Samuel Langhorne Clemens, known by his pen name Mark Twain, was known as “the father of American literature”. While he passed in 1910, a year after the Montreal Canadiens first saw the ice, his quotes plaster the internet to this date. A true philosopher, a man of wisdom, he is still an inspiration to this date. Amongst his many great quotes, he once said: “The trouble with the world is not that people know too little; it’s that they know too many things that just aren’t so.”
Too often, people have misconceptions about different topics in life. A misconception is a view or opinion that is incorrect because it is based on faulty thinking or understanding. We’ve all witnessed some, most of us even spread misconceptions construed as what we thought was the truth. Some seem to make a living of falsely mistaking their own truth, or misconception, as the ultimate truth.
Thankfully, by doing some research, it’s easy to dismantle myths or misconceptions from the truth… but one has to take the time necessary to do that research and that’s what I like to do. In this case, we hear a lot about the linemates some of the newly acquired Canadiens have had over the years. So I figured: why not get to the bottom of it, to the truth? I passed on Jake Allen for obvious reasons but I researched the even strength ice time and partners in the past several years for Josh Anderson, Tyler Toffoli and Joel Edmundson. This way, at least the readers of this little blog will be armed with the truth when confronted by people spreading misconceptions.
In his first full season in the NHL, Anderson played with now Vegas Golden Knights centre William Karlsson, who had yet to breakout in the NHL if we recall. Since then, Boone Jenner has been a fixture at centre with the rugged winger at even strengths.
A few days ago, someone asked Dennis Bernstein of The Fourth Period who Tyler Toffoli had as centre most times in Los Angeles and if he could play left wing, and here’s what he had to say.
While Dennis is right when saying that Toffoli spent most of his time on right wing, there’s a bit of misinformation or confusion when he said that last year mirrored his time in L.A. Yes, he’s a right winger and played that position with the Kings so in that aspect, it did mirror. But not with Anze Kopitar as a centre. It defied my eye test watching the Kings as to me, Dustin Brown has been a fixture to the right of Kopitar on right wing over the years. It turns out that I was right. Every year, Brown is the most utilised right winger with Kopitar, the Kings’ best centre, not Toffoli. Jeff Carter was Toffoli’s centre for most of those years.
We have read tons of misinformation about rugged defenseman Joel Edmundson and his utilisation, particularly from fans of other teams, claiming that he’s a bottom pairing defenseman. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? It seems like not so long ago, they were telling us the same thing about Ben Chiarot… so let’s get to the bottom of this one too.
As you can see now, he has been playing on the top-4 each and every single season, even in his rookie year, although he spend more time on the bottom pair that year. So if someone claims that Edmundson isn’t a legitimate top-4 defenseman in the NHL when he clearly was on a strong St. Louis Blues’ team, you know that they’re blowing smoke up your ‘you-know-what’.
My feeling is that since the Canadiens don’t have any offensive superstars, they will have three solid lines who will be able to contribute to the offense every night. In my humble opinion, we have to drop the 1st line, 2nd line, 3rd line tags and go with a top-9 and 4th line characterization instead. The Habs have three right wingers capable of providing 20-30 goals a season. They have three centres capable of generating some offense although none will be mistaken for Sidney Crosby or Connor McDavid. They only have two left wingers with enough offensive flair though, but as it stands today, Artturi Lehkonen, Paul Byron and Joel Armia (on his off wing?) can be placed on one of the top-3 lines.
As it stands today, this is the lineup I anticipate seeing:
Tatar – Danault – Gallager
Drouin – Suzuki – Anderson
Lehkonen – Kotkaniemi – Toffoli
Byron – Evans – Armia
Chiarot – Weber
Edmundson – Petry
Romanov – ***
Price – Allen
*** Kulak, Mete, Fleury, Juulsen
Go Habs Go!