Like many players who play for the less popular western teams, not many people know much about Christian Dvorak.
However those who are familiar with the player really like what he'll be able to bring to the Montreal Canadiens.
One of those who likes the fit is Dvorak's former coach in Arizona, Rick Tocchet.
Tocchet spoke to The Athletic recently and had plenty of praise and considering the Dvorak can score goals it seems the Canadiens might have landed an upgrade on Phillip Danault who they lost this summer.
“He’s a really good 200-foot player, he plays his own end very well,” Tocchet said. “When he’s at his best, he scores goals around the net. If you watch a lot of his goals, it’s 15 feet out. He’s got that quick release, but he also gets a lot of rebounds and tip goals too. Those are important goals. Those are hard to find, those type of players that are willing to go into the paint, into the middle of the ice a lot.”
On Dvorak's defense:
“We had to sacrifice a lot because we were trying to stay in the games,” Tocchet explained. “But Divo, when I put him with Crouse and Pitlick, and when they were playing against (Nathan) MacKinnon, or if I put them against (Anze) Kopitar, those guys did really well, and I think Divo was a big part of that. He’s really good at going head-to-head against the other team’s top centres.
“That was a role that we used him in when we lost (Derek) Stepan and (Brad) Richardson. I’ll be honest, he kept us in games, and we won some games because of him shutting down the opponents’ best players. There were some really good centremen in our division and he did a really nice job of shutting those guys down.”
On the power play:
“He really has an underrated quick shot,” Tocchet said. “It’s a different release, it looks like a little weird release, but it’s very effective. And it actually fools the goalies. It’s hard to explain, but he shoots and it’s almost like he’s hiding the puck. Very effective.”
“It’s an ever-growing kind of position for him,” Tocchet added. “But it’s something that I think he’s familiar with and he’s going to get better at. Just the position of the body, knowing when you’re going to get it, and as the bumper, when you go to the net. That’s probably the biggest hockey IQ thing for the bumper position. Sometimes guys will just stay there in the slot the whole time when there’s times where you got to go downhill. Those are little things that I thought he got better as the year went on.”
With Dvorak able to eat minutes up front, defend against top lines, put the puck in the net 5 on 5 or on the powerplay as well as contribute on the penalty, do you think the Canadiens landed an upgrade on Danault?