Why is Desharnais Disliked by Fans?

Desharnais celebrates one of his two goals against the Penguins on Oct. 18th (Photo: Francois Lacasse)

Desharnais celebrates one of his two goals against the Penguins on Oct. 18th (Photo: Francois Lacasse, Getty Images)

Last Tuesday night against Pittsburgh, David Desharnais had himself a great game. He scored twice, and received a star selection, while playing the majority of the game on the third line. A spot where he has had success in the past, and a spot where he should stay.

Before I continue, I want to clarify, if you follow me on Twitter, I constantly berate Desharnais, and I do believe that he is, at best, a just above average NHLer. That being said, recently he has been very effective on the third line. That is where he should be playing night in and out. My criticism on Desharnais has nothing to do with his work ethic, his skill, or his personality.

My major irritation with Desharnais is actually not his fault, and there is nothing he can do about it. I despise how he is constantly given more ice time than he deserves, and constantly gets moved to the top 6 and power play, when it has been proven time and time again, that he is not effective there.

When you are given the ice time Desharnais is, you are expected to produce, and this is why Desharnais is loathed by some fans of the Canadiens. I really don’t think that anyone hates him on a personal level. The fans, take their frustrations out on the wrong person. While his production can be lacklustre, and when given the chance to play with guys like Max Pacioretty, you need to capitalize on those opportunities.

This again, is down to coaching. Whatever affliction Michel Therrien has for Desharnais, it needs to end. Not only for Desharnais’ sake, but for the sake of the team. As some of you may know, Desharnais averaged about two minutes more ice per game last season than Alex Galchenyuk, who is a first line center. When Desharnais gets first line minutes, he takes away from the real first line talent on the team, and the team suffers.

(Photo: Paul Chiasson, Canadian Press)

(Photo: Paul Chiasson, Canadian Press)

So keep Desharnais on the third line, he produces there, it allows him to play against lesser competition and gives him more time and space. Allow the top 6 to get their minutes, and then the bottom 6 can be more effective, which will create balanced scoring, and a greater depth in the organization.

I admire Desharnais’ story, a Quebec guy who was told he was too small, and worked his way up from the ECHL, to play for his childhood team in the best hockey league in the world. I also like Desharnais’ drive; it takes a driven person to survive in the Montreal market, and it is a shame that he is being misused. If Desharnais was/is used effectively and in that role consistently, I have no doubt in my mind that he will continue to be a very effective 3rd liner for the Montreal Canadiens.

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One Response to Why is Desharnais Disliked by Fans?

  1. the problem is not DD himself..as you said he is a 3rd line center at best..the problem is MT affliction for him and putting him on the PP/PK where he should never be near…or on the shootout…but it is not his fault but MT….and unfortunately I can not see MT love for DD getting any lesser so we will have to suffer and at times pay the price for an inadequate coach

    Phil Turnbull October 25, 2016 at 4:20 pm Reply

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