4:23 PM EDT, Wed April 14, 2021
Eyes On The Prize 6 hours ago
Jesperi Kotkaniemi is taking advantage of his opportunities

Jesperi Kotkaniemi is taking advantage of his opportunities

Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via The growth of the young Finn is front and — yes — centre. Jesperi Kotkaniemi has been in the spotlight since before he was drafted. As soon as there were rumblings that the Montreal Canadiens would take the rising prospect third overall, people were apprehensive about his merits. After his first game at the rookie tournament which saw him on the ice for a goal against from fourth overall pick Brady Tkachuk, he said he would get better every day. There has been adversity since then, of course. A struggle in his second...
A Winning Habit Apr 12, 2021

Montreal Canadiens: Week off more Curse than Blessing

Two weeks ago, the Montreal Canadiens had two cases of players entering the NHL’s COVID list, Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Joel Armia. At the time, it was a question of if a week of rest would be good for the team in this condensed schedule, or if the further condensing would be worse. I think that […] Montreal Canadiens: Week off more Curse than Blessing - A Winning Habit - A Winning Habit - A Montreal Canadiens Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More
Montreal Gazette Apr 11, 2021

Habs’ future at centre in good hands with KK, Suzuki | HI/O Bonus

In this bonus episode, our panelists — Montreal Gazette columnist Stu Cowan, CBC Daybreak Montreal’s Jessica Rusnak and former Canadiens defenceman and NHL assistant coach Rick Green — along with host Julian McKenzie discuss Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Nick Suzuki and their progressions as two-way centremen. ...
Eyes On The Prize Apr 10, 2021
Links: Why Kotkaniemi might be the best player to sub in for Gallagher

Links: Why Kotkaniemi might be the best player to sub in for Gallagher

Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via In today’s links, using Kotkaniemi in Gallagher’s spot, shoring up the Canadiens’ blue line, and the Leafs make a free trade. Montreal Canadiens news and notes It is tough to ask any forward on the Canadiens to fill in for Brendan Gallagher, but for now Jesperi Kotkaniemi might be the best option. [Montreal Gazette] The Canadiens’ defence left a lot to be desired during their match against the Winnipeg Jets. [La Presse] With limited options to shore up Montreal’s blue line, GM Marc Bergevin’s focus should still...
Eyes On The Prize Apr 8, 2021
Recap: Drawing the short straw

Recap: Drawing the short straw

Photo by Claus Andersen/ Corey Perry continues to impress, but can’t prevent a Maple Leafs victory. Earlier in the day on Wednesday. Marc Bergevin had put Brendan Gallagher on LTIR, meaning that he will be out for at least the upcoming six weeks. A few hours later, it was time for the Montreal Canadiens to play their first game since the injuries to both Gallagher and Carey Price were announced. This effectively meant lineup change duty for Dominique Ducharme, who placed Jesperi Kotkaniemi on Phillip Danault’s right wing and Jake Allen between the pipes. Toronto...
Eyes On The Prize Apr 7, 2021
Jesperi Kotkaniemi’s move to wing is not déja vu

Jesperi Kotkaniemi’s move to wing is not déja vu

Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via From up and down, to left and right, the situation isn’t as similar as it looks. The Montreal Canadiens under Marc Bergevin are no stranger to third overall picks coming to Montreal and being shuttled between centre and wing. They are also no stranger to skilled players going between top lines and so-called fourth lines. But enough about Jonathan Drouin. What? Did you think I was going to say Alex Galchenyuk? Needless to say, there’s a lot of baggage that comes with Jesperi Kotkaniemi. Development has been so bad in recent...
A Winning Habit Apr 7, 2021

Montreal Canadiens: Joel Armia Out of Quarantine

Montreal Canadiens winger Joel Armia was dealt a scary situation when he tested positive for Covid-19 late last month. His positive test was the reason the Canadiens schedule had to be shuffled, as he and Jesperi Kotkaniemi were under the NHL’s Covid-19 protocol and not eligible to participate in team activities. Since Kotkaniemi did not […] Montreal Canadiens: Joel Armia Out of Quarantine - A Winning Habit - A Winning Habit - A Montreal Canadiens Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More
Eyes On The Prize Apr 6, 2021
Recap: Eric Staal ends the overtime woes in style

Recap: Eric Staal ends the overtime woes in style

Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via The new guy banishes the overtime demons in style. After a week in quarantine and minimal practice time, Monday night was the debut of Eric Staal for the Montreal Canadiens as they took on the Edmonton Oilers. Playing on a line with Jonathan Drouin and Tyler Toffoli, it was immediately clear that Dominique Ducharme had plenty of faith in the veteran centre. It also meant that Jesperi Kotkaniemi was bumped down the lineup, giving the Canadiens an incredible line of talent down the middle. In net was Carey Price, who appeared to be no...
A Winning Habit Apr 5, 2021

Montreal Canadiens Weekly Recap: Rest or Rust?

Welcome to the Canadiens weekly recap: your one-stop shop for all the scores, stats and storylines from the past week in Canadiens hockey. Last Week in Canadiens Hockey Last week was a strange week for the Canadiens. Joel Armia and Jesperi Kotkaniemi were placed on the COVID list, and the Scotia North Division re-scheduled their […] Montreal Canadiens Weekly Recap: Rest or Rust? - A Winning Habit - A Winning Habit - A Montreal Canadiens Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More
Montreal Gazette Apr 3, 2021

Canadiens feel for what Canucks are going through now with COVID-19

The Canadiens look like they might have dodged a bullet when only two players were placed on the NHL’s COVID-related absences list last month. Joel Armia and Jesperi Kotkaniemi were placed on the list on March 22 and the Canadiens had four games postponed by the NHL. Armia tested positive for a variant of the coronavirus and remains on the NHL’s COVID list, while Kotkaniemi had close contact but was taken off the list in time to play in the Canadiens’ first game back....
Montreal Gazette Apr 3, 2021

Canadiens Game Day: Tyler Toffoli expected back in lineup vs. Senators

Tyler Toffoli is expected to return to the Canadiens’ lineup Saturday night when they play the Ottawa Senators at the Bell Centre (7 p.m., CBC, SN, CITY, TVA Sports, TSN 690 Radio). Toffoli, who has missed the last three games with a lower-body injury, was on a line with Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Jonathan Drouin at Saturday’s morning skate as coach Dominique Ducharme juggled his lines. Corey Perry moved up from the fourth line to the second line with Nick Suzuki and Josh...
Eyes On The Prize Mar 31, 2021
Paul Byron and Artturi Lehkonen made the most of their opportunity

Paul Byron and Artturi Lehkonen made the most of their opportunity

Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Two embattled wingers led the charge in the win over the Oilers. After the Montreal Canadiens’ 4-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night at the Bell Centre, Dominique Ducharme said that he knew his team would come out with energy after a week off, but he was less certain about their execution. On the first shift of the game, Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Paul Byron executed a perfect give-and-go to put the Canadiens up 1-0 18 seconds into the game. Following a power play after the Oilers unsuccessfully challenged the goal, the next...
Montreal Gazette Mar 31, 2021

About Last Night: Habs show no signs of rust in 4-0 win over Oilers

Following an unplanned 10-day staycation, the Montreal Canadiens looked fresh and rested in their thorough 4-0 shellacking of the Edmonton Oilers Tuesday night at the Bell Centre. Centre Jesperi Kotkaniemi, one of two Habs to land on the league’s COVID Protocol Related Absences list on March 22, scored the game winner 18 seconds into the contest. Oilers coach Dave Tippett challenged the call...
Eyes On The Prize Mar 31, 2021
Recap: Stand and deliver

Recap: Stand and deliver

Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Montreal struck early to leave Edmonton lopsided for an entire game. It was time for a long awaited debut in a Montreal Canadiens jersey for Michael Frolik, as #67 took a spot on the fourth line, flanking Jake Evans. Frolik’s debut was necessitated by Montreal missing Joel Armia and Tyler Toffoli due to COVID-19 and injury, respectively. Seemingly, it was also a long-awaited game for Jesperi Kotkaniemi, who was back on the ice after being considered a close contact for Armia a little over a week ago. Kotkaniemi needed...
Eyes On The Prize Mar 30, 2021
[Highlight] Jesperi Kotkaniemi gets the Habs off to a flying start

[Highlight] Jesperi Kotkaniemi gets the Habs off to a flying start

Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Eighteen second in (and about a five-minute review), the Habs are up 1-0. Three Habs entered the zone at the exact same time, prompting a lengthy review, but in the end, Jesperi Kotkaniemi’s goal stood. 18 seconds in an Jesperi Kotkaniemi makes it 1-0 Habs! pic.twitter.com/GHrtFD9uYw— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) March 30, 2021

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