Why not Caufield? | The Journal of Montreal


Question. Why are Tatar, Suzuki, Drouin, Danault and KK not playing to their full potential as they did so well at the start of the season in January?

The addition of the Anderson, Toffoli, Allen, Romanov and Perry had given them a boost and they were beautiful to see. In a new dynamic, they believed in themselves. First on the puck, cunning and tenacious in the corners, involved in defense, accomplices in exits. But, suddenly or almost, everything collapsed in less than a month. Even the coach has disappeared.

And when there is no more attack, it is often the defense that eats up the first blow. Weber’s slowness became more evident, Patry had to stop supporting an anemic, half-hearted offensive. Young Romanov’s mistakes swelled. Chiarot got injured, we didn’t believe in Ouellet and – I didn’t like it – we abandoned Victor Mete.

NOTHING MORE WITH STAAL

The addition of Staal did absolutely nothing and I do not believe that Merril and Gustavsson will bring back the enthusiasm of the beginning. So there is still a beautiful, an attractive avenue, a chance. Her name is Cole Caufield.

Nothing, but absolutely nothing to lose. On the contrary. Not old enough? Well then. He is 20 years old. Fifteen players younger than him are currently playing in the National League, including a certain Alexis Lafrenière. Jack Hugues in Jersey is 19 years old as is the excellent Tim Stützle in Ottawa.

Four points in two games, comfortable as it can be and never intimidated, Caufield’s entry into the American League has been unequivocal.

The Canadian attack is flat and there is in the stands a natural counter, a gifted who dreams of endorsing his number 22. Find the mistake.

Joël Bouchard, teammates, scouts and other hockey heads have all said it: this guy is an exceptional case. What are we waiting for ?

WHAT RISK?

Among the top 10 scorers in the NHL currently, only Brad Marchand and Leon Draisaitl (6 games) have passed through the American League before rising in rank in the big circuit. Everyone else, straight from the minor to the NHL. So, if you drafted this little guy in the first round, it’s because he is capable of doing like the others.

The Canadian is not in a position to be afraid in a youth league, and if Caufield shows he can’t, there will be nothing humiliating about him finishing his classes in Laval.

Caufield can play at this speed, and, like he did with the Rocket, he will very quickly be able to stand out, uncover himself and unleash dangerous shots. Cole Caufield has never played with such good passers as those in the NHL, he will quickly know how to take advantage. Don’t tell me he can do worse than Eric Staal.

Unless you’re dealing with a bunch of heartless people, the arrival of a youngster like him in the lineup should awaken those with the big brother instinct. His first experiences, the others have all lived them and that can only stimulate a great team spirit.

Come on, give him a chance and take him under your wing. Take the jewel out of the box and show it to everyone. That’s good, we need it.

Aggression or, if not, drowsiness in a team, it often starts from decisions from above.

PS In 1986 a rookie coach won the Cup with 11 rookies.

From the enclave


Milan Lucic

Photo Martin Chevalier

Milan Lucic

  • He may not be the most skillful, but Milan Lucic at 6’3, 233 lbs, by the end of the night, you’re tired of having him in your face.
  • Either he is injured or he is in very poor physical condition. Nick suzuki, 21, is not really what it was last year.
  • In almost all bass outfitters Laurentians and Lanaudière, we don’t remember seeing the lakes stall as early as this year. Will the trout have a new attitude? Only his fisherman will know.
  • Somewhere in Moscow, Vladislav Tretyak celebrates its 69th birthday today. Younger obviously, Marie-Josée Turcotte of Radio-Canada Sports is also blowing candles today.
  • In a survey of 600 NHL players last year, over 40% of respondents believed that Carey Price was the best keeper on the circuit. Can’t wait to see this year.
  • Paul byron is the one who represents the Canadian within the NHL Players Association. His assistant is Brendan Gallagher.
  • Did you know that the number 9 of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies has been retired? We paid tribute to Mike Ribeiro who, at the end of the 1998-1999 campaign, had accumulated 167 points.



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