Montreal Canadians fans are swallowing their words these days that GM Mark Bergwin got a good deal by getting Eric Stall from Buffalo Sabers on March 26th.
The 36-year-old skater is clear in his final miles, and the current season is tough to say the least, as observers point out when they see the 2006 Stanley Cup winner at work. He was only a shadow, and the exchange that sent him to the Quebec metropolis did not seem to have changed anything.
With a record of three goals and seven assists in 32 games before leaving the Sabers, Stahl has a terrific-20 differential. In Montreal, as he scored his decisive goal for the first time in a blue, white and red uniform against the Edmonton Oilers on April 5, many expected him to bounce back.
However, from that time on, it was nothing. Stahl failed to score a single point in his next seven games; In six of them, he ended the game with a negative difference, despite currently playing in the fourth row with Corey Perry and Arthur Lehkonen.
The clash with the Winnipeg Jets on April 8 was the worst for Stall, who was standing at -3. Then, on Saturday, against the Ottawa senators, he was only 10:19, his weakest use since joining the Canadians.
For those who claim 1,280 career regular season games the rest of the frozen schedule is not good. The next three weeks will consist of four duels over six days, not to mention the last two in the May 10 and 12 campaign against the Oilers at the Bell Center.
Therefore, it remains to be seen whether head coach Dominic Ducharm will be able to speed up the stall by playing all of these games or call Jake Evans, who has not played since Monday. Also, he will be betting this week on two new defenders, Eric Gustafson and Joan Merrill. Can he use seven full spines and 11 forward in some cases?
Finally, the young Cole, who has been promoted to the Reserve Squad, is around the field and is waiting for the signal to make his debut in the National Hockey League.