Lars Eller stunned, amazed and awed Montreal Canadiens fans on Wednesday night with a four goal, five point output in the Habs 7-3 victory. Playing primarily on the third line with only six seconds of power play time, the Danish center posted one of the more impressive showings any player produced all season.
Entering the game with only four goals through 36 games, Eller was seen as a player unable to reach his potential. His rookie campaign ended with only seven goals and 17 points through 77 games — totals that signified a player breaking into the lineup but not necessarily lighting it up. Breaking into the League in Montreal can be a difficult task which likely explains his earlier inability to rack up points.
But all of that seems to have changed with a little bit of confidence from head coach Randy Cunneyworth. That confidence has given Eller the opportunity to accomplish some pretty impressive feats. From ESPN Elias:
From Elias: Lars Eller, who had never scored more than two points in one game in his three seasons in the NHL, recorded four goals and one assist in the Canadiens’ 7-3 win over the Jets on Wednesday. Eller was the first Canadiens player to score four goals in one game since Jan Bulis on Jan. 25, 2006 at Philadelphia, and he was the first to do so on home ice since Brian Bellows on Feb. 27, 1993 versus the Sabres at the Montreal Forum. Eller is also the first NHL player born in Denmark to score three or more goals in one game, though we feel obligated to note that there have been only seven Danish players in league history.
Elias pointed out that Eller has not registered more than two points in a single game over his career. In fact, Eller has five two-point games over his previous 120 NHL games. Obviously the ability to post points in bunches is an important quality with regards to fantasy hockey value. Furthermore, Eller now has points in three of his last four and four of his last seven. At the very least he deserves a stream for another week or two.
When the St. Louis Blues sent the Rodovre, Denmark native to the Habs, it was somewhat understood that he would be the centerpiece of the blockbuster deal. Selected 13th overall, Eller posted 18 goals and 57 points through 70 games in his only season in the AHL. The Canadiens definitely expected him to be a major contributor and now he can be just that on this new-look, semi-rebuilding team.
Do you buy into the Lars Eller hype? Perhaps the video below will help sway your vote.