Canadiens’ Player Report Cards: Play-In Series Against the Pittsburgh Penguins

TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 07: Jake Guentzel #59 of the Pittsburgh Penguins congratulates Carey Price #31 of the Montreal Canadiens on the game and series win after Game Four of the Eastern Conference Qualification Round prior to the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on August 07, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 07: Jake Guentzel #59 of the Pittsburgh Penguins congratulates Carey Price #31 of the Montreal Canadiens on the game and series win after Game Four of the Eastern Conference Qualification Round prior to the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on August 07, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images) /
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TORONTO, ONTARIO – AUGUST 05: Montreal Canadiens Carey Price (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ONTARIO – AUGUST 05: Montreal Canadiens Carey Price (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images) /

This grade troubles me the very most of the entire bunch because <a rel=. . . MAX DOMI. C+

. PHILLIP DANAULT. B. <a rel=.

A. What a story it has been for KK in this return-to-play. From struggling at the NHL level last fall to playing very well in the AHL in the spring to having his season cut short due to a spleen injury to getting a shot to play with the Habs once again in August playoffs to playing really well to getting promoted to the top-six. Sorry for that run-on sentence, but it needed to be said, this kid just makes me smile. Of all the A grades I have given, <a rel=. . . JESPERI KOTKANIEMI

A. From dominating the OHL playoffs to centring the first line of an NHL team in the playoffs in the span of a year is impressive enough on its own, the fact that Suzuki outplayed Sidney Crosby when the Penguins had their backs against the wall adds a few more layers to it. Nick Suzuki is an incredibly mature 21-year-old centreman. Not only did he play an excellent defensive game throughout the series, playing big penalty-killing minutes and matching up with Sidney Crosby for an entire game and coming out on top, but he was a constant threat offensively. On that painfully poor powerplay, Suzuki’s stick is the creator of most real scoring opportunities, and the first line struggled to apply any offensive pressure until Suzuki was thrown into the mix. While nobody can be certain which of Nick Suzuki and <a rel=. . . NICK SUZUKI