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Tony Marinaro brings back the idea of Arber Xhekaj on the wing

Just under 24 hours after the conclusion of the game against the Islanders, it’s Arber Xhekaj’s performance that’s still attracting attention.

And not for the best of reasons.

The defenseman, as we know, had a tough game due to his stupid penalties and went to apologize to the coaching staff for his bad decisions. But Tony Marinaro went one step further in today’s column on BPM Sports, on the Stéphane Gonzalez and Georges Laraque show.

The Sick Podcast host criticized Xhekaj for being unreliable on the ice. He argues that NHL speed is too intense for the defenseman… And Marinaro brought back the idea of Xhekaj being moved to the wing :

At some point, you have to tell it like it is. The game moves fast. Execution goes fast. Passing is fast. Reaction time moves fast. Xhekaj’s suggestion, perhaps as a winger, isn’t so far-fetched after all. – Tony Marinaro

Mathias Brunet also proposed the idea in early November, even before Xhekaj was traded to Laval .

It makes you think, because since the start of the season, we’ve been talking about Xhekaj’s defensive shortcomings.

The Habs sent him to the AHL to fine-tune his defensive game, and he was recalled for a reason… But it’s true that he looked a little lost at times on the ice last night.

Plus, the Islanders are big and don’t have the fastest team in the NHL.

Arber Xhekaj showed he could help the Habs by delivering big checks and bringing the much-needed toughness to the Montreal lineup. He’s big, he’s mobile on the ice… And perhaps the role of energy forward could suit him well if he’s able to adapt.

We’d have to try him out, though. And I don’t hate the idea of trying him out as a forward, in the sense that the club is rebuilding and needs to evaluate what it has right now.

In bursts

– Good for him.

– Our national Slaf!

– Mattias Norlinder brought his best smile for tonight’s game.

– Can they do it?

– Well, it’s about time. No?

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