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Skilful, physical and courageous: nothing stops Juraj Slafkovsky
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

Juraj Slafkovsky is becoming quite a hockey player. It’s not the most incredible sentence of the day, as everyone is now realizing.

And yesterday’s game against the Panthers was a good example of everything the Slovak brings to the ice.

First of all, Slaf was drafted because he’s talented. His assist yesterday on Cole Caufield’s goal shows just how much confidence he’s gained on the ice in recent months.

But he’s more than just a talented player: he’s also a player who can be “hard to play against” because of his measurements.

Yesterday, Slafkovsky and the Sheriff decided to have a panther sandwich in the middle of the game. The guys acted as bread and teamed up to make that play.

Slaf, a guy who completes his checking, wasn’t afraid to hit, but also showed that physical play doesn’t scare him. His puck protection is spot on… and so is his self-protection.

Yesterday, when Aaron Ekblad shook him, Slaf responded.

Notice how Slafkovsky wasn’t afraid to dance when the Panthers defenseman forced a breaststroke session on him. Slaf got under Ekblad and knocked him over afterwards. Nothing less.

Following the altercation, Ekblad left the match and was unable to return. He has not recovered from his session with the habs’ Slovakian wall-panelist.

The good thing about yesterday’s game is that it showed the range of what the big forward can bring to the rink. When he plays with confidence, he’s a monster.

And I mean that in a good way.

Of course, everyone on the Habs has noticed how often he’s one of the most useful players on the ice. And let’s just say that after yesterday’s game, no one needed to be tortured to sing his praises. Cole Caufield in particular praised his puck protection.

Martin St-Louis said that Slaf’s obsession with improving makes him a playoff profile, but he also added this about his physically imposing player:

He really cares about the guys around him, he cares about the team… and he wants to win. – Martin St-Louis

We’ve talked about this recently, but Slaf’s desire to improve seems to be a big driver for him. He takes advice from the guys to get good at all aspects of the game.

Arber Xhekaj and Josh Anderson are also helping him become a better physical player. He can hit guys and defend himself when the time comes.

As a European, the culture of fighting on the ice is not as encouraged as it is here. However, he appreciates this aspect of the game, which is good for the future.

Really good, in fact.

He’ll have to stay out of the penalty box (he had three penalties yesterday, two of which were for shuffle plays) as much as possible, but his progress is really proving that the Habs made the right decision at the June 2022 draft.

No matter what the Coyotes think.


– 1001 days since the last playoff game in Montreal.

– Will he want to move the team?

– Logical.

– Enjoy your reading.

– Without his home run, it would have been horrible for the Blue Jays.

– Indeed.

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