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Cole Caufield: just three goals in nearly seven weeks

Right now in Montreal, there’s a lot of talk about defensive depth… and rightly so. After all, the Habs currently have ten players (goaltenders and defensemen) playing a defensive position.

Here they are.

  • Mike Matheson
  • David Savard
  • Gustav Lindstrom
  • Justin Barron
  • Jayden Struble
  • Kaiden Guhle
  • Johnathan Kovacevic
  • Jake Allen
  • Samuel Montembeault
  • Cayden Primeau

We already know there’s one goalie too many. But what’s more, when Jordan Harris returns (when’s the news, anyway?), he’ll be adding to a depth that’s already too imposing.

With Arber Xhekaj, Logan Mailloux, Mattias Norlinder, William Trudeau, Nicolas Beaudin and Brady Keeper all available for recall, it’s a crowded place to be. And that’s even if the last three are currently less likely to be recalled, let’s say.

That said, on the attack, it’s a different story. The fact that four regulars are injured for the foreseeable future (Kirby Dach, Alex Newhook, Rafaël Harvey-Pinard and Tanner Pearson) forces the CH to make do with what’s at hand.

Of course, if Kent Hughes wants to recall a forward eventually, he has options… including trading a goaltender.

But more easily, all he has to do is put Tanner Pearson officially on the injured list, to ensure that the 13th forward in town is a healthy player.

Could a guy like Emil Heineman, who doesn’t think about that, earn a call-up to help the club’s offense?

Because yes, we can all agree that the club needs offense. With a little offensive support, maybe Jake Allen could have gotten the W he so covets.

But is it fair to ask a youngster who could potentially be recalled from Laval to take that kind of pressure on his shoulders? We’re not sure.

If there’s one player who needs to stand up on this issue, it’s Cole Caufield. The Canadiens’ forward has been unable to find the back of the net on a regular basis this season, and that’s cause for concern.

In fact, since the beginning of November, he’s only scored three goals:

(Credit: ESPN)

On November 11, 24 and 29, he found the back of the net. He had four goals in October, bringing his total to just seven. Nick Suzuki and Sean Monahan, with eight goals each, do better.

What’s it going to take to get him to score?

Right now, Caufield has three goals since October 27. That’s 46 days – and it’ll be 48 days on Wednesday, given that the Habs aren’t playing tonight or tomorrow. We’re talking about three goals in almost seven weeks.

Yesterday, he took only two shots on goal, and apart from Saturday’s game (nine shots), he’s been between zero and four shots for weeks.

Is his mind elsewhere? Is he injured? Is he playing in fear of injury? Is he taking his contract for granted? Is he playing with the right guys? Tired of losing?

I don’t know.

Dany Dubé thinks he needs a player in front of the net to help him. David Savard is of the same opinion, as he wants traffic in front of the net. It could be a good first step.

But he’ll have to work out a solution with the coaches.

In gusto

– The Dodgers make room for Shohei Ohtani.

– Will John Tavares get all 1,000 points on the road in Long Island?

– The waivers await Jakub Vrana.

– Nick Foligno is the point guard Connor Bedard needs.

– Oh.

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