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Ranaud Lavoie: “Joel Armia isn’t playing up to his potential”.

I’ve liked Joel Armia for a long time, because he has everything it takes to be a regular in the NHL.

He has great hands, a good shot and does well defensively, but his lack of intensity and consistency makes him a laughingstock for the Montreal Canadiens.

The fact that he has suffered several injuries during his career hasn’t helped, but if he played up to his talent, he wouldn’t be talked about in this way.

That’s what Renaud Lavoie had to say about him.

Maxim Lapierre believes he doesn’t belong in the line-up.

In the December 30 game against the Florida Panthers, Armia took a bad penalty late in the game. Renaud Lavoie doesn’t understand why he was the one to receive such a penalty.

“How is it that a veteran like Joel Armia, who’s having a hard time staying in the National League because they put him in the waivers and no one claims him, is the one taking a penalty like that in the offensive zone?” – Renaud Lavoie

Lavoie believes he could be forgiven if he played up to his talent, but the Finn simply doesn’t do it.

I totally agree with the TVA Sports journalist on this point. It saddens me to see Armia squandering his talent, as it were, through his lack of will and intensity.

The right-handed forward could be a big help to the Habs, but he’s not taking advantage of the rebuild and the injuries to be useful.

Instead, Armia is a nuisance for the club, often taking bad penalties. Martin St-Louis has criticized this aspect of his game.

Decidedly, Armia isn’t giving himself much of a chance to stay in the lineup, having already taken a penalty this season.

Even if the club isn’t very well-stocked up front, especially with the array of injuries, there are other options for the Habs to replace him.

Michael Pezzetta frequently misses his turn, but even if he doesn’t produce, he at least brings energy and intensity.

Okay, he gets some bad penalties too, but that’s because of his intensity.

I even think Mitchell Stephens would be a better choice on a regular basis, rather than the Finn.

What would you do with Armia?

In gusts

– Let’s not panic about Team Canada Junior. Canada dominates this tournament year after year, so we can’t always win gold.

– It’s nice to see.

– With Matthew Poitras’ disappointing performance at the WJC, the Bruins might be tempted to put Trent Frederic on the massive attack in his place.

– Even if he has the talent to play in MLS, I don’t think his bad reputation here will allow him to return to this league.

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