We can raise several elements to explain the successful start of the Canadian season. Obviously, Marc Bergevin’s flair attracts attention above all.
Take stock of the performances signed by the newcomers to the team.
Tyler Toffoli has six goals and patrols the left flank with Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Corey Perry.
Perry, in fact, is a great find. He’s been in two games, but he’s already made an impact by scoring in Vancouver and preparing Brendan Gallagher’s goal on Thursday against the Flames.
Josh Anderson has four goals, he quickly familiarized himself with the style of Nick Suzuki and Jonathan Drouin.
Joel Edmundson amazes. He plays with confidence. His partner, Jeff Petry, can venture more and more in attack, knowing full well that his partner is protecting the defensive zone.
Jake Allen has two starts, two wins. What more can you ask for from a goalie whose responsibility it is to collect points while Carey Price is off duty.
The changes made have not only enabled decision-makers in the organization to close the gaps, but also to improve the training organization chart. In short, the CH can now play in the big leagues.
The newcomers have changed the personality of the team, and there is no doubt that their experience and character is accelerating the emergence of three young players on whom the future of the team rests.
Nick Suzuki, Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Alexander Romanov are already bringing essential elements to this training: the ardor of a youth capable of meeting challenges and above all of assuming their responsibilities with great confidence.
We can undertake a rejuvenation program, we can give a different image to a training that, for too long, has taken the wrong path, the fact remains that the objective will remain unattainable without an environment conducive to the development of young people. skaters in a world where competition is more intense than ever.
The three young players have been impressive since the start of the season. Kotkaniemi and Suzuki take advantage of an enriching experience acquired during the playoffs to establish themselves as players of influence.
It will be said that they benefit from the experience of the newcomers, but should we not also recognize that they have largely contributed to the success of the team so far?
Suzuki’s game of lobbing the puck to allow Toffoli to escape confirms how much the young man has the resources to stand out. Kotkaniemi’s work and his increasingly noticeable involvement in his own territory have won the confidence of the coach … and his playmates.
We no longer doubt, we know that the two young men can evolve against the best of the opposing team.
Regarding Romanov, he quickly convinced the coaches that he had the makings to play at the same level as the professionals of the National League.
In this regard, we could add the name of Jake Evans, graduated from the Harvard University program, which can be used in strategic moments, especially in shorthand.
It is Claude Julien who now has several options. And he takes full advantage of it.
He uses all his staff because everyone contributes in their own way. For example, the gap between the attacker most used and the one who spent the least time on the playing surface, during Thursday’s game, was 5:53. This is little considering that the skaters of the trio of Evans do not evolve in numerical superiority. Suzuki played 17:55 and Artturi Lehkonen, 12:02.
Of course, it is easy to get carried away by the effort deployed by this training since the curtain rises and in front of a record of 12 points out of a possibility of 14. Except that the players of this team compete.
There is no room for half measures.
What to worry about
Alex Pietrangelo is the most recent to be on the list of players with COVID-10. Thursday night, the National League was forced to cancel another game, the one between the Vegas Golden Knights and the St. Louis Blues.
We are right to be worried in the offices of the league. The more games we postpone, the more worrying the situation will become. How will we have to deal with the schedule of games before the end of the season? Will we rely on the efficiency rate to determine the ranking of teams if some cannot complete the 56-game schedule?
A decision that is surely not to be considered.
And the league will have to find a solution to allow GMs to do their job properly. The Winnipeg Jets acquired Pierre-Luc Dubois. They knew they had to respect Manitoba rules, meaning that the center player would have to wait 14 days. The Jets along with six other Canadian teams have applied to the federal government to reduce sanitary conditions when there is a manpower transfer involving a team from Canada and a formation from the United States.
We are still waiting for an answer.
There is the April 12 deadline for closing deals. Again, it is unclear whether governments will be more tolerant. Imagine if the Canadian had the opportunity to add a top player to his roster, but Marc Bergevin will not be able to allow his new player to jump on the ice for 14 days. With maybe 10 games still to go, the acquired player should miss seven, maybe eight.
Bergevin has big ambitions and the trade deadline sometimes provides a GM with the opportunity to try a steaming shot to reach the podium, or at least hope to play multiple games during the playoffs.