One sequence clearly shows that Ben Chiarot and David Savard are not an ideal fit

Published October 14, 2021 at 5:46 PM

Last night, we were able to deduce an observation that was a given for the Montreal Canadiens, the defense is in adjustment mode. Shea Weber is out this season and a few players are having to acclimate to their roles.

One who seems to have understood his role is David Savard. He is probably one of only two defensemen, along with Brett Kulak, who didn't do too badly against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

One sequence of Savard's that particularly caught the eye last night was this one:

We can see David Savard preventing Nick Richie from getting to the puck, thus killing the attempted play and allowing Ben Chiarot to restart the offense. Yes, Ben Chiarot and restart are in the same sentence, which is not normal in my opinion.

The problem with all this? Ben Chiarot and David Savard have a similar style, which is defensive. Neither individual is built to be a puck mover.

Ducharme must have put Savard and Chiarot together in an attempt to replicate the success that the Chiarot-Weber duo has had in the past, but I'm afraid that the project is not going to happen as planned.

The third pairing features Alexander Romanov and Chris Wideman, two defensemen who can get the offense going. Why not mix it up to create balanced defensive duos? Romanov-Savard and Chiarot-Wideman duos would be much more effective in my opinion.

Maybe Ducharme is hesitant to give Romanov more responsibility because he is not very stable in his performances. However, playing with Savard, who is solid defensively, he could thrive in a defenseman role that can get the offense going again.

Still, the damage was limited because of Jake Allen's prowess, not because Montreal's defense was excellent. As I said above, the back end will have to adjust, especially until Marc Bergevin finds a backup and Joel Edmundson in returns.
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