when watching videos.

Sheldon Keefe, Maple Leafs Head Coach

Kampf was very good on penalties and fighting, this line has a good cohesion. Kase, not surprisingly, is clearly a National League player.

Sheldon Keefe, on David Kampf and Ondrej Kase

In details

Things will go wrong in Laval!

Many future members of the Laval Rocket wore uniforms on Monday. Between them, two recalled that they were not afraid of rough play. In fact, Michael Pezzetta and Gabriel Bourque have served as solid body checks all night. On their own, they distributed a third (9 out of 27) of Montreal’s checks. Pezzetta even allowed one in the last minute, when his team led 5-2 and victory was assured. The curly-haired man also stood out with two goals (including one on an empty net) and was stolen by Petr Mrazek’s mitten. Doubles won’t be the norm for Pezzetta, though, who just had two seasons in a row … of two goals. Either way, visitors to Place Bell should expect to be pushed around.

A welcome note

The NHL intends to be less tolerant of double flops this season. All 32 teams have received a note about it in recent weeks, and the NHL posted a video directly this week. We look in particular at the game in which Nikita Kucherov was injured against Scott Mayfield last year, and the NHL wants to prevent injuries by tightening regulations. If the note didn’t reach you, Morgan Rielly now has a better idea of ​​the new rules. In the first period, the Leafs defender was ejected for a double check that might have seemed like a routine last spring. “Yeah, that’s fair to say,” Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said. But knowing that they sent us a note about it, and knowing how they want to handle it this season, it was an appropriate sanction and the players will have to be careful. It will be interesting to see how Ben Chiarot and Joel Edmundson adjust, who had no qualms about staying last spring.

Easy, poolers

On Sunday we will talk to you about Michael Bunting, who has the right to the first audition with John Tavares. There is also a post for the left winger position of Auston Matthews (injured but close to a comeback) and Mitch Marner, a position previously held by Zach Hyman. Nick Ritchie was entitled to the first try on Monday. The bet is interesting. Ritchie is a former 10th overall (in 2014), scoring 15 goals in 56 games for Boston last season. We’ll have to see where the experience goes, but Ritchie will definitely have to be vigilant, as Marner is capable of making passes unthinkable to ordinary people, like the one who served Adam Brooks from behind the net in the third period. “I got some assists tonight that only elite players can do,” Ritchie admitted. With that said, before you recruit him into your group in hopes of finding the next Rob Brown, keep in mind that he is not in the potency plans.


Christian dvorak

He had to learn the game system and tame two new extremes in disaster. We are facing a good student: four points!


Jake evans

His trio with Joel Armia and Rafaël Harvey-Pinard did not generate many attacks. And he received two unnecessary penalties in the same streak at the end of the first period.

The party number

23 min 44 s

It’s defender Kaiden Guhle’s ice time, a peak for the Canadian.

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