With 9 healthy defensemen, JF Houle had to make choices. He starts by cutting Mattias Norlinder this afternoon in Winnipeg. It’s not a good start for the Swede, who doesn’t have the same panache we saw at the CH camp with 2 points and the AHL’s worst record at -13.
– Anthony Marcotte (@anthonymarcotte) November 12, 2023
Mattias Norlinder surprised many at the Habs camp this season. He was one of the team’s last cuts, and if it hadn’t been for the congestion on the blue line (on the left side), he would have had a better chance of making the club.
But with the Rocket, it’s very different. Norlinder isn’t doing a good job. And today, he’ll be left out.
Jean-François Houle has a lot of healthy defensemen in the lineup, and he had to make choices.
The Rocket has nine defensemen, but that’s including Gustav Lindstrom, who left for Montreal because of doubts about Jordan Harris.
I don’t know if the Swede was upset about being cut from the big club, but clearly, playing like this isn’t going to earn him a recall. Is the defenseman’s performance at the big club’s training camp just a flash in the pan, and the Norlinder of recent seasons back?
Let’s hope his absence from this afternoon’s game sends him a message.
Like Norlinder, the Rocket hasn’t had the start to the season they’d hoped for. They had high expectations for the 2023-2024 season, yet their 2-7-1 record ranks them last in the North Division. Laval hasn’t played in a week, so he’s had time to prepare.
Let’s see if they (re)find their way to victory.