Justin Barron has a lot of offensive value, but he’s having a very hard time in his own zone lately.
This goal isn’t all on him, but it’s not his greatest shift by any means.
– Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) December 23, 2023
When the Habs traded Artturi Lehkonen to the Colorado Avalanche in March 2022, they weren’t necessarily happy about it. Lehky was a beloved guy in town (especially after his St. John’s Day goal) and he was starting to come into his own in Montreal as a solid 200-foot winger.
Joe Sakic knew what he was getting in Lehkonen (and Nathan MacKinnon even said that a guy like Lehkonen is worth 10 first-round picks), and that’s why he went for him.
His six goals are good for 10th place among defensemen across the NHL in the 2023-24 season. He’s tied with five other defensemen for that spot.
Badmouths will say that he has twice as many goals as Lehkonen this season, but it’s important to remember that Barron has played 30 games while Lehkonen has only played 12.
It’s also worth noting that Mike Matheson is right behind him, just outside the top-15, but tied for 16th with the likes of Noah Dobson and Victor Hedman. To have two defenders in the top-16 of the league’s top scorers is solid.
For a 22-year-old defenseman who isn’t purely an offensive defenseman, it’s quite encouraging to see Barron among the league’s elite at this level as we approach mid-season. In fact, he has as many goals as guys like Josh Morrissey, Shayne Gostisbehere and Erik Karlsson (!), guys who are known for their offensive instincts.
I’m not saying he’s better than (or even as good as) those guys, but clearly, Barron seems to have found a recipe for scoring goals. He’s got a good shot, and when he uses it, it pays off.
Defensively, he can be a handful (last night, for example, he looked terrible on Colin Blackwell’s goal), so he’s clearly not a finished product at the moment. But clearly, at times, we can see the potential, and we seem to be discovering an attacking dimension to him.
We’ll see if the trend continues, but Barron seems to have found the recipe for scoring goals.
– What a mitten save for… Roman Josi!
ARE YOU KIDDING ME ROMAN pic.twitter.com/39eEo4bbnN
– Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) December 23, 2023
– Tristan Luneau and Tanner Molendyk have to forfeit for the WJC. Too bad.
Really tough news for Luneau and Molendyk; Christmas comes early for Donovan and Nelson.
Molendyk’s wrist injury turns out to be longer than day to day. Luneau returning home to recuperate from a viral infection. https://t.co/hYatFcVcPW
– Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) December 23, 2023
– That’s a good one.
See this post on Instagram
– Evgeny Kuznetsov was reportedly nearly traded to the Predators last summer.
From last night:
Evgeny Kuznetsov was reportedly set to head to the Predators in a deal this past summer, but it fell through.
And now, looking ahead to this offseason, expect No. 92 to be on the trade block once again. The latest on the Capitals center:https://t.co/LZucEtkQo3
– Sammi Silber (@sammisilber) December 23, 2023
– It’s understandable.