Canadiens: 24 Thoughts on Owen Beck and Team Canada's Tournament Opening Win vs Finland

New Jersey Devils v Montreal Canadiens
New Jersey Devils v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages
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Third Period Thoughts

22 seconds into the third, Canada sees yet another top-six forward make his way to the penalty box; this time, it’s the captain Fraser Minten (TOR) for tripping. Once again, Canada kills it off.

Celebrini continues his strong game after a lengthy review finds the puck crossed the line. It’s his first of many, I’m sure. He was very good in this game but didn’t play a lot. He was on the top powerplay unit, but Canada only got two opportunities tonight.

Two more penalties from the top-six. I know I sound like a broken record, but man is this insane. Not only have they played a mundane game at best, but they’ve actively hurt their team more than helped it. Beck makes some really sound plays on the PK, showing off his awareness to be in the right position to help Canada preserve the 3-1 lead.

Matthew Poitras (BOS) adds an empty netter to get his line on the stat sheet in a positive way. Canada will need more than this moving forward though. I expected more from Poitras, who has played the entire season thus far in the NHL. We’ll see if he can find his footing in the next game.

Finland and Canada trade late goals, and the game ends in a 5-2 win for Canada. It wasn’t the prettiest of wins, but the first games of the tournament rarely are. Remember, Canada lost their tournament opener to Czechia last year, 5-2. So, a win over Finland is a much better start to this year.

Speaking of Czechia, Filip Mešár and Slovakia wied the floor with them today, with a 6-2 win. Mešár had two assists, with the second one being particularly pretty. Meanwhile, Lane Hutson added an assist in the US’s 4-1 victory over Norway.

Beck only played 12 minutes in tonight’s win over Finland, but he won 80% of his face-offs and was an impact player for Canada. Danielson took home player of the game honours for his two-point effort.

Beck’s line was definitely Canada’s best, so hopefully, Beck can keep that momentum going tomorrow versus Latvia. Canada will definitely want to see more from their top-six in that one, too.

All in all, it was a good day for Canadiens prospects at the World Juniors.