Jordan Harris may have only played one game for the Canadiens, but he’s still done enough to garner some accolades.
When compared to another newcomer to the blue line, Justin Barron, there is a “huge difference” between the two young defensemen. At least that’s the opinion expressed by our analyst Alexandre Picard in the TVA Sports podcast “Temps d’Arrêt”, recorded on Monday. Listen here:
“When you take the time to look at the two, you see a huge difference,” said the former NHL defenseman. In Barron’s case, he has yet to develop physically. I find that he lacks explosion because of the strength of his legs. He needs to spend time in the gym to mature physically.
“Harris comes from college, where we play fewer games than in junior, so we can spend more time in the gym. The difference is there: the players who come from American universities are physically mature, which allows them to be ready to start their professional careers.
Despite this shortcoming, Picard considers that “Barron is an excellent skater” and judges that “he makes good decisions” on the ice.
On the other hand, in his opinion, “Barron sometimes skates a little too much for my taste with the puck, but he is a young defenseman who is learning to play.”
Good first impression
His assessment of Harris is also very positive.
“I think Harris is a little less fluid on his skates than Barron, but he’s a very good skater too. He makes good decisions with the puck and makes great first passes. The two defenders are very calm, it’s nice to see.
Picard correctly points out, however, that “the sample is small, so it is difficult to assess at this time”.
Like the senior management of the CH, he will continue his evaluation work between now and the end of the season.
“My interest for the rest of the season is to watch the core youngsters to see how they develop and how they are able to take the team on their shoulders.”
Podcast host Louis Jean also said he was impressed with Barron and Harris.
“We used Barron against the best players and started the overtime period, it’s extraordinary for the evaluation of the organization. There is no doubt that he impresses me.
“Harris is a bit older and has more baggage. I see a difference. You can’t set the bar too high, but I was really impressed with his grit, the character he showed and his maturity both on the ice and the way he communicates.
The Savard effect on young people
In addition, Alex and Louis praised the work of David Savard, who they say is excellent in his role as “big brother” for the young defensemen of the Canadiens. They think his ‘stabilizing effect’ is indispensable to the team.
“I really like the way he plays and how he behaves on the ice. He leaves room for Alexander Romanov to play with confidence, Picard pointed out. It does not have a price.
“We were ready to throw tomatoes at him at the start of the season, but he turns out to be quite an acquisition. I’m sure he will continue on the same path next season. We need defenders like him who have a stabilizing effect on the young people who are coming.”
Alex and Louis return to the incident involving Jay Beagle after another successful “Michigan” by Trevor Zegras. “These gestures no longer have a place in hockey today,” Picard believes.
“Jay Beagle is not the problem. The problem is dinosaurs like Colin Campbell who have tolerated this for too long, ”says Jean.
What to make of Nathan MacKinnon’s decision to fight Matt Dumba to defend a bodycheck on teammate Mikko Rantanen? Picard has “a lot of misery with that”, while Jean “finds it ridiculous”.
Tom Wilson is an endangered species in the NHL. “We are starting a turn. We are heading in the right direction.”
Discussion on the balance to be found between robustness and gratuitous violence.
“Hockey should not be distorted, it must remain a physical game, but we must maintain a balance,” says the host of the podcast.
“Unfortunate situations will happen at some point if we continue to play this way,” Picard said. I want there to still be a physical and intimidation factor, but it has to be legal.”
Back to the controversy from New York, when the Rangers refused to allow Alexis Lafrenière to grant interviews in French to the Quebec media. “It’s so ridiculous!”
Did the Flyers disrespect Keith Yandle by dropping him on Saturday, which will prevent him from playing 1,000 consecutive games? “There are two sides to this story,” Picard points out.
The Senators are considering presenting games at the Videotron Center in Quebec City next season. Is this a sign of a possible move or just a threat? What is the future of the team in Ottawa?
The race for the Maurice-Richard trophy is exciting between Auston Matthews and Leon Draisaitl. So far, Matthews leads with 54, to Draisaitl’s 50. Who will win? Alex and Picard make their predictions.
Jonathan Huberdeau and the Panthers never cease to impress. Will they carry their success into the playoffs?
Alex and Louis are also dazzled by the work of Alexandre Carrier and Jérémy Lauzon with the Predators.
Hats off to goaltender Ève Gascon, who scored her first victory in the QMJHL last week. “His future is bright. It’s good for the growth of women’s hockey.”
Alex analyzes defenseman Jordan Harris in his first-ever NHL game on Saturday and compares him to fellow newcomer Justin Barron. He sees a “huge difference” between the two youngsters.
Alex and Louis praise David Savard, who they say is excellent in his role as “big brother” for the young defensemen of the Canadiens.