Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki have been producing offensively at a breakneck pace for more than twenty games. In fact, in their last 20 meetings, Suzuki (23 points) and Caufield (21) roll over a point per game, which is great considering they’re only 22 and 21.
And it’s not the flashes of genius that are missing with them!
These two men…
Nick Suzuki with incredible Cole Caufield sauce, and of course he buries it. Phenomenal. pic.twitter.com/QZDoRtRTZq
— Matt Drake (@DrakeMT) April 7, 2022
Ever since the two were reunited, though, it’s been a game of musical chairs to find them a regular winger. Josh Anderson was for a few games, but when he fell into a deep lethargy, we saw Artturi Lehkonen, Joel Armia, Mike Hoffman and Rem Pitlick succeeding alongside them.
Obviously all these guys had their momentsbut one thing seems pretty obvious: they need to find a regular winger to complete the long-term line.
#Habs Headline-grabber: Who is best suited to join the Nick Suzuki-Cole Caufield bloodline? https://t.co/TlmErEGvlJ
— Andrea Rowe (@AndreaRowe_12) April 9, 2022
To illustrate the importance of finding him quickly, I find it useful to remind you of the case of Jesperi Kotkaniemi last season. The Finnish center had been transferred to substantially all the other attackers of the team. He was never able to find consistency by his side, and he himself said that it had probably harmed his development a bit.
Let’s not repeat the same mistake, therefore: find it as soon as possible.
In an ideal world, Anderson would probably be the ideal candidate. Without being a winger eliteit brings a physical dimension and it is fast. This is what the two youngsters would ideally need by their side: a guy who can keep up with them and who can get his hands dirty to open up the game for them.
Except that despite his qualities, Anderson is a very volatile player. It will have excellent sequences, but it happens to him to to crash when he falls into lethargy. We see it now: Andy is much less visible now during games than he was in his early days on the line of Suzuki and Caufield.
Otherwise, internally, Armia has much the same problem as Anderson, Hoffman does not complement the two youngsters and Pitlick may be solid, but I’m not sure he has the caliber of a first-line guy. Without taking anything away from the player, who has done an excellent job since his arrival in Montreal, he would be more useful in a depth role.
Unless you attract a guy like Filip Forsberg, I don’t think the answer is in the free agent market.
At the draft? Maybe a guy like Juraj Slafkovsky could fill that role in a few years. In the short term, this is not a solution, but perhaps in the medium and long term.
I’m not against the idea of trying the Anderson experience again (and even continuing the Pitlick experience, which is doing all in all well so far) by the end of the season and even next year if it must. However, there must be a long-term plan to complete the trio of the two youngsters. Finding the right winger is not an easy task, I agree, and that’s why it must be a priority at the CH.
In short, to be continued, but we will have to see if “the answer” will come to Montreal this summer.
A lot of
– A historic moment in the history of the Habs.
Captain Courage ❤️
20 years ago today, Saku Koivu returned to the game after his battle with cancer.
— Montreal Canadiens (@CanadiensMTL) April 9, 2022
– It would take him three goals in 11 games to end the season. I believe in it, and you?
“Yes, I would like to reach 20 goals. Especially after the start of the season that I have had, it would be nice.” – Cole Caufield
Caufield now has 17 goals.
— JF Chaumont (@JFCchaumontJDM) April 9, 2022
– HPR continues to do well in Laval.
Rafaël Harvey-Pinard is the main safe bet of the Rocket. Since Feb. 20, he has 29 points in 24 games and a plus-14 record. We know exactly what kind of effort we can expect from him in every game. My opinion? He will be a Canadian next year.
—Anthony Marcotte (@anthonymarcotte) April 9, 2022
– One game suspension for Casey Cizikas.
Casey Cizikas of the New York Islanders was suspended for one game for Brendan Smith of Boarding Carolina. https://t.co/JrLRTpmflJ
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) April 9, 2022
– It would be quite a shock wave in the MLB.
Steve Cohen could take advantage of this to strike a blow with a New York flavor. https://t.co/3dPL6qlppl
— Passion MLB (@passion_mlb) April 9, 2022