The Habs Miss Danault: The Narrative Debunked

The Canadiens are up to a very rough start to the season and it didn’t take much to get some media members going with their usual narratives. Ignoring that the team was without $30 millions in salary out of the line-up, those media members tried to feed to the gullible that it’s Phillip Danault that the Canadiens were missing. To be fair, most of it is coming from politically-driven media members who have a history of going after non-francophone players to protect their own, but some fans still buy that crap.

Let’s get two things clear before we start:

1- Carey Price and Shea Weber are the two players who, by far, the Habs miss most as they cannot be replaced and they had a much bigger impact than Phil, who is a good player by the way.

2- Many people are mistaken by thinking that Christian Dvorak replaces Jesperi Kotkaniemi in the line-up, because the trade happened the day that the Canadiens announced that they weren’t matching Carolina’s offer. In fact, Dvorak replaces, though his role on the team… Danault.

With that cleared out, let’s see how much “the Habs miss Danault”, shall we?

DANAULTDVORAK
28AGE25
6’1″HEIGHT6’1″
200 lbsWEIGHT200 lbs
5GP6
1G1
0A2
1PTS3
0.20PTS/GP0.50
16PACE41
8SOG8
4HITS4
4BkS7
5GvA1
2TkA2
54.8FO%54.2
17:38TOI/GP19:26
14:27EV TOI/GP14:53
1:44PP TOI/GP3:12
1:26SH TOI/GP1:22
$5.5MCAP HIT$4.5M

So it’s early in the season to make those comparatives, you say? Very true. But isn’t it also early in the season to claim that the Habs miss Danault or to make any claim of such? Let’s look at the last three years then. And let’s take into consideration that Dvorak played for… Arizona and that three years ago, Danault was 25 (Dvorak’s age today) while Devo was only 22.

DANAULTDVORAK
129GP132
19G36
53A36
72PTS72
0.56PTS/GP0.55
18EV G25
67EV PTS53
1PP G14
4PP PTS22
0SH G1
1SH PTS1
212SOG237
69BkS88
17:59TOI/GP17:33
1:04PP TOI/GP2:47
2:23SH TOI/GP1:02
53.7%FO%53.5%

You see, the Habs miss Kotkaniemi more than they miss Danault. Why? Because they replaced Danault more than adequately, but the issues they have at center is because they didn’t replace KK and are struggling to find a suitable third line center. As I write this, Mathieu Perreault had a career game with his hat trick against Detroit and we’re all hoping that he takes that spot.

So do yourself a favour. When you read or hear some media member claim something, don’t take that to the bank as the truth. Often, it’s sensationalist journalism to get attention or it’s driven for some political reason, particularly when it comes to local products. In this case, Marc Bergevin did an outstanding job at replacing Phillip Danault. He did not do a good job at replacing Shea Weber and that’s what hurts most. That and Price being out.

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