Confident Cole Caufield sets career high in loss to Senators

Caufield has been shooting all season, but his last 10-15 games have seen him shoot with with more authority.
Montreal Canadiens v Ottawa Senators
Montreal Canadiens v Ottawa Senators / Chris Tanouye/Freestyle Photo/GettyImages

Cole Caufield isn't leading the Montreal Canadiens in scoring this season, but it isn't for a lack of trying.

He trails Nick Suzuki, who currently has 33 goals through 79 games and two periods. But he has been on a late-season goal-scoring tear, with four goals in his last five games. Before Saturday night's game against the Ottawa Senators, Caufield sat one goal short of his career best (26).

That didn't sit well with Caufield and he wanted to smash the narrative that he was struggling to put the puck in the net. He did just that against the Senators, with his first tally coming just 1:37 into the second period. The tally pulled the Habs ahead of the Senators 2-1, assists went to Jayden Struble and David Savard.

After his first goal, Caufield was buzzing and the crowd, fans from home and just about anybody watching the game could sense that he wasn't finished. He zinged a wrist shot past Senators goaltender Joonas Korpisalo, but it rolled along the goal line. Just inches away from tying his career-high, all he could do was smile frustratedly from the bench.

Juraj Slafkovsky made a nifty pass and Caufield came oh so close, that he could almost taste it. Had he scored the fire in his belly might not have burned so hot for another. But that wasn't the case and he was hell-bent on making the next shot count.

On the power play, Caufield received the puck on a silver platter right in his sweet spot in the slot. He leaned on his stick and fired a laser past Korpisalo that went right over his shoulder. Caufield shrugged it off, like he knew he would be in that position again, but his 27th of the year was a big deal for the sniper.

I would argue that if Caufield was feeling it throughout the season the way he is now, he would be approaching 40 goals rather than 30. But unfortunately he wasn't and he isn't, and his quest for 28 will have to wait until the Canadiens next game. The combattants were unable to solve anything in overtime, so Caufield's quest for the hat trick came short.

His shootout attempt was also one that he would rather forget, he completely left the puck behind; in what appeared to be a result of him overthinking. The pesky Sens beat Montreal in all three of their meetings this season, despite having a pretty disappointing season. Montreal stayed in the game and pushed the Senators right until the very end.