TORONTO - Here are a few key storylines from Wednesday night's 3-0 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena.
Losing effort, but a stellar performance from Kinkaid
Goaltender Keith Kinkaid started his second game of the preseason and delivered another strong performance, stopping 46 of 49 Toronto shots he faced.
The netminder, who helped the Habs to a 4-0 shutout win over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday, has been pleased with the way his training camp has gone so far after a difficult 2018-19 campaign.
"I feel refreshed," Kinkaid told reporters after the loss in Toronto. "You never want what happened to me last year to happen again and I'm going to make sure I put in the work every day so it never happens again."
Video: Keith Kinkaid on the absence of video review
Head coach Claude Julien was appreciative of the effort the American backstop put in despite the final score.
"He's had two good games. He made some big saves tonight. If there was a video review, the first goal probably wouldn't have counted," outlined the Habs bench boss. "He played a pretty solid game."
Video: Claude Julien's postgame press conference
Speaking of video review…
Video review was not available to either team for this preseason game, and the Canadiens felt they would've benefitted from the option had they been able to use it on Wednesday.
Julien was referring to the Leafs' opening goal of the night, when Trevor Moore beat Kinkaid while Toronto center Alexander Kerfoot had fallen on Kinkaid.
"The guy was on top of me. I made the first save and I can't make the second," added the Habs' No. 37. "I couldn't even move. I don't think it would be allowed in the regular season."
At the other end of the ice, Charles Hudon had a presumed second-period tally reversed after officials determined a kicking motion had been used to propel the puck into the net.
Here, too, the Alma, QC native believed the call would've been reversed, which would've cut the Leafs' 2-0 lead at the time in half.
"If I had kicked it with my skate, it would've hit the side of the net," claimed Hudon. "That's part of the preseason. It's better it happened there and not during the regular season."
Video: Charles Hudon on playing with Suzuki
Suzuki continues to make his case
Thirty-five players remain on the Canadiens' training camp roster, and 20-year-old forward Nick Suzuki once again made a strong case for staying with the big club come October 3.
The London, ON native skated on a line with Hudon and Jonathan Drouin on Wednesday, and Hudon said he's been trying to offer Suzuki some mentorship the same way more experienced players had done for him when he was coming up in the League.
"He's taking in a lot of information. He doesn't talk a lot, and I'm trying to talk to him more and more," described Hudon. "I would say what helped me was when [Tomas] Plekanec would talk to me. I'm trying to do the same thing with him. He played well today."
Suzuki skated for 15:55 on Wednesday - including 1:39 of power play time and 1:19 on the penalty kill - but didn't want to come to any conclusions about where he'd be spending the season just yet.
"That's hard to tell, it's really up to the coaches and management. I've really done everything I can and I've tried to play as best as I can," said Suzuki. "I've tried to make the most of every opportunity I've been given and I'm proud of my effort."
Video: Nick Suzuki on his game against the Leafs
For his part, Julien was pleased to see that Suzuki was able to compete and handle the physicality at the NHL level after completing his Junior career in the spring.
"He's holding his own. You saw him get hit pretty good by [Auston] Matthews, but you also saw him go after Matthews with a good hit in the middle of the ice," recounted the coach. "He's not afraid, he's not timid; he holds his own. That's what you like to see."
The Canadiens are back at practice at 11:30 a.m. at the Bell Sports Complex on Thursday. They host the Ottawa Senators for their final game of the preseason at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday at the Bell Centre. For tickets, click here.