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Bob Hartley puts Josh Anderson and Michael Pezzetta through the wringer

After the Habs were thrashed 5-2 by the Bruins at the Bell Centre on Saturday, November 18, Martin St-Louis was frustrated with his players’ performance.

He didn’t hesitate to describe his club as “soft” because the guys didn’t give the effort the Habs’ head coach wanted.

Since Arber Xhekaj has been injured, it’s been noticeable that the element of toughness is no longer there with the CH. Those who are recognized as good energy players who can play physical [insert Michael Pezzetta and Josh Anderson here] are not physically involved.

Bob Hartley had this to say in a segment on BPM Sports: what good are Pezzetta and Anderson if they don’t hit the opposition?

Is it just Xhekaj who brews in this club? […] Anderson doesn’t hit a fly and Pezzetta tries to play hockey (when that’s not what he’s asked to do). – Bob Hartley

It’s even more disturbing in the case of Josh Anderson, because he has almost no impact on the ice, according to the statistics. In fact, Bob would like to see him work on his positioning on the ice, instead of practicing his shots before a practice:

On a hockey team, every player has a different role.

Michael Pezzetta’s role and Josh Anderson’s role is to find a way to upset the opposition, night after night.

And in Pezzetta’s case, I’m not suggesting that he has to make big eyes in the penalty box to scare the other team. He has to use his physicality to hit the opposing players.

The Habs, however, have settled into 4th place in the NHL for checking since the start of the season (with 402).

Only the Lightning (409), Ducks (416) and Canucks (420) are ahead of the CH in this respect.

Arber Xhekaj is expected to return to action shortly, and in the meantime, it will be interesting to see if any players step up to the plate to bring the famous toughness element back to Martin St-Louis’ line-up.

And who knows? Maybe WiFi ‘s return will motivate his team-mates to hit the opposition harder…


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