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Nick Suzuki: his aggressiveness puts him among the NHL’s elite on the power play

When we think of the Canadiens’ future, we immediately think of Nick Suzuki, who, in an ideal world, would be the club’s first long-term center. Some doubt his ability to take on such a role for an aspiring team, but while Suzuki will probably never score 100 points in a season, he excels at all the little things.

Without saying he has the caliber of a Patrice Bergeron, I see him as a first center in a similar mold: not the most offensive, but very, very complete.

Because Suzuki’s defensive game makes him an important cog in the CH’s power play. And what we notice is that he doesn’t hesitate to take risks when his team is short a man.

And today, Marc Dumont published an excellent article in which he delves into the captain’s shorthanded style of play, a style that is quite aggressive on the whole.

When one of his teammates is in the dungeon, Suzuki isn’t afraid to take risks by trying to get the puck into the opponent’s zone. But even if the strategy isn’t unanimous (some like to simply clear the disc for fear of getting caught on the counter-attack), Suzuki adopts it and it makes him really effective.

As well as allowing him to score goals from time to time, it also comes with an interesting defensive performance. In fact, Suzuki is the CH’s best forward at limiting the opposition’s shots when the other team has the man advantage.

In Suzuki’s eyes, then, the best defense is offense, and clearly, he seems to be on to something.

Of course, not every player on the Bettman circuit can afford to advocate such an aggressive style when short-handed: it takes a guy with great game intelligence to be able to understand the right situations in which to attack, and Suzuki clearly has it.

Suzuki will never be as productive offensively as Connor McDavid, but his impact goes far beyond points. Here’s a good example.

With time, Suzuki will be even better surrounded in the power play, so he’ll be able to be even more aggressive. And if he’s well supported, that has the potential to pay more than interesting dividends.

In bursts

– Calling all interested parties.

– Portrait of Sacha Boisvert, Quebec’s top prospect for the upcoming draft. [HF]

– Signing in Trois-Rivières.

– Patrik Nemeth is off to Europe.

– Great news in the Bronx. My text on the subject.

– The Grizzlies let him go, and he’s now in Houston.

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