Glen Metropolit's Underappreciated Value for the Montreal Canadiens

Fred PoulinCorrespondent IOctober 23, 2009

MONTREAL- SEPTEMBER 24:  Glen Metropolit #15 of the Montreal Canadiens skates during the warm-up period prior to the NHL preseason game against the Boston Bruins on September 24, 2009 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  The Bruins defeated the Canadiens 2-1 in a shootout.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

Montreal Canadiens’ center Glen Metropolit was back into action yesterday evening after missing six games with a rib injury. He notched two assists in the Habs’ 5-1 victory over the lowly New York Islanders.

He now has one goal and three assists for four points in only three games. The Canadiens are undefeated when he is in the lineup.

Acquired via waivers from the Philadelphia Flyers last season, Metropolit already has more points this season than during his 21 games with le Bleu Blanc Rouge last season.

The 35-year-old Toronto-native is mainly recognized for his defensive play and his quality face-offs. Metro played with Travis Moen and Max Pacioretty on the Habs energy line. His return gave Jacques Martin more flexibility with his line-up, moving centre Maxim Lapierre on the wing. Lapierre scored his first goal of the season playing with Plekanec and A. Kostitsyn.

A right-handed shooter, Metropolit was even used frequently on the second power play unit, getting an assist on M-A Bergeron’s first PP goal with the Habs. Metro lodged over 18 minutes of ice time and was the best player on the ice and game’s first star.

He had his best season in 2007-08 with the Boston Bruins, recording 11 goals and 22 assists for 33 points. He also played for Washington, St. Louis, Boston, Atlanta, and Philadelphia. In 342 games in the NHL, he has 42 goals and 92 assists for 134 points.

His $1M salary for the 2009-2010 makes him an affordable two-way centre who can kill penalties and play on the second power play unit. The Canadiens really need to keep using him as Kyle Chipchura keeps proving everyone that he is a bust and will never become the third line centre he was supposed to be.

Should Martin keep using Metropolit for 18 minutes per game? I’d say yes.