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Bob Hartley: Guhle needs to learn from Slafkovsky and protect himself better
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

Kaiden Guhle is very solid for a 22-year-old defenseman. He has the potential to establish himself as one of the top-4 defensemen in the NHL. However, on Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Habs fans were reminded that he’s already a fragile player.

After taking a check from Nikita Kucherov, he didn’t return to the fray. He seemed shaken and his case is evaluated on a daily basis.

Bob Hartley, in a column for BPM Sports, referred to Guhle as a defenseman who often puts himself in a vulnerable position. The former NHL coach mentioned that he takes that split-second too long to get rid of the puck.

In doing so, he praised his courage, but suggested that Guhle needs to find a balance.

He praised Slafkovsky, who seems to have found the right timing to avoid hard checking. In the case of the Habs defender, there’s still work to be done.

Hartley has a point. Even if Guhle is more adept than Slafkovsky at getting out of difficult situations, the fact remains that he gets hit late quite regularly.

He’s physically strong, but his injury history is starting to look more and more serious. He needs to be more careful.

If he wants to have a long career, he’ll have to make adjustments. He didn’t finish last season, and it wouldn’t be surprising if he didn’t play again by the end of the regular calendar.

Even so, it’s too early to be alarmed. He has played almost every game for his team without a hitch.

In gusto

– He’s playing much better


– He’s taking off

– What a trick player!

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