News: Canadiens head coach Claude Julien said Kotkaniemi's confidence has been shaken amid early season struggles, Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette reports. "He's frustrated because he wants to do well," Julien said about Kotkaniemi. "His confidence is not where it should be because, obviously, we see a different player right now than we've seen in the past."
Impact: In 16 games this season, Kotkaniemi has just three points (two goals, one assists) and is minus-3 while averaging 12:48 of ice time and winning 43 percent of his faceoffs. The 19-year-old is coming off a bad night, when he was on the ice for the Rangers' game-winning goal in overtime that completed their comeback from a four-goal deficit. Preceding the goal, he iced the puck then lost a defensive-zone faceoff. Julien's comments following the game may be contributing to Kotkaniemi's confidence problem. "You look at the winning goal," the coach said after the game. "We got a young player ... a young player who's only 19 (Kotkaniemi). He ices the puck, forces a play and he loses a draw clean and it ends up in the back of your net. Those are costly mistakes. Those guys have to learn, whether they're 19 or 30." Kotkaniemi is expected to line up at center on the third line as usual when Montreal hosts Boston on Tuesday.