For Josh Anderson, team support should help him for next season

It's been a forgettable season for Josh Anderson, but thankfully, it is one game shy of being done.
Toronto Maple Leafs v Montreal Canadiens
Toronto Maple Leafs v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

Of all the Montreal Canadiens, Josh Anderson has had the most frustrating season of all, the silver lining is the fact that it comes to an end of Tuesday night.

You feel for him, because it isn't for a lack of trying - the luck has just not been there - some games he does seem more engaged than others though. If he can start to see some personal success, than the lackadaisical efforts should decrease. But one thing that has never wavered is the support of his teammates, which is a big positive that he can take with him into the 2024-25 season.

Anderson's goal against the Philadelphia Flyers is an example of how his year has gone, it was so close to not being a goal. Many times this season, Anderson has tried the same rush to the net, but it hasn't worked out. For Anderson, it's obvious that keeping things simple is the best course of action.

Before saying anything else, Anderson is being paid more than what he is worth. But there's very little that can be done about that, the contract was signed and nobody else wants it. Buying him out would also handcuff the team more than help, so hoping for a resurgence next year is the lone hope.

It has been Anderson's worst season of his career and the drop-off from last year to this year is quite significant. Sportnet's Canadiens beat writer Eric Engels, stated during last night's game against the Detroit Red Wings that Anderson had played his best period of the season, the issue is that it took him until game 81 to do so.

If anything other than having supportive teammates and coaching staff to help him through his frustrations can be carried over to next year, it's to simplify things. Anderson is at his best when he uses his skating and hard-hitting style to disrupt the opposition. What Anderson is capable of doing is creating space and being a thorn in the opponent's side on the forecheck.

Offensively he isn't the most skilled stick handler, which is putting it lightly, but he has a large frame and isn't easy to push around. So if he took a page out of Brendan Gallagher and Juraj Slafkovsky's playbook, he could do some damage in front of the other team's net. Even if he isn't likely to tip or deflect pucks, taking away the goaltender's vision will create second chances, which will easily make him more effective.

Joel Armia and Gallagher have dealt with their fair share of adversity, so it isn't crazy to think that Anderson could learn a thing or two from them. Even if he is unable to score close to 30 goals again, igniting Anderson will be a huge plus for the Habs next year. 20 points in 77 games isn't cutting it, but I think that if he can increase his production to 35-40 points that wouldn't be awful.

The support is there and the guys love him, so now it's just a matter of him having a great offseason, in preparation for a better year in 2024-25.