In the following edition of “Habs Over/Under,” Kyle Bukauskas and Eric Engels debated whether the Montreal Canadiens’ young, second-year player Nick Suzuki could be the team’s leading scorer during the 2020-21 season and whether Suzuki would average a-point-a-game during the season.
Can Anyone on the Canadiens Score 56 Points in 56 Games?
In the video, Engels pointed out that the Canadiens’ leading scorer last season was Tomas Tatar. However, Tatar wasn’t able to average a-point-a-game. Still, he was the closest Canadiens player, and he scored 61 points in 68 games.
That leaves the question for this season: Can anyone on the Canadiens achieve a point-a-game average over the 56 games of this shortened and compressed season?
Engels liked the idea that someone on the Canadiens’ team would be able to put up 56 points in 56 games this year. He then noted that the player he believed would have the best chance to do so is Suzuki – based upon the confidence he showed when he was in the bubble during last season’s playoffs.
What Makes Suzuki a Possibility?
Engels went on to suggest that the extended layoff between the training camp last season (between March and the bubble in August) and the extra time during the last of summer hockey and this coming season coming will help Suzuki eliminate the possibility of a sophomore jinx.
Engels saw Suzuki as the team’s leading scorer. He then went on to describe Suzuki as a “shy and quiet” kid who has “a burning confidence.” He believed people might not know that fact, but Suzuki is a really confident player with great ability. As a result, he could be capable of being a point per game player even in his second season.
Why Does Stronger Depth Make It Less Possible to Average a Point-a-Game?
Bukauskas agreed that Suzuki might be the team’s high scorer. However, he noted that if you looked at the Canadiens’ depth chart now you would see that the team is deeper than it’s been in a number of years. The upshot for the team might also be an issue for Suzuki. That is, with more depth comes more balanced scoring.
Bukauskas noted that that balanced scoring is something head coach Claude Julien would love about his team if it were to happen. Furthermore, he’s trying to build his teams around that style. Bukauskas also noted that no one on the Canadiens’ roster had ever averaged a-point-a-season; and, for that reason, he didn’t believe anyone on the team could do it.
Sadly, that includes Suzuki.
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