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Arber Xhekaj recognizes Jayden Struble’s success and wants to double his efforts

Jayden Struble’s name has undoubtedly been on the lips of many hockey fans and experts lately.

Since breaking into the Montreal Canadiens’ defensive top-6, the young defenseman has impressed game after game with his all-around game.

He’s involved in every facet of the game, and even though he’s never been recognized for his offensive contribution, he still creates many chances and isn’t afraid to support the attack.

This is all good news for the Habs and Struble, but the fact that he now seems untouchable poses a big problem for Arber Xhekaj.

The latter recognizes the success of the newcomer to the team. But he knows he’ll have to work twice as hard to regain his place in the big club’s line-up.

I invite you to read Marc-Antoine Godin’s article on the subject.

“He came to the team and played well. He doesn’t make mistakes, he uses his stick well. There’s no reason for them to cut him. It’s a nice problem for them to have, but obviously, on our side, it pushes us to work harder and want to earn our position.” – Arber Xhekaj

The colossus mustn’t get discouraged and must keep a positive attitude if he wants to impress management.

In fact, Xhekaj gives the organization his vote of confidence, because he knows they want the best for him.

“If they say it’s going to help me in the long run and I have to trust them, I’m obviously going to trust them. They know what they’re talking about. If I have to come here and improve, that’s what I’m going to do.” – Arber Xhekaj

With a mindset like this, he’s sure to give himself the best chance of finding his team-mates in Montreal.

Xhekaj seems to have an idea of what the club expects of him.

“I don’t think they want me to be a sixth or seventh defender in Montreal. I think they want me to be a top player who ends up playing 20 minutes, and I’m heading towards that. So, I think I just need to clean up my game in the defensive zone and hope it translates up there.” – Arber Xhekaj

By improving his defensive game and working on his weaknesses, the lad can prove that he belongs on an NHL team.

However, congestion on the blue line, mainly on the left side, isn’t helping Xhekaj find his way back into the Habs line-up at all.

He needs to focus on why he was sent down to the minors.

The Ontarian was traded to the AHL to improve his defensive game, make better decisions with the puck and reduce his turnovers.

With a few games to get used to, he’s having a good time in Laval. In fact, he scored his first goal in a Rocket uniform on Friday.

He’s much more disciplined and his decisions with the puck are improving.

For the time being, I can’t think of anyone in the Tricolore’s current line-up who could make room for Xhekaj.

A trade would have to be made, or, unfortunately and hopefully not, an injury would have to occur… again.

I think we’re all tired of seeing these players go down with injuries, we’re due for a deal.

But even then, we’d have to be sure to give the colossus some quality playing time.

At that point, if it suits Xhekaj, I’d have him play in Laval for the rest of the season, playing big minutes. He could give the Rocket a real boost for the playoffs.

A player like Xhekaj, you want that in the playoffs, because it shuffles around quite a bit, as we all know.

In gusto

– Wow! Quite a comeback for the Stars.

– Is this the NHL or the WWE?

– What a game.

– After all, it was the Panthers who emerged with the victory.

– Grant McCagg would be surprised not to see Reinbacher in Laval.

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