The Canadian only has one elite player in defence and

“The Canadian only has one elite player in defence, and that is Joel Armia”

This isn't necessarily a surprise to many people, but the 2023-24 edition of the Canadiens isn't exactly a powerhouse on the ice. We are seeing progress with the team's young forwards, but with so much young talent in the organization still not making it to the NHL, the club is not ready to win.

Add to that the injury to Kirby Dach and the departure of Sean Monahan: that didn't help. I would also add Christian Dvorak's injury…but honestly, did that really change anything?

We notice that it is not always easy for the club defensively. The young defensive brigade isn't always solid, but there's also the fact that we don't expect many good defensive attackers in the city.

This was exactly a topic in the last episode of the Sortie de Zone podcast, and Alexandre Pratt made a pretty strong statement:

The Canadian only has one elite player on defense and that is Joel Armia. – Alexandre Pratt

Antoine Roussel was a little shocked to hear Armia called an “elite defensive player,” and Pratt admitted he may have exaggerated the math a bit. On the other hand, he maintained his stance that he was “very good” defensively and that he probably had the talent to be on the first penalty kill unit of any NHL team.

About the 18th minute he explains all of this.

Armia is actually having a better season than you might think, I agree with Pratt. He's a far cry from the man who started the year in Laval and, against all odds, he's a key part of Montreal's forward group.

I'm not ready to call him an “elite” player, but I will admit that he plays well.

However, at some point that has to change. Armia may no longer be in the city in two or three years, and the journalist's point of view remains true: sooner or later, top-class defensive players will be in demand on offense.

Nick Suzuki could be it (but at the same time we need to maximize him offensively), and within the organization there may be Owen Beck who has the talent to do that. But otherwise…it seems to be a weakness in the organization right now, and it's not Trevor Zegras who would help with all of this, shall we say.

We will therefore see if the club can find them in the coming years, but it is true that Armia is very solid defensively. Maybe not enough to attract teams by March 8th…but you never know.


– No changes in the CH lineup for tonight, except in front of the net. Cayden Primeau automatically hits the Lightning.

– With Kasimir Kaskisuo on the sidelines, Dobes will be a busy man.

– Good point.

– Nice reading.

– At the start of the Formula 1 season, attention is paid to logic.