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Caufield is much better defensively than you’d think

There’s no hiding it, Cole Caufield isn’t scoring as many goals as we’d hoped this season.

After 33 games, the young American has just eight goals to his name, a major dip in form in contrast to what we’re used to.

In 2022-2023, Caufield scored 26 goals in just 46 games.

On the other hand, he amassed just two assists that season, while this year he already has 16.

At this rate, Caufield could have 40 assists. If we exclude Nick Suzuki, who has collected as many assists in his last two seasons, Caufield could be the first Habs forward to reach this plateau since Max Domi (44 in 2018-19) and David Desharnais (44 in 2011-12).

Grant McCagg reports.

Not bad for a maverick.

The fact remains that Caufield was drafted to fill the net, something he’s been struggling to do this season.

However, he not only makes up for his lack of goals by feeding his teammates more, he also stands out defensively.

The Habs’ star small forward is also in good company when it comes to the number of goals against over 60 minutes of play.

CC22 has been on the ice for 1.76 goals against since the start of the campaign.

By way of comparison – and get ready, because this comparison will surprise you – Patrice Bergeron was at 1.73 goals against per 60 minutes played last year.

The Boston Bruins eclipsed the Detroit Red Wings’ record of 62 wins from 1995-1996 with 65.

Now that’s a high-level comparison for the Habs’ young forward.

I knew that Caufield was involved defensively, even if it doesn’t seem like it at first glance, but to be compared to the best defensive forward of all time says a lot.

In his final NCAA season with the Wisconsin Badgers, Caufield himself asked his coach to help him refine his defensive game, so that he could become more complete.

Thomas Bordeleau often played against Caufield when they were in the NCAA Big-10 division.

The San Jose Sharks prospect wasn’t afraid to praise Ti-Cole‘s defensive game.

When many opposing coaches in the NCAA and even opposing players praise Caufield’s defensive talents, it’s because this aspect of his game is nothing new.

I don’t expect him to become a candidate for the Frank J. Selke Trophy (best defensive forward). But if he can get involved as he does at this level, while not being afraid to feed his teammates, I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do for this club.

He just needs to score more goals, because that’s why he was drafted.

In Brief

– Kane just collected his 10ᵉ point in as many games in a Wings uniform this Saturday, but the team has won just two games since his arrival.

– Jacques Martin is convinced the Senators can make the playoffs.

– It really wasn’t the best fight of his career.

– News on the health of young Leo Carlsson. At least he won’t have to undergo surgery.

– What a shot.

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