Since the departure of Max Pacioretty, the Canadiens had no snipers among his ranks. Brendan Gallagher is a scorer, but he does not owe his success to his shooting. According to Jake Allen, the Canadien may have found Pacioretty’s successor.
» A missile «
In an interview earlier today at the Brossard Sports Complex, number 34 had some good words for Jesperi Kotkaniemi. When a reporter asked him which players he thought had the best wrist shot, the 30-year-old goaltender’s answer left no room for doubt.
« His [Kotkaniemi’s] shot is next level. This kid has got an absolute missile of a wrister. »
He then also complimented Nick Suzuki and Josh Anderson for their shots. Anderson, said Allen, manages to fire a good shot while skating.
These comments go hand in hand with those of Claude Julien. The Canadien’s coach, when questioned about the young Finn’s strengths, mentioned his shot.
« He’s a player with a great shot. We want him to shoot. »
The Power Play
Everyone knows that the CH power play has not been powerful for too long. The absence of a sniper remains one of the main problems today. Apart from Weber, no other player dares to take a shot. When the opposing team covers him, we witness a frenzy of passes and plays along the boards. A real shooter finally means a viable 2nd option on the power play.
Shooting more often
Incidentally, scoring « easier » goals could increase Kotkaniemi’s confidence and encourage him to fire more shots. Last season, the 6’2″ center averaged 1.53 shots per game. He was 16th on the team in this regard, behind prolific scorers such as Jordan Weal and Nick Cousins.
The Matthews, Ovechkin and Pastrnak are not only the highest scorers, but also the highest shooters. Considering the quality of his shots, it is in the interest of the Canadiens that Kotkaniemi shoots more often.
View Jake Allen’s interview: https://twitter.com/CanadiensMTL/status/1347248432633798665 (5:30 for the question on the shooters)
translated by Michel-Alexandre Broekaert