Give up the playoff chase Marc Bergevin!
Eric Engels of Sportsnet: As injuries, mount and players try to play hurt, one thing has become clear in Montreal. The playoffs are not worth the pain. Too many things could go wrong for Marc Bergevin if players are rushed back. It may be worse if some continue to play through injuries.
Shutting down players like Shea Weber, Jonathan Drouin, and Brendan Gallagher would be prudent moves. Montreal climbing several teams to make the playoffs seems nearly improbable. Consider that this team was swept by the Detroit Red Wings and is eight points out of a playoff spot. Marc Bergevin needs to rest some of his players now.
Montreal Trade Deadline Primer
Eric Engels of Sportsnet: Ilya Kovalchuk and Tomas Tatar headline assets Marc Bergevin should move before the trade deadline. Kovalchuk garnered little interest before Montreal scooped him up. With six goals and 12 points in 20 games, now at least five teams are believed to be interested in his services. That turnaround alone speaks volumes about how Kovalchuk’s work ethic has impressed many in the league once more.
Tomas Tatar presents some buyer-beware aspects given his flameout a couple of seasons ago with Vegas. However, he is a 55-point pace player and has a year left on his contract. Bergevin listening to offers at the very least cannot hurt.
Nate Thompson excels as a penalty killer and good defensive forward. Even well into his 30’s, his possession metrics are still solid and can fetch a decent return on Monday.
Nick Cousins has been a pleasant surprise for Montreal with 22 points. He plays up and down the lineup and displays a solid versatility. His age helps him net a higher return than say a Thompson or even Dale Weise.
DO NOT TRADE Jeff Petry! This has been talked about plenty but Petry has term. Also, he serves as insurance in case Shea Weber’s health turns for the worse again. Marc Bergevin resisting this temptation could be key to Montreal’s fortunes next year.