Slafkovsky Has Career Night Against Flyers

Juraj Slafkovsky dominates Flyers for first career hat trick.
Toronto Maple Leafs v Montreal Canadiens
Toronto Maple Leafs v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

Juraj Slafkovsky has been the brightest spot of the Montreal Canadiens season. 

And on Tuesday night against the Philadelphia Flyers, he had his best performance of the season. A hat trick that started in the first period and finished by mid second period. He now has 19 goals and 29 assists for 48 points. 

The potential was always there, but now his confidence has matched it. His strength and physical presence have merged together in a perfect marriage and the 20-year-old has been dominant. It’s incredibly encouraging to see him playing at this level, when you consider that he has so much room to grow. 

In spite of him realizing his potential and elevating his play to top line calibre, he remains humble. On his first tally of the night, Mike Matheson cheered as though he scored the goal. Slafkovsky didn’t want to cheer like it was his because he saw how happy Matheson was.

The kid is the ultimate teammate and number one fan of his team. Although it doesn’t guarantee that he will succeed, it makes fans want to cheer for his success. Fortunately, they didn’t need to wait much longer to see the kid pot another goal. 

Who better to setup Slafkovsky than his good buddy Nick Suzuki. Matheson started it off at the blueline, by feeding a nice pass to Suzuki. Then the captain feathered a nifty saucer pass to Slafkovsky, who wired the puck into the net. 

As mentioned at the beginning, Slafkovsky scored his first career hat trick, putting the bow on an excellent night. With 30 minutes of play still to go. His third goal showed his speed and poise in alone against the goalie. 

He made a quick forehand, backhand move before slinging a quick snapshot past Samuel Ersson.

I must admit I have hoped for the Canadiens to lose the games they are meant to lose, in the interest of a higher draft pick. But winning games where the future pieces are performing so well, is ultimately what the rebuild is about. The scouting team will do their due diligence and select the player they deem to be the best fit.

In 2022 they selected Slafkovsky, who has worked out quite well. David Reinnacher is still adapting to the North American game, but appears to be well on his way. So, I have hope that they will get a cornerstone piece for the Canadiens with the 2024 first round selection, regardless if it’s a top five pick or not.