When it was announced that Thomas Vanek was heading to the Montreal Canadiens at the National Hockey League Trade Deadline, I was shocked and excited. The way that I have reacted to him also has me shocked and excited.
Whenever Vanek is on the ice, I am on the edge of my seat. I always feel that he is on the verge of something and it’s something I haven’t felt with any other player. Even P.K. Subban. Maybe it’s the shine of a new star. Maybe it’s just my excitement. But there’s no doubt that he’s exactly the right player for this team.
His assist on David Desharnais goal proves exactly that. He played his defender hard, won a battle and made a pass. It was offensive skill and strength on display.
Same thing with his goal. Won the face off, went to the front of the net and made another beautiful deflection past Jimmy Howard. He now has eight points over his last six games and most of the damage has been done at even strength. Even when he hasn’t been scoring, he has still had exceptional chances.
The game against Detroit was the Vanek-Pacioretty-Desharnais line’s most dominant five-on-five game to date. Along with the rest of the team playing well, that may very well bode well for them at the most important time of the year. Remember that Vanek has to adjust to playing the right side which he admitted he is less comfortable with.
I don’t know if the Canadiens can fit every one they want under the salary cap, but I hope they can sign Vanek to a long term deal. If they do, I may finally put a name and number on the back of my Canadiens jersey.