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Evgenii Dadonov: finding Peter DeBoer has given him a new lease on life

When the Habs acquired Evgenii Dadonov in return for Shea Weber’s contract last summer, it seemed like a good move for Kent Hughes, who got rid of a liability in exchange for a player who could possibly be traded at the trade deadline.

But Dadonov didn’t exactly have a great start to the season, so we wondered which team would dare go after him. In the end, Hughes traded him to the Dallas Stars for the enigmatic Denis Gurianov. Once again, a good bet for the CH, who got a young player in return for a veteran who was going to leave anyway.

That said, the Russian forward is doing well in a Stars uniform. He scored 15 points in 23 games to close out the regular season, and in the playoffs, he scored four goals in the team’s first eight games, which is as many as he scored in 50 games with the Tricolore.

This morning, Jonathan Bernier published an excellent piece in which we can clearly see that Dadonov is a better player since his arrival in Dallas. And it’s safe to assume that reuniting with his former coach Peter DeBoer has given him a new lease on life.

Because in reality, Dadonov doesn’t necessarily seem to give a more sustained effort. He wins about the same number of one-on-one battles along the boards, but he’s surrounded by a club that’s simply much more efficient.

And by the same token, it allows him to indulge in flights of fancy (because he has the opportunity, being surrounded by good players).

And clearly, DeBoer’s system shouldn’t hurt him either. He’d done well under his tutelage in Vegas, and now he’s enjoying success again under his tutelage on the Dallas side.

Sometimes, things just click between a coach and a player for a reason that isn’t necessarily obvious.

Clearly, then, the Stars shouldn’t regret the acquisition of Dadonov, who has played his role as offensive support player to perfection since arriving in Texas. Especially since Gurianov didn’t exactly destroy everything in his path in Montreal…

We’ll see if the trend continues, but at the heart of a more than respectable offensive top-9, Dadonov doesn’t seem to be downgraded at all. A bit surprising considering he sometimes looked like a passenger in Montreal, but good for him, that said.

In bursts

– What do you think?

– Impressive.

– Leon Draisaitl is a machine.

– It doesn’t get any better for the Yankees pitcher, who still hasn’t pitched with the club.

– Quite a game.

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