Some hockey analysts wonder if Patrik Laine can excel at center after having success on the wing since his NHL debut, but he believes he has all the answers to silence the doubters.
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The 25-year-old Finn is starting his eighth career campaign at Bateman, and is particularly known for the quality of his play on the left wing. However, his head coach Pascal Vincent intends to use him at the moment in the position of Cole Selinger and Johnny Gaudreau.
Lin doesn’t have the reputation of Sidney Crosby or Connor McDavid, among others, but he believes he can stand out now.
“I’m not going to start kneeling in front of everyone or be the opposite of myself. I know I can compete with these people, and that’s why I want to succeed in the first place.”
Author of 22 goals and 30 assists for 52 points in 55 games last season with the Jackets, the former Winnipeg Jets standout will be the centerpiece of a team that also relies on Boone Jenner, Adam Fantelli and Sean Kuraly at the position.
His -12 differential and questionable effectiveness in the faceoff circle raises some questions. Layne, on the other hand, seems to have convinced Gaudreau, even if the recent past has not been as glorious, with injuries hurting the former of the two.
“We had some samples together last year and it sounded like what I did [Matthew] Tkachuk [chez les Flames de Calgary], Valuable. We’ve done a good job of playing efficiently during the preseason schedule and he’s doing a solid job at the position. This will help us greatly this year.”
Columbus will face the Philadelphia Flyers to start the 2023-2024 season on Thursday.
“Hardcore beer fanatic. Falls down a lot. Professional coffee fan. Music ninja.”