ROCKET SPORTS MEDIA — Hey there, people! Again with one other version of my three stars of the week column!
Gamers will earn factors every time they seem as a star on this column and on the finish of the yr, I’ll award my three stars of the season.
The Canadiens had been having a fairly tough stretch however at the moment are winners of three of their final 5 video games. They’re discovering just a bit little bit of consistency that Habs followers have been ravenous for all season, so who has led the way in which for them of late?
☆ THIRD STAR: Jake Evans
Whereas the Canadiens had been ready for the arrival of Eric Staal, after buying and selling for him on the finish of March, Jake Evans put collectively a stretch of video games to do his finest to persuade those that make choices that he was anyone price holding round. He had an exquisite efficiency in opposition to the Senators back on April 1st with two assists, however when Staal was obtainable, Evans was all the time going tot be the odd man out.
However Evans got here again into the lineup in opposition to Calgary final Saturday after being out of the lineup for the Habs final six video games earlier than that. He picked up an help on the Canadiens first aim of the sport, displaying no rust after the shortage of recreation motion. He has been a vivid spot of late, doing a bit of little bit of every little thing for the Canadiens.
The final two video games particularly have been nice for Evans. He has lined up alongside Artturi Lehkonen and Cole Caufield and the trio regarded significantly efficient in opposition to the Jets. Evans has a two-game level streak, however after all with Evans it goes past factors.
Earlier this season he was starting to indicate that he was anyone the teaching workers might belief in all conditions. He was a staple of the penalty kill, he was energetic on the forecheck in five-on-five play, utilizing his velocity and offensive talents to wreak havoc within the opponent’s zone and most of the time, he could be anyone that may very well be trusted for a giant faceoff.
Offered with the prospect given the Canadiens are lacking some our bodies up entrance, Evans has stepped proper again to the extent of play we noticed earlier than the arrival of Staal. Roster choices are out of Evans’ management, however one factor he can management is making it as arduous as potential to depart him because the out man out and he has performed that.
☆ SECOND STAR: Cole Caufield
I debated having Caufield because the third star of the week however determined to place him right here because the second star. Caufield has been wonderful, definitely the changes that he has needed to make in a brief time frame deserve some consideration and he definitely introduced some pleasure and leisure worth with him.
However the influence by way of goal-scoring that some thought might need been there immediately took a bit of little bit of time. Maybe the expectation that he might step in and do this immediately was a bit of bit optimistic, however he peppered goaltenders and was in a position to get into good positions to attain however simply couldn’t discover the again of the web in his first three NHL contests.
Then got here the fourth and constructing off of a pleasant efficiency in opposition to the Jets, alongside the aforementioned Evans and Lehkonen, Caufield stepped onto the ice in overtime against the Senators and did what potent goal-scorers do with that a lot house. From the second his skate touched the ice, it felt just like the second was his. That’s what having a pure aim scorer is like.
Certain, it was only one aim and maybe there have been others who produced a bit of extra constantly through the week who merited consideration, however with that one aim the Canadiens have been given a substantial quantity of respiratory room within the North division standings and at the moment are simply two factors again of the Jets for third within the division.
Now that the primary NHL aim is out of the way in which, let’s see what Caufield does the remainder of the way in which.
☆ FIRST STAR: Nick Suzuki
There was merely no different alternative. Nick Suzuki gave me completely no different alternative this week. He presently has a five-game level streak, together with a three-point efficiency in opposition to the Jets. Suzuki obtained off to an important begin to the season with factors in every of the primary seven video games, and whereas he has been a fairly constant producer for the Canadiens, that degree of manufacturing to begin the season maybe raised expectations to an unrealistic degree.
The beginning was nice, the center of the season noticed some lapses from Suzuki in all areas of the ice, some nights he was a bit of too lackadaisical in his personal zone, however he has actually ramped it up of late. Folks say that first impressions are lasting, and the primary impression Suzuki made this season along with his manufacturing set the bar fairly excessive, however final impressions are lasting and because the Canadiens close to the tip of their season, Suzuki has been a drive offensively.
There isn’t a greater reward to provide a participant than to say they’re somebody who raises their recreation when the stakes are at their highest. The efficiency from Suzuki within the bubble in Toronto this previous summer season indicated he was somebody who might do this and with the Canadiens needing to solidify themselves as a playoff staff, right here is Suzuki as soon as once more.
Final week I stated the Canadiens wanted extra guys to step up and produce offensively to assist out Tyler Toffoli and Josh Anderson. Nick Suzuki answered the decision.
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