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Kirby Dach and Juraj Slafkovsky: a duo worthy of a first trio
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

Last year, Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield spent the majority of the Habs’ games on the same trio. Except, of course, all the ones where #22 was on the sidelines. #Of course

At the start of the 2022-2023 season, they spent several weeks with Kirby Dach. And what were we saying then?

We often heard people say that Kirby Dach should stay on the wing and that we’d finally found the first trio the Habs had been looking for for years.

Dach finally finished the season at center. He played well.

At camp 2023, Dach was placed at center and Juraj Slafkovsky was at his side. Dach was playing so well that we wondered if, come Christmas, Nick Suzuki would still be center of the first trio.

Dach’s injury obviously prevents us from having the answer to that question right now. But let’s just say that once the former Hawks star is back on the ice in a year’s time, we’ll be able to ask it again.

When Dach was injured, we sensed that Slaf was looking for himself. Recent history has taught us that he found himself in the middle, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the Habs’ current #1 trio will never be broken.

I look forward to seeing him back and playing with him again. – Juraj Slafkovsky on Kirby Dach

I mentioned it last week, but I haven’t given up on the idea of seeing Slaf and Dach on the same trio one day. And that’s even if the Slovak really, really belongs with the club’s captain and most natural scorer.

It’s too early to predict the future, but since the two guys (Dach and Slafkovsky) also have great chemistry together, don’t rule out the idea of seeing them together at the next training camp. Arpon Basu (The Athletic) talked about their chemistry this morning.

It’s obviously early to say who will be in Montreal next year (a big forward could well be added), but Slaf and Dach get along well on and off the ice.

And both have the attributes of guys who can play on a first trio.

I know the question is often asked whether Suzuki and Caufield are first-team guys on a championship team. Maybe it’s too early to ask – even if they were playing a lot in 2021 against Tampa Bay.

But let’s just say that it wouldn’t hurt the Habs to have, one day, Dach and Slaf on the first line and Suzuki and Caufield on the second.

Is this what I think will happen? Is it what I want to happen? In either case, it’s too early to think about it… and in either case, it doesn’t matter what I think in February 2024.

I’m just saying that to keep it in mind.

After all, one day, these questions will come up… and if Dach and Slaf deserve to play together on the first trio, it won’t be a problem in my eyes. Nor will it be if the current first trio remains in place, or even if Dach and Slaf play on a second trio.

The Habs have options, and that’s fine.

In gusto

– Good reading.

– A machine.

– With good reason… but the Coyotes certainly don’t want to add salary to their coaching staff.

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