Mattias Norlinder surprised a lot of people in Canadiens camp this season. He was one of the team’s recent departures, and if there had not been a congestion on the blue line (on the left side), he would have had a better chance of joining the club.
But with the Rocket it’s completely different. Norlinder doesn’t do a good job. And today he is left behind.
Jean-François Houle has many healthy defenders in the team and had to make decisions.
With 9 healthy defensemen, JF Houle has decisions to make. He starts this afternoon in Winnipeg by taking out Mattias Norlinder. It’s not a good start for the Swede, who doesn’t have the same drive we saw in the CH camp with 2 points and the worst record in the AHL at -13.
— Anthony Marcotte (@anthonymarcotte) November 12, 2023
Laval will face the Manitoba Moose at 3 p.m.
Due to Lindstrom’s recall, the Rocket now have eight defensemen on the team. Norlinder is therefore one of the two defenders who are unavailable for the game. The other is Nicolas Beaudin.
In 10 games this season, Norlinder has just two points and as Anthony Marcotte points out in his tweet above, he has the worst differential (minus-13) in the AHL. And in the club’s final game, he finished with a minus-4 rating. Ouch.
I don’t know if the Swede was upset about his departure from the big club, but it’s clear that he won’t deserve a recall if he plays like that. Were the defender’s performances in the big club’s training camp just a flash in the pan and the Norlinder from last season is back?
Hopefully his absence from this afternoon’s game sends him a message.
Like Norlinder, the Rockets didn’t have the start to the season they had hoped for. Expectations were high for the 2023-24 season, but with a record of 2-7-1 they are in last place in the North Division. Laval hasn’t played in a week; So the club had time to prepare.
To see if he can find his way to victory (again).
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