1:21 AM EDT, Fri August 14, 2020
Eyes On The Prize 15 hours ago
Kotkaniemi is earning confidence

Kotkaniemi is earning confidence

Photo by Elsa/ Jesperi Kotkaniemi is finding his game when it matters most, and the coaching staff is taking notice. It’s no secret that Jesperi Kotkaniemi hit the dreaded sophomore slump with the Montreal Canadiens during the 2019-20 regular season. That, coupled with some injury troubles, led to him spending a significant amount of time with the Laval Rocket before COVID-19 derailed the season. The detour to Laval was perhaps concerning to some, but important to his long-term development. That, and the time off thanks to the shutdown seems to be just what the doctor ordered, as...
Montreal Gazette Aug 12, 2020

Stu Cowan: Jesperi Kotkaniemi growing up in front of Canadiens fans

TORONTO — Canadiens fans are getting to watch Jesperi Kotkaniemi grow up before their eyes. So is coach Claude Julien. As a rookie last season, Kotkaniemi became Montreal’s adopted hockey son. The No. 3 overall pick at the 2018 NHL Entry Draft surprised just about everyone — probably even himself — when he made the team out of training camp. The Finnish teenager quickly won the hearts of Canadiens...
Eyes On The Prize Aug 7, 2020
Jesperi Kotkaniemi is quickly silencing the doubters

Jesperi Kotkaniemi is quickly silencing the doubters

Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/ His time in the AHL and Finland has led to improvements in the young star’s entire game. Before the Montreal Canadiens had even played their first game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the qualifying round, the entire world seemed to be honed in on Jesperi Kotkaniemi. After the Habs as a whole failed to show up against the Toronto Maple Leafs in an exhibition game, the knives were out for the young Finn. TSN 690 host @TonyMarinaro: "Canadiens got the Kotkaniemi pick wrong" https://t.co/7J4PzB7fcN— TSN 1200 (@TSN1200) July 29,...
Eyes On The Prize Aug 5, 2020
The value of Artturi Lehkonen

The value of Artturi Lehkonen

Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via The Finnish winger may have some weaknesses, but controlling shot attempts is not one of them. Artturi Lehkonen and Jesperi Kotkaniemi make a good puck-possession duo. In fact, Lehkonen and pretty much anyone else on the team makes a good puck-possession duo. Controlling shot attempts is simply what the Finnish winger does. He hunts, directs the puck to the outside, and steals it back. It’s why most centres appreciate having him on their wing. He takes on the dirty work to allow his linemates to shine. He’s the first forward (F1) on the...
Eyes On The Prize Aug 5, 2020
Links: Claude Julien calls for more “will and determination”

Links: Claude Julien calls for more “will and determination”

Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports In today’s links, the Canadiens head coach talks about what he wants from his team in game 3, highlighting the good and bad of the first two games, and is offence or defence more important in the playoffs? Montreal Canadiens news and notes Claude Julien is looking for more from his team in game 3. [Montreal Gazette] The coach hints at lineup tweaks to remedy the faults of the first two matches. [Sportsnet] The third line of Artturi Lehkonen, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, and Paul Byron has been a bright light for the Canadiens so far. [Montreal Canadiens] The...
Eyes On The Prize Aug 3, 2020
[Highlight] Jesperi Kotkaniemi gives the Habs some life

[Highlight] Jesperi Kotkaniemi gives the Habs some life

Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Montreal’s back in it with two minutes to go. The Canadiens had just given up a backbreaking goal to go down 2-0, but Jesperi Kotkaniemi got his club re-engaged with his second goal of the post-season. Jesperi Kotkaniemi gets his second goal of the postseason, great work by Lehkonen to get this puck to the net. pic.twitter.com/HeV7H9MZcX— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) August 4, 2020
Montreal Gazette Aug 3, 2020

Liveblog: Habs push for 2-0 series lead over Penguins

It’s been five months since the last live blog. But it’s here, in August. There is still Montreal Canadiens hockey to be played, much to our collective surprise. The Canadiens can take a series stranglehold if they defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game Two of their Stanley Cup Qualifier series. Jeff Petry was the overtime hero in the first game, which also saw goals from Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Nick Suzuki. ...
Eyes On The Prize Aug 3, 2020
Links: Can the Habs count on their third-line defence pairing?

Links: Can the Habs count on their third-line defence pairing?

Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via In today’s links, is the third line pairing up to the challenge, praise for Suzuki and Kotkaniemi, Game 1 hits, and more. Montreal Canadiens News and Notes Montreal’s three best defenceman are up to the challenge to keep Pittsburgh’s offence in check, but can they count on help from the third defence pairing? [Sportsnet] Nick Suzuki and Jesperi Kotkaniemi received much praise for their performance against the Penguins on Saturday night. [Journal de Montreal] Brendan Gallagher says it was great to see ‘no hesitation’ in the...
Montreal Gazette Aug 2, 2020

In the Habs' Room: Youngsters make big impression in playoff debut

TORONTO – It was a coming out party for youngsters Nick Suzuki and Jesperi Kotkaniemi as they made major contributions to the Canadiens’ 3-2 overtime win over the Pittsburgh Penguins Saturday night at Scotiabank Arena. The 20 year olds each scored a goal in...
Montreal Gazette Aug 1, 2020

Petry scores OT winner as Habs upset Penguins in Game 1

TORONTO — Jeff Petry scored at 16:57 of overtime to give the Canadiens a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins Saturday in the opening game of their best-of-five qualifying round in the NHL Return to Play tournament at Scotiabank Arena. Carey Price gave the underdog Canadiens a chance to win as he made 39 saves and also stopped Conor Sheary on a penalty shot late in the third period. Jesperi Kotkaniemi and...
Eyes On The Prize Aug 1, 2020
[Highlight] Jesperi Kotkaniemi gets Montreal on the board first

[Highlight] Jesperi Kotkaniemi gets Montreal on the board first

The Finnish sophomore has his first NHL post-season goal. The Montreal Canadiens were on their heels in the opening 10 minutes, but gradually settled down and gained a footing. With shots heavily in the Pittsburgh Penguins’s favour, Jesperi Kotkaniemi was able to ge to the front of the opposition net, where the puck went off him and in. Brett Kulak shoots, and it banks in off of Jesperi Kotkaniemi to give the #GoHabsGo a 1-0 lead! pic.twitter.com/jb2TKFQw69— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) August 2, 2020
Eyes On The Prize Aug 1, 2020
Has Jesperi Kotkaniemi improved his skating in the past two years?

Has Jesperi Kotkaniemi improved his skating in the past two years?

Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via The forward no doubt looks a bit faster, so where is that extra speed coming from? Jesperi Kotkaniemi spent a few months away from the ice, and came back to training camp with stories of sweating out in the gym with specialty trainers, while coaches sang the praise of his new regimen. They spoke of how much better the Finn moved in the drills and intrasquad competition. Then, the first exhibition game arrived. Every movement of the 20-year-old forward was scrutinized. Every shift, every highlight became minute-long discussions. We watched, hoping to...
A Winning Habit Jul 31, 2020

Montreal Canadiens: Alexander Romanov Finally Allowed To Join Habs

The Montreal Canadiens are in Toronto preparing to face the Pittsburgh Penguins. A certain Russian defender finally joined the team. The Montreal Canadiens went way, way, way off the board with their second round draft pick in 2018. The Habs held three picks in the second round and after selecting Jesperi Kotkaniemi with the third […] Montreal Canadiens: Alexander Romanov Finally Allowed To Join Habs - A Winning Habit - A Winning Habit - A Montreal Canadiens Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More
Eyes On The Prize Jul 29, 2020
Jesperi Kotkaniemi’s confidence is back

Jesperi Kotkaniemi’s confidence is back

Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via The young forward is showing the benefits of a detour to Laval. Montreal Canadiens head coach Claude Julien started giving praise to Jesperi Kotkaniemi in Phase 3 training camp, noting that his skating improved among other things. That praise didn’t stop after Monday’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. “I think you saw a big difference as far as where he was when we sent him to Laval. He’s still a young player, he just turned 20, and he’s progressing fairly well in my eyes,” said Julien after the game. “It was his first game in even...
Eyes On The Prize Jul 28, 2020
[Highlight] Paul Byron shows good skill in scoring Montreal’s second goal

[Highlight] Paul Byron shows good skill in scoring Montreal’s second goal

A great shift from Jesperi Kotkaniemi made it all possible. Thanks to an excellent shift from Jesperi Kotkaniemi, the Canadiens enjoyed a prolonged offensive-zone presence. It was capped by a skillful goal from Paul Byron who kicked the puck up in the air and knocked it in with his stick. Paul Byron kicks the puck to his stick, and bats it home to make it 3-2. pic.twitter.com/X20EesBT42— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) July 29, 2020

Jesperi Kotkaniemi Photos

Canadiens Player News

  • 6

    Carey Price

    Canadiens Notebook: Carey Price makes save of the night in Game 1 loss

  • 4

    Nick Suzuki

    Canadiens Notebook: Carey Price makes save of the night in Game 1 loss

  • 2

    Shea Weber

    Weber, Canadiens will try to use Julien’s health concerns as rallying point

  • 1

    Max Domi

    Is it time to use Max Domi farther up the lineup?

  • 1

    Jesperi Kotkaniemi

    Kotkaniemi is earning confidence

  • 1

    Alexander Romanov

    How the COVID-19 pandemic might affect Cole Caufield’s upcoming year

  • Jeff Petry

    Links: Brett Kulak — The Canadiens’ unsung hero?

  • Brett Kulak

    Links: Brett Kulak — The Canadiens’ unsung hero?

  • Phillip Danault

    The Canadiens have room to improve as they head to the playoffs

  • Jake Evans

    Game 4 recap: Playoff Lehkonen