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Jeff Petry: the days when his place in the line-up was assured are over

I’ll be honest with you: Jeff Petry was one of my favorite defensemen in a Canadiens uniform. He was prone to a lot of blunders and suspect defensive play at times, sure, but he brought mobility and some offensive flair to a Montreal defensive brigade that didn’t really have any, besides Petry.

In the summer of 2021, he was probably the best defenseman in the famous top-4 that took the club to the finals. The guys were playing big hockey, and he was the first.

But his last season in Montreal was a laborious one. He was clearly not on the same page as Dominique Ducharme, and you could sense that he wanted to leave Quebec.

Kent Hughes traded him to the Penguins, along with Ryan Poehling, for Mike Matheson and the pick that has since become Bogdan Konyushkov.

Petry was unable to re-launch his career, however, and was traded back to the Habs last summer before being dealt to the Red Wings, where he would have the opportunity to re-launch his career at home…

Except that he hasn’t relaunched his career, far from it.

In fact, let’s face it: Petry, who was left out again today, is no longer a defenseman whose place in the lineup is assured every game.

In fact, Petry has already missed six of the Red Wings’ 17 games this season. Three of those have been due to injury, but the other three times he’s been left out altogether. He is unable to force the hand of coach Derek Lalonde, who continues to rotate him into a supporting role.

Justin Holl and Olli Määttä, who are better than him this season, are the two guys who are also part of this rather rough rotation (it’s not like the one involving Victor Mete, Brett Kulak and Alexander Romanov in Montreal, where all three guys skipped their turn one after the other).

So, unless there’s an injury on the brigade, Petry may have to take his lumps more often than not. And with young Simon Edvinsson due to arrive in the NHL soon, this will only complicate things for the veteran.

At least the Red Wings didn’t give him much, and they’re only paying him $2,343,500 a year for two years. Imagine if he’d come to town at 100% of his salary.

Speaking of former CH members in Detroit, Ben Chiarot is a regular. That said, like Petry, he doesn’t offer his club great hockey.

Yesterday, for example, Petry (14:08) and Chiarot (13:10) both finished the game with a -3 differential. All the team’s other defensemen had a positive differential.

Clearly, if Petry wants to become a regular again, he’s going to have to take his game up a notch. And if Chiarot doesn’t want to join him on the bridge when Edvinsson arrives in the NHL, he’d better do the same.

In bursts

– Let’s hope he gets better in the end. Concussions are piling up for the 24-year-old.

– Nice moment.

– Great read.

– What do you think?

– He was really lucky.

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