Arber Xhekaj's value officially proven after last night's game

Aaron Itovitch
April 7, 2024  (5:51 PM)

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Arber Xhekaj
Photo credit: Sportsnet

Last night, the tough guy from the Toronto Maple Leafs, Ryan Reaves, took advantage of Arber Xhekaj's absence to bully the Montreal Canadiens players throughout the game.

Given that the Sheriff couldn't participate in the game due to an injury that remains undisclosed for the moment, number 75 of the Leafs took pleasure in taunting Martin St-Louis's men all evening.
Clearly irritated by this situation, Michael Pezzetta wished to engage in a fight with the pugilist, but unfortunately for the Tricolore's forward, things clearly did not go as he had hoped. Ryan Reaves handed him a severe beating, thus providing himself with additional arguments to mock the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge players during his pass in front of the team's bench.
This situation demonstrates how crucial Arber Xhekaj's contribution is to Martin St-Louis's lineup. Recall that during the first game of the regular season, the Maple Leafs' fighter had been much quieter, notably being knocked down by Wifi during their fight.
Although he has greatly reduced his number of fights since his call-up with the big club, his mere presence imposes a form of respect, forcing CH's opponents to stay calm in his presence. This may seem trivial to some, but it makes a big difference for the Canadiens' players who can express themselves more freely when Xhekaj is in uniform.
«Reaves looked free tonight because Xhekaj wasn't there! That's why I want to keep Xhekaj in Montreal.» - Norman Flynn

Furthermore, the former tough guy of the Tricolore, Georges Laraque, agreed with Norman Flynn, stating that the absence of number 72 had a huge impact on Ryan Reaves' actions in last night's game.
«For those wondering about the importance of Xhekaj in the lineup, I hope you understand after yesterday's game against Toronto. Go see the previous game between the 2 teams when Xhekaj was playing, Reaves was invisible, and yesterday he was more disturbing than ever! When the cat's away, the mice will play!!» - Georges Laraque

It's safe to bet that Xhekaj will long remember this confrontation and will want to avenge the actions committed by Reaves against the CH players. It promises to be an exciting next game between the two teams!
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Arber Xhekaj's value officially proven after last night's game

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