Thursday night’s game against the Anaheim Ducks was an entertaining, yet painful affair to watch. The Montreal Canadiens deserved a win, but in hockey as in life, you don’t always get what you deserve. The Habs are going to have a sell-off at the NHL trade deadline, which should be no surprise given their position through 42 games this season.
I just hope that Jake Evans isn’t a part of that sale, because last night showed he can be a part of a return to glory.
He scored two beautiful, highlight-reel goals that won’t be talked about nearly as much as they should. With the Michigan goal that Trevor Zegras scored in the second period overshadowing anything else, these two stellar efforts are likely to be forgotten. The first came while falling to the ice just before the aforementioned Michigan display.
The second was an equally impressive display of hands in tight, after receiving a pass from Rem Pitlick.
Pitlick to Evans for the second time tonight, and it's another nice effort from Evans to get the goal. pic.twitter.com/7FtNR6iZi3— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) January 28, 2022
Of course, if the right offer comes along, the Habs brass has to entertain it. But when it comes to Evans, I don’t see any team offering the type of return that would make it worth losing what he brings to your team through its seemingly inevitable rebuild.
He is one of the few players with positive on-ice numbers in expected goals-for (50.44%) on a team that is currently sitting at 44.93% on the season at even strength. Though his point totals don’t scream “keep me at all costs,” his reasonable price tag, defensive abilities, and penchant for goals like those highlighted above suggest you don’t want to let him go for peanuts.
To date, there aren’t even rumours of Evans going anywhere, and hopefully that continues to be the case. When they start selling off assets, I hope he is one that they hang on to.