Montreal Canadiens: Nick Suzuki Honoured As NHL's Third Star Of The Week, And The Top Line Is Hot

Montreal Canadiens v Washington Capitals
Montreal Canadiens v Washington Capitals / Patrick Smith/GettyImages
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Montreal Canadiens captain Nick Suzuki was named the NHL's third star of the week ending on February 11.

The 24-year-old London, Ontario native collected 4-2-6 totals through three games. Suzuki has been one of head coach Martin St. Louis's most relied-upon players, thanks to his consistency. His Iron Man streak has also been a huge help - having him available is crucial to the team's success - but the way he has grown is uber impressive.

Alongside 19-year-old Juraj Slafkovsky and 22-year-old Cole Caufield, Suzuki and the top line have been the story for the Canadiens early in 2024. Many have questioned how valid an idea it is to have Suzuki as the team's number one centre when they are in their contention window. And while I agree that icing the best possible lineup is important, Suzuki has been the guy and he has undergone a ton of growth.

On pace to shatter his career high of 26-40-66 through 82 games set in 2022-23, Suzuki has nine points in his last five games, and 15 in his last 10. With the Canadiens' top line dictating where the offensive train goes and Cole and Juraj growing at a crazy rate, Suzuki deserves his flowers. Suzuki has posted 17-31-48 totals through 52 games, a rate that would leave his 66-point career best in the dust, but he has been a big reason for his line's success.

I'm not going to try and predict what sort of production we will see when Suzuki is at his best, but he looks like a sure bet to hit the 50-assist plateau this season. Could he score 13 goals over the next 32 games to hit the 30-goal mark? I think so. And I don't think that it's out of the realm of possibly, for him to become an 80-85 point producer either this year or next.

To Be Considered: The Canadiens top line has been playing quite well, and it has all come without a second line to help support them. It has also come without compromising away from the puck play. Slafkovsky is incredibly raw, and at the beginning of the season, many fans had written him off as a bust.

The Canadiens revamped development staff, has already proven to be a reason for hope. And Suzuki's success can be linked to the way his linemates have played. Give it another year or two, for Slafkovsky to continue developing, and the second line to form - and the Habs' top line, especially Suzuki should gain more attention from the NHL for their strong play.