Maxime Comtois Has Arrived within the Means the Geese Hoped
John Locher/Pool Images-USA TODAY SportsRight now, the Anaheim Geese are a awful, awful hockey group. Regardless of boasting one of many league’s greatest goaltenders in John Gibson, the Geese are final within the West Division, dropping out to their equally poor Californian counterparts Los Angeles and San Jose. Going by factors proportion, solely Ottawa and Detroit (each .340) sit beneath Anaheim (.370). Ouch.However that was to be anticipated. The Geese completed sixth of eight groups within the Pacific Division a season in the past (however first within the brutal Battle of California) and the 2021 season wasn’t presupposed to be higher. Geese followers have been listening to for years that their younger crop was coming and would make issues higher – to this point, Trevor Zegras has been quiet, however he is additionally simply 19. However the remainder of the younger weapons? Guys like Troy Terry, Sam Metal and Maxime Comtois? This was the yr the place they wanted to point out up in a giant means and show that their improvement wasn’t misplaced alongside the best way.And for Comtois, he is been the group’s largest optimistic amongst skaters. By way of 23 video games, Comtois leads the Geese in scoring with 9 objectives (4 away from Isac Lundestrom in second) and 15 factors.And to assume, Comtois wasn’t presupposed to make the opening night time lineup. He began on the taxi squad, however an damage allowed him in and he scored in his season debut. Coach Dallas Eakins has stored him within the lineup ever since, selling him to the primary line and reaping the rewards – even when he did not consider in Comtois sufficient to provide him a greater shot out of the gate.Comtois has been one of many few causes to get enthusiastic about Anaheim’s offensive core. This is identical group that put Adam Henrique – the group’s high scorer from a yr in the past and five-time 20-goal man – on waivers earlier this season. Because it stands, Comtois’ 1.86 goals-per-60 is sixth amongst forwards with a minimum of 200 minutes of five-a-side motion and he is doing it with a median of 12:35 of 5-on-5 ice time per recreation.Followers had a cause to be cautious about Comtois and his improvement. His World Junior Championship efficiency in 2018 confirmed a scarcity of self-discipline. His first professional season was fairly unremarkable. The one-time junior goal-scorer wasn’t lighting issues up in the best way he hoped for. His NHL profession began off scorching with a purpose 49 seconds into his first recreation earlier than ending with seven factors in 10 video games previous to being despatched down, however then he cooled off in a means that made you marvel what his true potential was going to be.However the numbers do not lie – he is been a monster for the Geese.As Zegras continues to regulate to the NHL recreation on a group that hasn’t given him a ton of instruments to work with, Comtois’ emergence because the group’s greatest ahead by means of practically two months of play is a pleasing shock. Comtois’ play exterior of placing pucks out of the web (which, in fact, is without doubt one of the most essential issues anybody can do in hockey) wants a bit of labor, however he is working with what he is handed. Comtois’ Corsi-for proportion at 5-on-5 is 49.54 – 242nd amongst 427 gamers with a minimum of 200 minutes of ice time – and his defensive play can lack at instances, however the bodily, energy-munching winger has been undoubtedly efficient on the scoresheet and that is what actually issues.Comtois at present traces up beside Ryan Getzlaf and Troy Terry on Anaheim’s high line – a grouping that Day by day Faceoff lists because the worst high line within the NHL proper now. When Comtois was on the third line with Lundestrom and Rickard Rakell, the trio was the most effective third teams within the league with stable numbers as well, however Comtois’ play made it a very good name to maneuver him up the lineup and get him extra ice time alongside veteran like Getzlaf. Once more, the Geese do not want success this yr – one other good prospect within the system might actually spice issues up in the long term. Nevertheless it’s good to see Eakins lastly exhibiting some belief in Comtois and what he brings to the group.Comtois is just 22 and nonetheless within the early levels of his professional improvement. However that is precisely the trail the Geese have been hoping to see him Comtois take and he is giving the group a little bit of life. Is he Anaheim’s No. 1 left winger of the long run? Who is aware of, however he is certainly taking part in like that proper now.