Montreal Canadiens: Downside of the Vegas Golden Knights’ success
Montreal Canadiens: Jacob de La Rose and Sweden are in the Quarter Finals
The Vegas Golden Knights are one of the best stories to come in the last decade, but could also be dangerous for teams like the Montreal Canadiens.
It’s fitting that the Vegas Golde Knights have gold in their uniform. Everything they’ve touched this season has worked. All four of the goaltenders who have suited up this year have had success, William Karlsson became a 40-goal scorer, and the team is in the Western Conference Final. A lot of teams in the NHL can take a lesson from what they’ve accomplished, including the Montreal Canadiens.
The fact that they’ve been able to get solid performances out of their roster. The majority of them were bottom-six options or healthy scratches, but they’ve found a nice of their own in Vegas. It makes you wonder who on the Habs could benefit from getting a similar opportunity.
Now that’s the good thing to take away from the Golden Knights. There is, however, a downside. Not from the team itself, but from what their success will instil in the rest of the league. The NHL is a copycat league and management groups are always looking to dive into what works.
So what worked for Vegas? Effective coaching that resulted in consistent execution without any star power (on paper).
That isn’t going to work for everyone, especially not the Montreal Canadiens. The team needs some kind of change as far as player personnel goes. Although they were extremely unlucky at times, it wasn’t as bad to say that nothing has to be altered going into next season.
Nothing against the Golden Knights, but the Habs won’t automatically become a cup contender by replacing everyone on the team with players who play similarly to them. An idea like that is probably far from Marc Bergevin‘s thought process, but there may be other teams who indulge in it (not to the same extreme).
The most important takeaway from Vegas’ season is how important evaluation and coaching is. If the Habs can duplicate that aspect of that expansion team, they’ll be better off.
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The Montreal Canadiens saw some of its struggling players improve with a consistent role and usage in the lineup and more of that has to be done moving forward.
Seeing players like Jonathan Marchessault having success has fueled the frustration throughout the fan base. However, the Habs are taking the right steps to turn things around on that front.
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There are holes on the team that need to be filled and one, in particular, should be addressed sooner rather than later.
Noah Juulsen was given the much-needed room to grow into an NHL defenceman this season, and it showed in his ice time.
The Montreal Canadiens had a lot of chaos come their way due to faceoff losses in the defensive zone. Approaching that area of the game should be another focus heading into next season.