Montreal Canadiens right winger Cole Caufield of Stevens Point, Wisconsin closed out the 2022 National Hockey League regular season with his first career National Hockey League hat trick. Caufield accomplished the feat in a 10-2 Canadiens romp over the Florida Panthers.
Caufield scored one goal in each period. He put the Canadiens up 3-0 on a goal from defensemen Joel Edmundson and Jeff Petry at 4:30 of the first period. Caufield then scored at 1:33 of the second period with an unassisted marker to put the Canadiens up 5-1. Then in the third period, Caufield scored from Mike Hoffman and Nick Suzuki to put the Canadiens up 9-1 at 8:12 of the final frame.
On the season, Caufield finished his rookie campaign with 23 goals and 20 assists for 43 points in 67 games. He was a -24 with 10 penalty minutes, 13 power play points, three game winning goals, 188 shots on goal, five faceoff wins, seven blocked shots, 18 hits, 32 takeaways, and 27 giveaways. There is no doubt that Caufield did much better this season with Martin St. Louis as the Canadiens head coach than Dominique Ducharme.
Struggling into the Playoffs
The Panthers won the Presidents’ Trophy in 2021-22 with 122 points, three more points than the Colorado Avalanche. However, they lost three of their last four games heading into the postseason by a combined score of 22-12. On Friday, Florida rested the majority of their players. They open up the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Tuesday when they host the Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
Disappointing season for the Canadiens
After reaching the 2021 Stanley Cup Finals before losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Montreal Canadiens had a very disappointing 2021-22 NHL regular season. They had a record of 22 wins, 49 regulation losses and 11 losses in extra time for 55 points overall. In the process, they has the worst record in the entire NHL.