Injuries are starting the pile up for the Montreal Canadiens, which now presents an opportunity for some underachieving players to step up and make an impact.
When you look at the Canadiens’ scoring structure, the top line of Cole Caufield, Nick Suzuki and Kirby Dach lead the team in points, followed closely by veteran Sean Monahan.
After this quarter of offensive players, only one forward has notched more than ten points so far this season, with Christian Dvorak recently hitting 11 points on the season through 26 games.
In the meantime, players like Dvorak and Josh Anderson have stepped up, but they’ll need help, and the players below need to be the ones to provide it:
It’s been a tough season for Jake Evans so far.
An ever-changing cast of linemates on the Montreal Canadiens’ fourth line and some inconsistent usage this season have hampered his ability to produce offence, but a drop-off of this magnitude is concerning.
After 26 games this season, Evans has accumulated just four assists , while posting some of the lowest underlying numbers on the team.
With Monahan likely to miss some time, Evans has been promoted up to the team’s third line with Anderson and rookie Juraj Slafkovsky.
It’s a prime opportunity for Evans to step out of a primarily defensive role and contribute much more offensively, as he has in the past.
Evgenii Dadonov has been much better as of late, looking more engaged and making better choices with the puck, but it simply isn’t going in the net.
After a very slow start to the season, he has two points in his last three games. His minutes have risen to a season-high of 17 minutes per game in the face of all the Canadiens’ injuries.
He seems to have found some chemistry with Joel Armia and Christian Dvorak, and the trio seemed to have gelled while on their western road trip.
Head coach Martin St-Louis is trusting the 33-year-old veteran with holding down an offensive role with the team, and, if Dadonov wants to entice a playoff team to take him on come March 3rd, it would be in his best interest to take advantage of the golden opportunity.
Although he may have notched his two first points on the season, after 15 games, during the Canadiens’ recent road trip, Joel Armia‘s start to the season has been less-than-ideal.
The 29-year-old veteran is still looking for his first goal of the season, despite getting favourable usage in the Canadiens’ top-9.
With Hoffman and Gallagher out, Armia has been slotted next to Christian Dvorak and the pair seem to have found some good chemistry.
The Canadiens have a tougher, more physically demanding schedule that awaits them, and a player like Armia is tailor-made to thrive in those games.
With the way his season ended last year, Armia needs to show more or face the possible threat of a buyout down the line.