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Kirby Dach: Soon to be one of the NHL’s elite defensive centers?
Credit: Nov 9, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens forward Kirby Dach (77) throws a foam puck to fans after the win against the Vancouver Canucks at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

We can’t say enough about the genius of the Kent Hughes deal that brought Kirby Dach to Montreal. The former third overall pick in the draft has made and will continue to make Kent Hughes and Habs fans happy, and I’m not at all worried about that.

On the other hand, as much as I love him, I’m not convinced he’ll become a great player in the national league. He’s physically great, yes, but does he really have what it takes to be among the Bettman elite in any category? The question arises, and surprisingly, there’s an answer I wasn’t expecting at all.

Marc Dumont of published a piece earlier today highlighting some of the 6′-4″ giant’s dream stats.

When he complemented Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield on the team’s first line of attack, the trio earned 52% of shots and 50.5% of expected goals. When they weren’t? 41.7% of shots went to them and a mediocre 30.5% of expected goals.

That’s a big drop, especially for a trio that’s supposed to be pulling the team up!

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With Dach, the first trio was scoring 2.6 goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 and allowing 2.57 goals. Without him, it’s 1.69 goals for and 3.85 against. Once again, his impact doesn’t go unnoticed.

According to Dumont, these numbers suggest that Kirby Dach could one day be one of the NHL’s best defensive center players, perhaps even in the top-10. As I said earlier, I’m not convinced it’s possible, but I’d love to be wrong on this one.

I also think it’s a very small sample size to make such a claim. That’s a lot of pressure on Dach’s shoulders all of a sudden. But who knows, maybe it will come true, and that will only make this transaction that much harder for the Chicago Blackhawks to understand.

In brief

– The best defenseman this season is Erik Karlsson.

– Linus Ullmark wins the Vézina after a historic Bruins season.

– The Bruins haven’t finished shuffling the deck.

– By the way, Jim Montgomery would make room for Patrice Bergeron, no matter how many games.

– Montgomery also won a trophy tonight.

– Alex DeBrincat in Detroit, it seems to be written in the sky.

– Here’s the montage I least expected to see today.

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