The Montreal Canadiens haven’t had many big moments in the last few years, but hopefully, that changes after their series with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
What is a big moment? Every NHL season has those moments that make you jump out of your seat. One for the Montreal Canadiens that comes to mind was Ilya Kovalchuk‘s overtime winner against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The pop was one thing, but Kovalchuk saluting the crowd followed by the crowd that formed around him was electric.
Some would argue that the biggest moments take place in the playoffs or the grandest stages.
Most remember where they were when Sidney Crosby scored the Golden Goal, when Patrick Kane roofed one over Michael Leighton or when Alec Martinez tapped in the rebound off Henrik Lundqvist. The players are where those heroic stories come to be, that’s why it’s incredible when players make their NHL debut in those circumstances. At the same time, it makes the anticipation of waiting for the next moment that keeps the hype for the playoffs.
The Montreal Canadiens have several players who have never played in a playoff game. The last time the team qualified for it was in 2017 for their six-game series against the New York Rangers. And what do we remember from that series? Besides the offence drying up, Alexander Radulov‘s goal was massive.
It makes you wonder who of the Habs without playoff experience will step up the most. I’d put Max Domi on the top of those lists.
Domi hasn’t had the opportunity to participate, but we have seen him turn up his game when the stakes are high. He played well towards the end of last season when the Habs were chasing down the Blue Jackets and Hurricanes for a playoff spot. That goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning is a good example of him stepping up.
Even though the Stanley Cup Qualifier isn’t the playoffs, it’s the closest thing this team has had to it in three years. Every game and every moment will count, and a player like Domi can thrive in that atmosphere. The same goes for Nick Suzuki, who saw his game rise up to further heights as he helped the Guelph Storm win an OHL championship and compete in the Memorial Cup.
Big moments are coming for the Montreal Canadiens. The question is, who will it be for?
With Max Domi joining the team for Phases 3 and 4, the Habs have a chance to make their third line with Jesperi Kotkaniemi really useful.