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Weekly Question: Should We Be Worried about Thomas Chabot?

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Is it an injury or just exhaustion?

NHL: APR 01 Canadiens at Senators Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Thomas Chabot was our consolation prize and only hope once Erik Karlsson left. We knew we had someone to fill the shoes of the number 1 defenseman on the team and so far he hasn’t disappointed. He also set everyone’s minds’ at ease after signing an 8-year extension in 2019, at a time where any confidence in this organization was pretty fragile.

Pierre Dorion has been well known for his scouting and drafting abilities but when it comes time to fill some gaping holes through free agency and trades, he has often missed the mark. Chabot may be the latest victim of Dorion’s misfortunes and the issue may continue to manifest for bit longer. On any given night, Thomas Chabot is expected to carry load the majority of the defensive load for the team with barely any effective support. Artem Zub has provided some very impressive help but he’s still young and he’s not eating up enough minutes to relieve Chabot. Then we have Mike Reilly who has shown some flashes of being a good and speedy player but nothing to instill much confidence. I won’t even go through the rest of the list as none will help reduce Chabot’s workload.

Chabot is currently leading the team with an average time on ice of over 26:25 minutes. He’s also second overall in the league in this category only behind Drew Doughty. He is often caught playing ridiculous minutes in OT periods because DJ Smith hesitates to trust any other defenseman which leads to Chabot making rookie mistakes. Chabot has also been taking more than a few uncharacteristically bad penalties which haven’t always come at the greatest times. Last year, Chabot had 42 penalty minutes in 71 games. In 34 games played so far, he already has 34 minutes. For a team who is fragile defensively, we cannot have our top defenseman be in the box that often.

Offensively, Chabot has been noticeably less fluid. His transition game has been hesitant and he seems to be overthinking his plays a bit more than he should. The team as a whole has been having zone entry troubles and Chabot is a guy who is heavily relied on to ease that transition. His best offensive season was in 2018/2019 where he had 55 points in 71 games. The production dipped to 39 points in 70 games the next season as he transitioned into a more defensive role. I don’t think his numbers this season are very concerning as he is trending towards the 40 point mark through 70 games which seems to be the average of games played the past two seasons. What’s more concerning is the amount of “bad” games he’s had recently.

The other reasoning behind all these troubles is injuries. He did admit he wasn’t feeling a 100% when he came back earlier in the season. Could it be that it isn’t healed yet or maybe he aggravated it further?

Thomas Chabot remains to be the best defenseman this team has seen since Erik Karlsson. I don’t think the past few weeks are a good indication of who he is as a player. As a 24 year old on a developing team, it’s safe to say he too is adjusting to being the cornerstone of the team and on most nights he’s done a grand job. We’ve seen what the team looks without him and it’s not pretty but we also cannot expect him to continue playing these kind of minutes with minimal support. It wrecked Erik Karlsson before him and it’ll be of absolutely no use to the team of Chabot is often injured or too tired to make the right plays.

Are fans concerned about Thomas Chabot? Is he just being overworked or could there be something else? Is it possible the team is allowing him to play through an injury?

Poll

How do you feel about Thomas Chabot this Season?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    He’s been good, no need to worry
    (26 votes)
  • 49%
    He desperately needs a reduction in his minutes
    (142 votes)
  • 37%
    He can play the minutes but just needs the support
    (108 votes)
  • 4%
    He is injured
    (13 votes)
289 votes total Vote Now