Montreal Canadiens: Josh Anderson shines in Habs debut

TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 13: Josh Anderson Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 13: Josh Anderson Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

Montreal Canadiens Josh Anderson was impressive in his debut  against Toronto

After being acquired from Columbus in the offseason, there were questions surrounding the health of Josh Anderson and whether or not he could return to the form that saw him score 27 goals in the 2018-19 season.

Anderson was not long silencing the critics, as his skillset was on full display in his Canadiens debut.

The 26-year-old Burlington Ontario native found instant chemistry with linemates Jonathan Drouin and Nick Suzuki.  The trio was dangerous all game and generated most of their chances off the rush. With Anderson being a power forward, he fits in perfectly next to the smarts and deceptiveness of Suzuki, complimented by the vision and creativeness of Drouin.

The 6-foot-3 226 pound winger showed that he brings much more than just a big body and a heavy forecheck. He possesses lightning quick speed and a dangerous shot.

Anderson finished the game with 2 goals, 7shots , 3 hits, and a plus 1 rating. He was also the Canadiens third most utilized forward with 17:17 TOI, trailing only Suzuki and Danault in that category.

Let’s take a closer look at Anderson’s two goal performance:

Anderson’s first goal as a Hab was a fantastic overall team effort. The Canadiens executed a preset faceoff play to perfection. Suzuki starts it all off by winning the draw back to Jeff Petry at the point. Petry draws the attention of all the Leafs players as he is a threat to shoot, and in the mean time Drouin sneaks down to the goal line. Petry finds him with a quick pass and Drouin uses his soft hands to lay a one-touch pass in the wheel house of Anderson, who is left wide open in the slot due to the blown coverage and quick puck movement from Montreal. Anderson makes no mistake, whistling a quick wrister past Frederik Andersen for his first goal in a Canadiens uniform.

Anderson’s second tally of the night showed his raw strength and speed. After receiving a tidy break out pass from Drouin, Anderson explodes down the wing. He then uses his big frame to hold off a checking John Tavares, before moving the puck to his forehand and beating Andersen far side. In training camp, Suzuki and Drouin praised the speed of their linemate for being such a big man, and his second goal of the night showed why.

Although the Canadiens came out on the losing end of the game in overtime, fans should be excited about what Josh Anderson showed he can bring to the lineup. Size, speed, and a great shot.

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Anderson will look to continue his hot start to the season, as the Canadiens are back in action Saturday night against Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers.