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Friday Habs Headlines: Jesperi Kotkaniemi is helping to drive the Canadiens

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In today’s links, Kotkaniemi’s value to the Canadiens, wondering what to do with Jonathan Drouin, and David Backes’s decision to become an enforcer to extend his career.

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Montreal Canadiens Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Montreal Canadiens news and notes

  • Olivier Bouchard and Travis Yost present their cases for why Jesperi Kotkaniemi should receive Selke attention. [Athletique|TSN]
  • The young Finn approached the coach’s decision to scratch him against the Los Angeles Kings with his usual smile. [TVA]
  • What should the team do with Jonathan Drouin’s inconsistency? [Hockey Inside/Out]
  • Artturi Lehkonen is transitioning from a scorer to a playmaker. [Montreal Gazette]
  • The status of Marie-Philip Poulin is up in the air as Les Canadiennes prepare to start their playoff campaign on Friday against the Markham Thunder. [Journal de Montreal]

Around the league and elsewhere

  • After years of positive analytics but negative results, the Carolina Hurricanes are finally looking like a playoff team. [Sportsnet]
  • “When he speaks, you listen.” Barry Trotz’s journey to 800 NHL wins. [The Athletic]
  • David Backes is committing to a shift from power forward to enforcer, a decision that could have implications long beyond his hockey career. [The Hockey News]
  • What is the impact of “heavy hockey,” so prevalent in the playoffs, on winning? [The Athletic]
  • The Detroit Red Wings are shutting down Mike Green for the season after the reactivation of a virus that attacked his liver. [ProHockeyTalk]
  • Tomas Hertl, Radim Simek, and Lukas Radil reflect on what it means to be a Czech hockey player in the NHL. [The Athletic]
  • Another Tim Thompson montage, this time, in honour of International Women’s Day.