This is a new phenomenon for supporters of the Canadiens. See theirs molested by the adversary.
We were used to worshiping Brendan Gallagher, a proud little warrior who found himself most of the time in the heart of melee, when he was not under the wrath of the giant Chara and his Sher-Wood …
It was anecdotal and bordering on fun for fans frustrated at the half-hearted performances of their favorites. A kind of release, a refuge of satisfaction through defeats or short victories obtained thanks to ultraconservative virtues. Defense and risk management to surprise one night and give a more talented team.
Suzuki: it looks like Gretzky
This empty pass is over. The Canadian now shows a whole different face. Nick Suzuki is in the number one center chair, and he’s doing it very well. Responsible as the coach loves them, he expresses a remarkable offensive creativity. Any comparison will be considered flawed.
But, when Suzuki enters attacking territory, by his ability to find the air holes and take refuge there to better identify the best way to feed a teammate and cause a good chance to score, he reminds me of Mike Ribeiro and a certain Wayne Gretzky. Players with exceptional offensive instincts. Guys who didn’t know where the puck was, but where it would end up the next second.
Although small in size, Ribeiro and Gretzky were little harmed by the opponent. Their less physical style, unmistakable flair, and superior peripheral vision kept them from receiving too many vicious blows aimed at slowing them down. It’s a safe bet that Suzuki will also avoid this type of punishment.
Abusers do well
The story is different for Jesperi Kotkaniemi. The latter is much more physical. His excellence in puck mastery and his ability to win his one-on-one battles is amazing for a guy who is the same age Suzuki was a year ago. However, this comes with a collection of limit blows from opponents frustrated at being physically dominated by a street hawker-like teenager from the Journal of Montreal…
This price is also to be paid because, overall, the Canadian is better and plays better. Montreal now has an exciting and tough team to face.
The opponents thus have no choice but to try to slow down the CH by limit strokes. Joel Armia suffered the wrath of Tyler Myers. Kotkaniemi was hit hard on the head on Saturday by Dillon Dubé.
Each time, the league refused to suspend the culprits. Still, Armia suffered a concussion and Kotkaniemi was pissing blood through her nostrils.
Is it the Department of Player Safety or the Department of Attacker Defense?
We must review the regulations without delay. A blow that reaches the head, regardless of the angle of attack or the deflection of the assailant’s elbow via the victim’s breastbone, remains a blow to the head and should be punished with a suspension.
Until then, I console myself by telling myself that if the CH was harmless as in previous seasons, we would not try to slow it down by molesting it, as the villains used to do with Maurice …