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The Tape: Breaking down Adam Henrique’s game versus Montreal

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Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Liam Horrobin
28 days ago
The Edmonton Oilers, displaying their resilience, clinched an unconvincing 3-2 overtime win against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night. Despite leading 2-0 after 40 minutes, the Oilers faced a tough challenge in the final period as the Habs fought back. However, Edmonton’s determination prevailed, with Leon Draisaitl securing the two points in overtime.
Adam Henrique played his sixth game since being acquired from the Anaheim Ducks, and he finally got on the boxscore with his 19th goal of the season.
“I felt like my game has been good,” said Henrique in his post-game interview. “Of course, you want to score. Coming into a new team, you want to find a way to contribute. But I think for me, the focus is you want the complete game to be there. We’ve had some high-temp games, and I’ve felt great in those games and making sure (I’m) adjusting well to the system. The guys have done a great job talking to me through everything, so I felt my game has been there. It’s certainly nice to get on the board tonight. We can’t give up that first one in the third period, I thought the first shift was a line.”
During the game against the Habs, Adam Henrique played a total of 16 minutes and 39 seconds. Let’s delve into the details of his ice time and see how he contributed to the team’s performance.

First Period

Henrique’s first period was low event.
The Habs came out on the opening shift, putting a hard shot over the bar by Johnathan Kovacevic. Henrique was not on the ice for another five-on-five shot in the first.
The next few shifts were neutralization battles until Henrique created a great chance for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Midway through the period, he delivered a no-look backhand pass from down low that found his linemate by the faceoff dot. Unfortunately, the attempt went wide but it was a strong display of skill regardless.
He closed out the period killing off Darnell Nurse’s minor penalty for tripping.

Second Period

Henrique plays simple and mistake free hockey. That was apparent most throughout the second period.
On his second shift on the period, Henrique’s line put on the pressure. The kept the puck deep in the Montreal zone but couldn’t generate a shot. Henrique made a good plays with his stick, again, and didn’t allow the Habs to breakout.
The interesting thing about Henrique’s goal is that he essentially did nothing with the puck during the build up. When Nurse brought the puck back towards the blue line, the Oilers centreman made his way to the net. From there, Mattias Janmark found Evan Bouchard who relayed to Mattias Ekholm who then found Henrique for a tap in.
Third Period
Henrique’s line started every period for the Oilers. Unfortunately, the start of the final frame didn’t go as well as the previous. Derek Ryan lost a puck battle in Montreal’s corner which turned the attack the other way. Henrique closed down the space but the Habs’ defenceman still managed to find his break pass. From there, the Oilers were out of sync and an unfortunate bonus in front resulted in a goal against.
The next shift, the Canadiens continued to pile on the pressure looking for the equalizer. Henrique made a good play to step into his man, who made a heavy pass in the neutral zone, breaking up the oncoming attack. Soon after, Brett Kulak was taken down and the Oilers went to the power play.
He then had a couple of four-on-four shifts with Ryan McLeod and Connor McDavid. A stray pass from McDavid into Henrique’s feet caused a turnover. Henrique made a play to get the puck back, but Montreal found Kaiden Guhle who tied the game.
The special teams minute continued to pile up on Henrique. He helped kill off the final 44 seconds of Leon Draisaitl’s hooking penalty. He put pressure on the puck carriers by the blue line effectively and made a great play with his stick to slow down a cross ice pass to Cole Caufield.
Montreal pinned Henrique’s line in the zone for a minute and a half on his next shift. The veteran forward stayed composed in his positioning and made a great defensive play on Josh Anderson lifting his stick in a final second, preventing a huge chance.
In the final moments, Henrique took a high stick from Joel Armia, which resulted in a four minute powerplay. That powerplay bled into the overtime frame and Draisaitl ended the night.
Final Thoughts
Henrique’s game is basic. He plays a complementary role supporting the puck and rarely maintains possession of it. Defensively, Kris Knoblauch relied on him heavily in the back half of the third period, putting him out there for many key draws. His composure is evident on every shift.
The Oilers won’t look for him to score goals often but be that defensive specialist instead. Additionally, if he is to score goals then it’ll be the like the one he scored on Tuesday night.
Finally, the frustration stemming from fans about the lack of offence this far is understandable. However, not a lot of bad comes when Henrique is on the ice either.

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