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

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.

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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.