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Jake Evans: NHL’s most-used shorthanded forward this season
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

After another season of finishing at the bottom of the NHL standings, the Canadiens don’t often have the luxury of talking about league peaks. They flirt with unglamorous heights like the most games missed by injured players, but this time it’s flattering.

Jake Evans completed the season as the most shorthanded forward in the entire NHL. Not bad at all!

Guillaume Lefrançois of La Presse drew attention to this statistic in one of his most recent articles.

We’re talking about a total of 260:22 minutes of shorthanded play. This total not only places him first in the league among forwards in this category, but also fourth among all skaters.

He is ahead of Cam Fowler, Gustav Forsling and Esa Lindell. In fifth place is a little guy by the name of Mike Matheson.

But back to Evans. His average of 3:11 minutes per game shorthanded is so impressive, that his closest pursuer among forwards, Jordan Greenway, is 17 seconds off his mark (2:54 minutes per game).

With the injury to Kirby Dach and the deal that sent Sean Monahan to Winnipeg, Evans has seen his playing time skyrocket this season. He managed to get the best out of himself and proved that he can be an important part of a winning team.

I’d even go so far as to say he could be a luxury fourth center on a team with Stanley Cup aspirations.

Jake Evans has done the Habs proud on the power play this season, but the reason he’s spent so much time taking penalties is because the Habs players have been so undisciplined.

With a total of 825 penalty minutes, Montreal was the eighth most punished team in the entire NHL. That’s not very good, but surprisingly, it’s an improvement on the 2022-23 season.

The Tricolore was the fifth most-punished team in the league, with a total of 955 penalty minutes.

The bottom line is that the team is young and somewhat inexperienced, which can often lead to errors of judgment and penalties. The good news is that things seem to be improving.

Let’s hope the improvement continues next year too.

In short

– Everybody loves Cole!

– Like magic!

– It’s done.

– And he did it the right way.

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