This week, we discuss Phillip Danault and his hat-trick, who the ideal first-round opponent would be for the Montreal Canadiens, and Shea Weber’s impact.
1) What did you make of Phillip Danaul’s hat-trick? Is there more offence in his game?
Sebastian: Phillip Danault was a joy to watch in the offensive zone against Vegas on Saturday afternoon. He was a constant threat and was rewarded with his first hat-trick in the NHL. While it will undoubtedly add to his confidence, no one should expect him to become a 20 goal scorer because it is not his job to score goals on his line; Gallagher and Tatar are the scoring threats. However, 15 goals and 50 points are within the realm of possibility if he really gets his gears moving, His performance against Vegas may spark this kind of rise in production.
Zack Cook: It was incredible showing from Danault in a game where the Montreal Canadiens certainly needed the two points. I was probably most impressed by his first goal; I wasn’t sure Danault had a shot like that in him. On the other hand, I think people need to temper their expectations in regards to offensive expectations for Danault. It seems rather unlikely that he’ll ever be a 55-60 point center, but the Canadiens should be very happy that they have a reliable, two-way center that will likely hit forty points each season. Every good team has depth, and sooner rather than later, Danault will be that third line shutdown center for Montreal that can also chip in offence.
Collin Jones: I don’t think there’s any doubt that Danault has potential to produce on the offensive side of the puck. He’s winning nearly 52% of his face-offs this season. And I never feel like he is invisible out there. Whether that’s offensively or defensively. I always see him making a solid effort. He has a knack for making plays and for getting involved. In an ideal world, he is a really solid 2nd or 3rd center.
I don’t, however, think his hat-trick is indicative of any offensive spurt in his game. One reason is that the leading goal-scorers for the Montreal Canadiens haven’t been producing nearly as much. In fact, they’ve been silent. [I am speaking of Max Domi, Jonathan Drouin, and Tomas Tatar.] Which seems to have played into Danault’s effort against Vegas. I hate to say that it was a fluke, but it was a fluke.
But at the end of the day, Phillip Danault is tied for the most hat-tricks in the National Hockey League. That’s worth something I suppose, right?