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Alexandre Pratt wants to see Arber Xhekaj sidelined

Arber Xhekaj is a useful addition to Martin St-Louis’s line-up, because he brings an element of toughness to the Montreal Canadiens’ line-up.

His style of play is quite physical, and everyone knows that he won’t hesitate to throw down the gloves if called upon to do so. And there aren’t any players like him on the CH, apart from Michael Pezzetta.

But since the start of the campaign, Arber Xhekaj has been a little undisciplined. He leads the NHL in minor penalties so far this season and often tries to go for the big hit, which automatically takes him out of the game.

The young man has always been a popular player around town, but that popularity seems to be fading at La Presse. In the most recent episode of the “Sortie de zone” podcast, Alexandre Pratt argues that Xhekaj should be left out because of his ordinary play:

I like Xhekaj less than the average person […] Yes there’s toughness, but if it’s to get your team in trouble, you’ve got no business in the lineup for (at least) a few games. – Alexandre Pratt

We know that La Presse is anti-battle and that Arber Xhekaj isn’t afraid to fight.

Does that explain why Alexandre Pratt would like to see him left out, or is it really just because the defenseman is having trouble on the ice? Because he’s taking stupid penalties?

Either way, it’s not going to make a lot of people happy, because fans love the man nicknamed “Wi-Fi” all over the NHL. We’re talking about a crowd favorite and we’re talking about a guy who’s loved by fans because of his track record…

But in the end, the question still has to be asked. If Martin St-Louis believes that leaving Xhekaj out can help the team’s success, it’s up to the coach to make the decision to improve his chances of winning.

Because it’s true that it’s difficult to win games on a regular basis when certain players in the line-up are undisciplined. Arber Xhekaj needs to learn to pick his moments and not commit himself too quickly on the ice.

That comes with experience, and he’s only 22.

He’ll understand things over time, and the Canadiens are allowing him to make mistakes right now, so that he’ll be able to realize that he mustn’t repeat them the further his career advances.

One thing at a time. On the other hand, if he continues to make the same mistakes on the ice, Martin St-Louis will have to send him a message.

In gusto

– Calvary. He’s no slouch!

– Bravo!

– Do you know what? I agree.

– The BPM Sports guys have become real actors. It’s great to see.

– Yep.

– Andreas Johnsson heads to Sweden.

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