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Marcus Foligno would be the best player to complement Suzuki and Caufield, according to Sportlogiq
Credit: Nov 12, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens forward Nick Suzuki (14) celebrates with teammates including forward Cole Caufield (22) after scoring a goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

I like the idea that a sport never stops evolving. New strategies are constantly emerging, new data is being exploited, managers are trying to make the most of existing regulations, and so on. All this means that today’s sport is not quite the same as yesterday’s, nor tomorrow’s. Call me a romantic if you like. Call me a romantic if you like, but I like the idea that a sport like field hockey can be the target of a revolution. With this background, you’ll understand that I really appreciate the advances and the impact they can have on the game. This revolution really does exist, even if it’s not quite tangible for the average person (myself included). All NHL teams have equipped themselves with specialists in the field, not for nothing. But sometimes, by trying to think too hard, you can end up derailing the machine. That’s what happened when Sportlogiq tried to find the best player to play on Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield’s trio. Scanning the entire NHL roster, Chris Boucher’s former employer, now director of the CH’s advanced statistics analysis department, attempted to rate all players out of 100 according to the likelihood of his association with the dynamic duo working out. According to the classification proposed by the Journal de Montréal in its article, the most realistic option, and one that would supposedly yield the best results, would be Marcus Foligno with a score of 71.42%. Realistic, yes. Desirable… not so much in my opinion, when the 31-year-old veteran saw his stats drop drastically last season from 42 points to just 21, including 7 goals.

It has qualities that the other two don’t, but is it really enough to stand the test of time? When we talk about realism, we’re implying that the player could quite easily land in Montreal. For Foligno, his declining performances combined with his $3.1 million salary for one more season probably make him easy enough for Kent Hughes to acquire. In fact, Bill Guerin would be happy for Hughes to call him up for his services! I say this because there are other, so-called realistic options which, in my opinion, make much more sense. These include Nils Höglander at 69.16%, Pierre Engvall at 67.28%, William Carrier at 64.96% and Jesper Bratt at 62.39%. The latter, with his 73 points this season at just 24 years of age, would indeed be very interesting to acquire, but let’s bet that Tom Fitzgerald won’t be too eager to put him back under contract this summer when he’ll be RFA. In the top choices, but which are unrealistic (you’ll understand why), we find guys like Auston Matthews (100%), Aleksander Barkov (92.27%) and Connor McDavid (87.49%). One name on this second list made me cringe when I read it: Phillip Danault with a score of 81.80%. You have to admit, he would have been perfect with them. Too bad Marc Bergevin preferred to shower Brendan Gallagher and Joel Armia with gold instead of him. But hey, a wise old man once said, “If you want loyalty, buy yourself a dog.”

In gossip

– Jack always puts on a Hughes show. #PromiseJeNeLeReferaiPlus

– Who do you think has the best goal?

– Just a reminder that he’s only 24!

– One year already.

– We wish them the best of luck for the future.

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