Montreal Canadiens Defenseman Arber Xhekaj
Photo credit: Habs EOTP

Arber Xhekaj's Presence More Crucial Than Ever: Scary Scene in Carolina

Published December 29, 2023 at 4:00 PM

In the final moments of the match between the Montreal Canadiens and the Carolina Hurricanes, a very awkward scene occurred.

Indeed, following Stefan Noesen's hard hit on young Juraj Slafkovsky, no player on the team, except for Cole Caufield, came to defend their teammate.

«There were four Tricolore players on the ice, including Suzuki, Guhle, and Harris, and the only one who confronted Stefan Noesen after he hit Juraj Slafkovsky in the head was the smallest, Cole Caufield.

It was just a sad response from the team tonight.» - HabsOnReddit

Ouch! It's simply unacceptable that the Tricolore players let such a gesture pass, especially since the hit seemed rather dubious.

Let's bet that if Arber Xhekaj had been in the lineup, he would not have hesitated for a second to drop the gloves to avenge his teammate.

Unfortunately, in the absence of number 72, there isn't really a player who is ready to do everything to defend his teammates, and we had concrete proof of this last night.

It's clear that Martin St-Louis did not appreciate his players' reaction, who usually did not let such an act go unpunished since the beginning of the season. It would not be surprising if the head coach of the Montreal Canadiens had delivered a serious message at the end of the match so that such a scene does not happen again in the future.

As for the Slovak forward, he had to leave the game to follow the NHL's concussion protocol, but all indications are that he ultimately suffered no serious injury. The exams turned out positive, which is excellent news for the Tricolore.

Let's hope he is indeed 100% for the last two matches of 2023, as he is experiencing rapid progress in recent weeks. The first overall pick in the 2022 draft has accumulated four goals and eight assists in 34 games this season, but he is currently impressing with a haul of five points in his last five games.

Credit: Habs et LNH
December 29   |   359 answers
Arber Xhekaj's Presence More Crucial Than Ever: Scary Scene in Carolina

Should the Canadiens call Xhekaj up after last night?

Yes31387.2 %
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