Is Vanek the Missing Piece?

 (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Ladies and gentlemen, it happened. March 5th, 2014, also known as “Thomas Vanek” day in Montreal, brought joy to the hearts of Habs fans around the globe. Although the 6’2″ Austrian will become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, there’s no denying that Vanek could, and will have a major impact on his new team. The two time 40-goal scorer, who has split time between the Sabres and the Islanders this season, brings a second (or first) wave of scoring that the Habs so desperately need.

Vanek comes to a new team in Montreal but with a familiar face in the locker room. Briere took Vanek in when he came to Buffalo for his first weeks to get him settled. Time has passed but I would like to see what those two can do together, if Michel Therrien were to shuffle the lines. Getting Briere going for the playoffs can be huge, as he’s been quite the post-season performer during his career posting 109 points in 108 career playoff games.

I’ve never been one to believe that a single player can make that big of a difference for a team, however, it’s pretty incredible how much better this team looks on paper with Vanek in the lineup. What was once one scoring line, is now two and maybe even three viable trios with his addition. Not to mention the major boost the PP will see. With such a wide open Eastern conference, the Habs have a serious shot at going deep into the playoffs this year, especially with a goalie like Carey Price who is having a MVP season.

Just by adding Vanek, opposing coaches now have to match two lines rather than one. Which ultimately means that either the Pacioretty, Desharnais and Gallagher line gets the easier matchup or Vanek and Plekanec line gets the easier matchup. No matter how you slice it, it’s a win.

While I don’t think Vanek is THE missing piece, he is definitely a key component that will help this team go far into the playoffs. His pure goal scoring ability, and big frame are exactly what the Habs were missing up front. The fact that a second tier prospect and a 2nd round pick was all it took, and that no roster players were moved is the cherry on top.

Quick thought on Mike Weaver: I like the way he plays; small guy, but plays big. Top 5 on Panthers in both blocked shots (94) and hits (101). Very key depth addition especially with Gorges going down with a broken hand. Would also love to see this push Murray out of the lineup but that’s unlikely.

CHeers

Follow me on Twitter: @Zignasty2point0

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One Response to Is Vanek the Missing Piece?

  1. Hopefully, Vanek will work out and the Habs will go deep into the postseason. Having said that, I would take nothing for granted. The history of sports is littered with stretch run acquisitions that did not achieve the intended outcome. Vanek wasn’t really that in the game last night, but I will be watching him closely on Saturday.

    As for Weaver, he committed the turnover that led to the first Phoenix goal last night, but other than that, he was okay. Tinordi is coming along, even though he cost the team a goal too.

    Chet Pomeroy March 7, 2014 at 10:53 pm Reply

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