Christian Dvorak has had a rough go of it since joining the Montreal Canadiens. Acquired in the wake of the Jesperi Kotkaniemi offer sheet fiasco, his addition was somewhat of a panic move by former general manager Marc Bergevin. They needed a centre, which ostensibly made the trade and subsequent contract extension a must, at the time.
Dvorak joined a team that was coming off a Stanley Cup Final appearance, yet struggled much like every other player on the roster en route to a last place finish. He’s been quiet to start this season, needing something to get him going and put last year behind him. He found that and more against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.
It all started with a little puck luck, which is something that has mostly eluded him since arriving in Montreal. He was looking for Kirby Dach with a cross-ice pass, and one well placed enough where it likely would have earned him an assist
This is going to be Dvorak's goal. Looking for Dach but he gets the old member's bounce into the net instead.— Matt Drake (@DrakeMT) October 30, 2022
He needed that. pic.twitter.com/qFyTnlfkmK
This seemed to get the juices flowing, as moments later he’d execute a beautiful tip on a Josh Anderson shot. It was a tip so close to the height limit that it warranted a booth review, but the goal was confirmed, and he had himself a multi-goal game. Add in an empty netter in the dying minutes, and you have a hat trick that is just what, if not more than the doctor ordered.
Dvorak wasn’t just opportunistic in this game, he was arguably the best player on the ice for the Habs.
The goals were a welcome reward for a very effective overall game, and something that he can build on as the season progresses. His name has been floated in trade talks before, and whether or not the new management regime wants to move on from him, increased production will be important.
He may have been added as a panic move, but the current management regime has time to evaluate what he can bring to them in the remaining two years of his deal. Conversely, they can test the trade market, but moving him without eating salary in return will be tough without legitimate production as a selling point.
This is a big year for him, and hopefully his big game in Missouri is a sign of good things to come.
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