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Ducks Dominated… + Danault Breaking Out

February 6, 2019, 12:43 PM ET [604 Comments]
Brandon Smillie
Montreal Canadiens Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT

The Canadiens put a beating on the Anaheim Ducks last night in a game that made me kind of feel for the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim…. Well, I felt bad for a couple seconds before I remembered that this team has beaten us routinely for about a decade…

The one thing I came away with last night was that the Ducks are a very bad team. They look slow, lost, and defeated. I mean, when your team is trading for Del Zotto for help it’s kind of like scrapping the bottom of the barrel. Kind of like when LA hadn’t really accepted reality yet and started claiming anyone that came across the waiver wire.

Kesler and Getzlaf combined Shot Attempts For (SAT-F) and against (SAT-A) was 26-45 for a CF% 35.8 averaged between them. This was the contribution of the Ducks top 2 C’s and the rapidly declining Corey Perry. Also, my Twitter feed was inundated with calls for the Habs to acquire Cam Fowler…. He finished last night with a CF% of 34.1 with 15 SAT-F and 29 SAT-A. That would put his performance on par with our bottom 2 CF% players from last night Benn (CF 26.9%) and Kulak (CF 37.9%).

Could Fowler perform better in MTL? Likely, but I’m just presenting the stats as they are and discussing.

Of note for Corsi fans, Reilly led the Canadiens with a CF 74.4% with 29 SAT-F and 10 SAT-A. So obviously the advanced stats aren’t the end all be all, but you get an idea of how people are playing or how effective their deployment was and that is very valuable information.

My critique of the Ducks players isn’t to be taken as me condemning them to retirement. Are you kidding me? I would take Getzlaf in a heartbeat on the Habs. If the cost was a 3rd or less for Perry I would take him too for PP and playoff purposes. But they aren’t playing very good hockey at all lately and one has to wonder if there is an emerging problem in the room or if the coach has lost the players attention.

Either way, they gave us 2 important points before the next 4 games really put the Canadiens to the test. The next 4 games are against Winnipeg, Toronto, Nashville, and Tampa Bay... Yeesh...

Danault Continues To Impress

Last season I used a bunch of Danault’s stats to predict a break out to 50+ points and as we know that did not occur. Danault and the Habs fought injuries, sub par goaltending, and an inability to finish on their way to 3rd overall pick J Kotkaniemi. He ended up with 8 G and 17 A in 52 games, so I was wrong….

Wait, I wasn’t wrong, I just mixed up the year of the break out!

Ok, I won’t be THAT arrogant, but it’s great to see Danault taking another step forward in his development. The addition of Domi allows Danault to have proper assignments and has even helped Danault average more ice time per game than any other season in his NHL career (17:49 avg TOI in 18-19, 16:35 TOI in 17-18, 15:35 TOI in 16-17.

This season Danault has 10 G and 26 A in 54 games and is 4 points away from tying his career high 40 points from the 16-17 season with 28 games to go. His PPG would indicate he is on pace for about 55 points and his advanced stats give support to his break out with a CF of 56.8% and a FF of 55.5%. He is also winning 53.4% of his face offs (572 W, 499 L).

As much as we have falling over ourselves to pat Domi on the back (and we should!) we need to bring more attention to Danault rounding nicely into an effective top 6 C for the Habs this season.

In fact, I think Domi, Danault, Kotkaniemi down the middle is the biggest reason for the Canadiens turnaround. If the Canadiens could get some of the wingers to finish more often the Habs might even have a solid chance at home ice in the first round of these upcoming playoffs

The Canadiens sure could use a trigger man/goal scorer for a potential playoff run…. I wonder if Corey Perry is available?

Go Habs Go
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