Montreal Canadiens Players Shine At Day 2 Of World Championship

All three Montreal Canadiens players find the scoresheet on the second day of the World Hockey Championship.
Kaiden Guhle battles Cole Caufield in 2021 World Junior Championships
Kaiden Guhle battles Cole Caufield in 2021 World Junior Championships / Codie McLachlan/GettyImages

The IIHF did Canadiens fans a favor and had all three of their players playing at different times on the six-game slate. Kaiden Guhle and Cole Caufield came out on the winning end of things, emerging victorious in their respective games against Great Britain and Germany, while Vinzenz Rohrer had a point on Austria's lone goal in a loss. Let's take a look at where things stand for the Canadiens players.

Canada had a bit of a disappointing showing in their first game, winning 4-2 against Great Britain. Great Britain took an early 1-0 lead, but Canada came back on back of two goals from Connor Bedard. They play again on May 12th against Denmark.

Vinenz Rohrer and Team Austria will be an underdog for most of this tournament, and Denmark may have been one of the games where they had a chance. However, Denmark dominated from start to finish with a 5-1 victory. There isn't much to say about this game, but Rohrer did get an assist on Austria's lone goal. At the very least, this tournament will offer some great experience for Rohrer.

Team USA needed a big bounceback game after losing 5-2 to Sweden on the tournament's opening day. They got the job done against Germany, winning 6-1. The issue for Team USA is the health of goaltender Alex Lyon, who left the game in the second period and was replaced by collegiate goaltender Trey Augustine.

Cole Caufield Finds Success With New Linemates

It was a tough first game for Cole Caufield against Sweden, as he, Trevor Zegras, and Brady Tkachuk struggled to generate any offense. Shane Pinto began taking shifts with Caufield and Tkachuk at the end of the Sweden game, and they stuck together to start Game 2.

Caufield found the scoresheet for the first time this tournament on the team's third goal, assisting Johnny Gaudreau's powerplay goal in the second period. The United States began pouring pressure on in the second period's final minute thanks to the new-look line, with Caufield and Pinto assisting on a last-second Luke Hughes goal.

Albeit against weaker competition, the USA's new line configuration is an early success, as Caufield finds chemistry with two rival Ottawa Senators. It may look weird for Habs fans to see Caufield alongside Tkachuk and Pinto, but it's always a positive when Caufield finds success.

Kaiden Guhle Asserts Himself As One Of Canada's Best Defensemen

Kaiden Guhle had a rough start to the game, as he was on the ice and somewhat screening his goaltender on Liam Kirk's powerplay goal to go down 1-0. A lesser defenseman may have let that hurt his confidence in his first Men's World Championship game, but Guhle locked in and played outstanding defense the rest of the way.

Guhle also chipped in an assist on a beautiful Connor Bedard goal. Guhle made a nice play at the blueline to control the puck, sent a nice pass to Nick Paul at the net front, and Paul slid it over to Bedard to make it 4-1. The offense isn't a huge part of Guhle's game, but he can make some confident plays.

A good performance against Great Britain isn't going to automatically put Guhle on next season's Four Nations Faceoff roster. However, it's an encouraging beginning to an important tournament for Guhle's future.

It won't be an easy road for Guhle to make Team Canada in the future. He has players in front of him on the depth chart on the left side like Devon Toews, Josh Morrissey, Morgan Reilly, Darnell Nurse, and Shea Theodore. If you look at it objectively, Toews and Morrissey are likely locks, and Theodore was a lock last season when he was starring during the Stanley Cup run.

The left side isn't a huge position of strength on Canada's defense, and there are plenty of concerns about taking Reilly and Nurse. There's a great chance that Nurse ends up on the team in some capacity if Connor McDavid has anything to say about it, but Guhle can play himself into contention. The fact that Guhle showed up for this tournament while Reilly and Theodore never did is already a positive for him.

There's also the report from that Team Canada's General Manager Doug Armstrong may not necessarily use the same rosters for the Four Nations Faceoff and the Olympics. If they want to look at some different names in the Four Nations Faceoff, Guhle's chances could increase.