Martin St-Louis sees the many injuries as an opportunity to assess his team’s culture.
Martin St-Louis doesn’t seem to worry too much with the injured list that continues to grow with the Montreal Canadiens.
Rather, the driver sees the situation as an opportunity to assess where the culture he’s been trying to build with his troops since the start of the season is. As the team is at the heart of a reconstruction and has no pressure to win at all costs, it must be said that the context lends itself rather well.
“It’s an opportunity to evaluate other players and it’s an opportunity for others to take on a bigger role,” he said before Thursday’s game against the Florida Panthers. “Good teams that are successful year after year have a culture, a stronger identity than a single individual.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s a recall or a free agent signing, the train continues. If one guy gets out and another gets on, the train continues. It is the sign of a good culture. This is what we are working on and trying to implement, and we have the chance to see where we are. »
With injuries to forwards Sean Monahan, Jake Evans, Joel Armia and Juraj Slafkovsky – to name a few – the train will continue to count on new passengers, like Rem Pitlick and Rafaël Harvey-Pinard, both recalled from the school club Start of the week. The coach will keep the same lineup Thursday as last game – a 4-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets.
“We’ve added young players who bring a lot of energy to the squad,” observed captain Nick Suzuki. It’s good to see them arrive and to see them play intensely every night. […] They have big shoes to fill and they have to take this chance to show what they can do. »
Canadiens Have Won Three of Their Last Four Games
The Canadiens have won three of their last four games, including their last two against league powerhouses like the New York Rangers and Jets, and are showing encouraging signs despite the circumstances. The seven-game losing streak (0-6-1) they went through over the holidays seems to be behind them.
“It shows that we are capable of moving forward,” said St-Louis. We must not ask ourselves why we are in a situation, but how we fix it. As a group, we have shown that we are capable of repairing ourselves (sic).
“We are able to manage the wave dips, even those that are bigger than we would have liked. We are now a better team than before this sequence. Sometimes it takes that to be able to improve. »
Slafkovsky well supervised
By announcing that Slafkovsky would have to miss the next three months with a knee injury, the Habs somehow announced that the rookie’s first season had just come to an end.
The fact remains that the 18-year-old will be around the team until the end of the campaign and that everyone will make sure that he is well supervised and that he keeps his spirits up despite everything. The Slovak also attended the morning training of his team with Evans and Armia on Thursday.
“The guys will still be at the arena and he has company for the moment,” Suzuki said. It’s already better than being alone. We will have to keep their morale high. Juraj is still young and must take his time to recover well. We want him to have a long career, so he has to be patient. »
“It’s always difficult to be in the stands, especially for a long period, concluded defender David Savard. It’s up to us to keep him involved. He has a good attitude and he gets along well with the other kids off the ice. He will still have fun coming to the arena. »
This article is originally published on nhl.com