In hockey like anywhere else, there are things that, for whatever reasons, are difficult to explain. How many times have we seen major trades at the trade deadline where a team acquires a star player, making them a Stanley Cup favourite according to all experts and fans alike, only to have a reverse effect on the ice and in the dressing room?
Many believe that the Montreal Canadiens tried hard to add a top 6 forward at the deadline, and Dustin Penner was apparently the targeted player. While Pierre Gauthier came short in completing that trade, being outbid by the Los Angeles Kings in the process, he may have made his biggest impact move without even knowing it, in acquiring a veteran defensive defenseman. And the impact so far has been… surprising to say the least.
Did you know that, since the arrival of Brent Sopel:
- the Canadiens are 4-0?
- the Canadiens have scored 15 goals while only allowing 6?
- Carey Price has a 1.33 goals against average and a save percentage of .963? (I’ve added those by hand, the true numbers may vary a bit)
- Roman Hamrlik went from playing 28:33 on February 24th to averaging around 21 minutes a game since then?
Granted, four games don’t make a season but something needs to be said about the team’s performance since that trade was made.