The Habs have given a big assignment to defenseman Sami Niku

Jeff Drouin
October 23, 2021  (2:54 PM)

The Montreal Canadiens will have a huge mandate tonight, to win their first game of the season. To do so, the Habs will need the contribution of each of its skaters.

It will also be the debut of young offensive defenseman Sami Niku with Montreal. The Habs are running out of steam offensively, so the addition of a quality mobile defenseman won't hurt.
Dominique Ducharme has put the 24-year-old back in a position where he can be successful. He will be driving the second wave of the power play, a place where the youngster will feel at home. In addition, the Habs have given him a very important mandate. The Montreal power play has been totally anemic since the beginning of the season, especially because the strengths are not exploited.
No player on the ice is capable of distributing the puck quickly, in order to reach Mike Hoffman on the right flank so that he can shoot on reception. This will be Niku's mission for tonight. Get the puck to #68.
Niku hasn't played an NHL game in a while. He is aware that the timing will take a while to get into place, but he is confident in his abilities. He seems comfortable with the expectations placed on him.
"I haven't played much lately. I'll have to adjust to the speed of the game. I'm going to start by trying to focus on the simple games. I have confidence in myself and what I can do."
"Evolving on the power play, that's part of my game. I'm very excited."
Niku is not a savior, so don't expect that from him. However, with patience and willingness, he could become an interesting bet for Dominique Ducharme. Jeff Petry needs help at the point, where Sami Niku should have his share of success. He doesn't arrive in the best of circumstances, but he clearly can't hurt the Tricolore's cause.
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