Montreal Canadiens: You Have to Feel a Little Sorry For Kale Clague

Feb 10, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens defenseman Kale Clague. Mandatory Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 10, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens defenseman Kale Clague. Mandatory Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports /

The Montreal Canadiens have been active on the waiver wire this season, and found a couple of hidden gems for free.

Samuel Montembeault is likely to have the most games played of any Habs goalie by season’s end and provided some stellar netminding after being grabbed off waivers from the Florida Panthers at the beginning of the season.

Rem Pitlick was picked up off waivers as well, after scoring 11 points in 20 games for the Minnesota Wild. He has been great for the Canadiens as well, scoring 22 points in 37 games in Montreal which is essentially a 50 point pace. Not bad for a player picked up for nothing.

The third player the Habs selected off the waiver wire this season was Kale Clague. An offensive minded defenceman, Clague couldn’t cement a role on the Los Angeles Kings blue line this season though he had five points in 11 games.

The 23 year old was a second round pick in 2016 and has great skating skills and can help out quite a bit in the offensive zone. He certainly has his limitations defensively, but playing for a team at the bottom of the standings like the Canadiens gave him an opportunity to play a bit more and learn from his mistakes in a less pressure packed environment than a team hoping to hang on to a playoff spot.

Clague never really earned the trust of his coach in the defensive zone, but his skating and puck moving was an element that was sorely lacking on the Canadiens blue line for years. It would have been interesting to see him play a lot late this season, but like many Canadiens, he got injured.

Clague was out of the lineup from March 9th to April 7th, when he finally got a chance to get into game action again.

The puck mover was active offensively, played 19 minutes that night, scored a goal and added two assists in a 7-4 win.

Since then, Clague has been a healthy scratch again.

What more could he have done in his only game since early March? Three points in 19 minutes of action and a convincing win for the team.

The Canadiens have elected to go back to using Jordan Harris who sat out that games against New Jersey, as well as Corey Schueneman who has played well, instead of Clague.

You can’t really blame the team for it, as Harris and Schueneman deserve to play as well. But you can’t help but feel bad for Clague who finally got an opportunity, scored three points, and then sat back down again.

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