By Marc-André Breault – Only seven games in as a head coach in the NHL, Martin St-Louis is already making his mark. A positive record of four wins and three losses, every game was played with much more passion than before his arrival. And now, we were treated to a first this season: not two, not three but four consecutive victories.
The Habs had never won two games in a row since the start of season. Even more satisfying was a 5-2 win over Toronto, of all teams! The Canadiens even led 5-0 after 2 periods. In the same game, Jake Muzzin suffered an injury after an unfortunate contact with Chris Wideman. How much time he will miss remains to be seen. A less violent blow than the one taken by Tavares last season, but Muzzin’s head nevertheless hit hard on the ice. Returning from a concussion, he was hospitalized at the end of the game and did not accompany the Leafs to Columbus.
Some people claimed that St. Louis would help Cole Caufield, given their smaller statures. I am one of those who believe in it. We have to admit that so far, it works for Goal Caufield. Six goals and four assists for a total of 10 points. Caufield’s return with Suzuki seems to be working. Josh Anderson was perhaps the complement they lacked to perform. During the game against the Leafs, CC seemed to fly on the ice and find all the ways to spot his teammates on the ice. This line is beautiful to see on the ice. Suzuki with 3 points yesterday is a good exemple.
Another player for whom the coaching change has been beneficial is Jeff Petry. He was critical of Ducharme, more or less subtly, but he was still responsible for a few goals from the opponents. However, we seem to be witnessing an offensive awakening on his part. He has managed five points, including a pair of goals, in those seven games.
Another youngster took advantage: Ryan Poehling. Since the coaching change, he has been playing better and has managed three points in his last seven games.
I am aware that it is only 7 games, but this small sample still gives us a glimpse of how Martin St-Louis can work. An active guy behind the bench who talks a lot with his players. An intense guy who knows what it takes to win. He just gave us our best moments of the whole season, with this great victory against the Leafs. Hope to see what he can do with a full season.
Go Habs Go!
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