And that’s got some Tricolore fans worried, as they’d love to see Xhekaj play a full season.
He also believes he’s already proven himself as a strongman in the NHL and won’t have to throw down the gloves as often.
With players like Reaves and Lucic in the mix, some Montreal Canadiens fans have expressed concern for Arber Xhekaj’s fight card.
– Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) July 8, 2023
Xhekaj no longer has to prove his place in the NHL, but can still prove he’s one of the league’s toughest, if not the toughest.
If he can add Lucic and Reaves to his list of victories, we’ll have to seriously believe he’s at the top of the league at this level.
For that, he’ll need to exact revenge against Quebecers Vincent Desharnais and Nicolas Deslauriers, his only two defeats. The latter clearly had the upper hand on the rookie, even if few shots were thrown.
Recently, Xhekaj confirmed that he won’t be afraid to fight when he returns to action, despite the serious injury he sustained.
Although he’ll have to be more selective in his fights and not throw down the gloves in every game, Xhekaj will continue to play hard and still hope to make a big impact.
#Habs Arber Xhekaj says he doesn’t think his willingness to fight will change because of his injury but will just be smarter: ” I’ll think about it more, think about my career long-term more now, think about my timing more with the fact that I don’t need to prove myself anymore “
– Priyanta Emrith (@HabsInHighHeels) April 10, 2023
Joel Edmundson was also throwing down the gloves for the CH, but since he’s been traded, Xhekaj may have more work to do, especially with Reaves and Lucic facing the team on a regular basis.
Of course, there’s also Michael Pezzetta to contend with, but his spot isn’t guaranteed with the surplus of forwards in the lineup. There’s very little chance of Pezz playing the full complement of games, but he should be in the line-up against the stronger clubs.
Chances are good that he will, but there’s no guarantee that Anderson will stay with the team all season, as he’s a highly sought-after type of player across the league and could change address.
What’s more, there’s nothing to stop Kent Hughes from acquiring another goon or strong player despite the surplus of forwards, with rival clubs having strengthened at this level. To do so, he’ll have to clean house, and transactions will have to take place.
In short, the 2023-2024 season should be very interesting, and we could see Xhekaj establish himself as the league’s toughest player.
– You’ll agree: It’s incredible!
Full sequence of Elly De La Cruz hitting a single then stealing second, third AND home. pic.twitter.com/WM5Mw9nUtD
– Sporting News MLB (@sn_mlb) July 8, 2023
– The chances of the two young defenders becoming the first duo seem to be quite high.
Reinbacher had good words for Lane Hutson
– Montreal Canadiens (@CanadiensMTL) July 8, 2023
– Nice gesture from Ian Cole.
– A duel not to be missed.