It’s been an interesting first quarter of the season for Ben Chiarot. He had his early struggles, but has since come into his own as the season wears on. In the Montreal Canadiens’ win over the Boston Bruins in early November, he and Shea Weber combined to shut down a vaunted Bruins attack for three period. On Sunday, on the second night of a back-to-back, without a regular top-four option, it was Chiarot who ended up leading the defence again.
At five-on-five, Chiarot led the Canadiens in ice time by over four minutes over the next closest player, Jeff Petry, and by over five minutes compared to Weber. It was a complete game from him in that time too, starting with a huge shot block to save a goal in the first period, and a massive check on David Pastrnak at the finish. Regardless of the result, he played head and shoulders above his defensive allies.
He put together a 64.52% Corsi-for percentage, third on the team and tops among the defenders, while also generating two scoring chances on his own, which trailed just Brett Kulak and Joel Armia. He has his limits, but in a brutally tough situation, Chiarot played better than anyone could have hoped on Sunday.
There are a lot of flaws and things to be pointed out in video during the week about what went wrong, but it would be wrong to not point out when things also went right for certain players. Chiarot got a sizable deal in the off-season, and games like this go a long toward proving that worth not only to fans but to the team that gave you that deal.
There’s a lot of season left, and hopefully a lot more showings like this out of Chiarot in Montreal.