We have explored the effect that Martin St-Louis has had on individual players like Cole Caufield and Jeff Petry, amongst others. We know that the effort has returned and the Canadiens are much more pleasant to watch since he has taken over. And we also know that the team has won four consecutive games. How big is that? They hadn’t been able to win two games in a row all season prior to that.
So how does it reflect when looking deeper in the numbers? How do the “new Canadiens” compare to the rest of the league now? Well let’s have a look, shall we?
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Let’s be careful when reading this. The sample size is very minimal and, truthfully, far from enough to make a clear determination of things to come. But in that small sample, the team is, in general, performing much better than they were in comparison to the 31 other teams in the NHL. The giveaway ratio and the power play must be addressed, in particular.
Those who read this site regularly will know that we try to be as fair as possible in our assessments. We recognize that there are always two sides to a medal and we’re not afraid to show both sides. We believe in accountability and will not shy way from calling a spade, a spade.
They were many in the fan base and in the media who were blasting Marc Bergevin for different reasons. Some were deserved, many were not. With the team having its worst start in history, ultimately costing the GM’s job, fans were hanging Bergevin for the team he’s put together, they were saying.
Yet today, everyone is praising Martin St-Louis and the Canadiens. The same fans who were putting down Bergevin for the team he assembled are now praising that team. Ironically, it’s the same on-ice product with the exception of Rem Pitlick and Andrew Hammond. So if you were blasting Bergevin for the team he put together, you can’t praise that same team, can you? The new management will evidently put their stamp on the roster but it hasn’t happened yet.
After a small sample of seven games, it seems rather clear that the issue wasn’t the team he’s put together as much as his choice of coach. So his mistake may have been to keep Dominique Ducharme in place too long? But what would you have done after Ducharme took that team all the way to the Stanley Cup finals? Didn’t he deserve and earn a chance to continue with the team? Hindsight is always 20-20.
The Martin St-Louis Era Has Begun by Marc-André Breault
Trade Candidates: A Deep Dive by Bob Trask