Bottom Six Minutes: The curious case of Jonathan Drouin
Will the Canadiens find a new home for Drouin before he becomes a free agent?
A stellar performance from Jake Allen managed to drag his Montreal Canadiens to overtime on Wednesday night, but no further. They were thoroughly dominated by the reigning Stanley Cup champions in the Colorado Avalanche, yet found themselves in bonus hockey anyways. Allen got them to the dance, and they actually almost won the game at three-on-three right before Mikko Rantanen’s dagger to end it.
And Jonathan Drouin, the man who almost ended the game for the Habs, presents a curious case for the team’s management this season.
He had a rather pedestrian game, but an explosive skate in the overtime period was what nearly had the team leaving with two points. It was an eye-popping display, where he cut wide with speed and almost scored, but the Avalanche took the loose puck the other way and scored themselves.
You could look at that overall game from a statistical standpoint, and conclude that there isn’t much of a market out there for Drouin’s services. But when you see an explosive individual effort like that, you have to wonder if the underlying numbers will matter. There must be a few teams out there who would be interested in acquiring someone capable of random feats of athleticism, notwithstanding that they belie weak underlying stats.
Being that he is in the final year of his deal, it is hard to envision a scenario where he is back in the Tricolore next season. It has been a rough go for him in Montreal since being acquired in a trade that sent a future star defenseman in Mikhail Sergachev the other way. Knowing that he likely won’t be back, the best thing for the Canadiens is to strike while the iron is hot, and try to get something in return.
Finding a trade partner might be difficult, but if these sporadic displays of skill continue, there just might be a deal to be made at some point.
Click the play button below to listen to your full Bottom Six Minutes, also available on your podcast platform of choice. We have another one day break in action, and will return this Friday when the Habs visit the Dallas Stars.