The problem is not Martin St-Louis

It was early in the season. The Canadian was crushed night after night. Nine losses in twelve games. The disaster after a Stanley Cup final. All supporters were looking for a scapegoat.

Posted at 7:45am

It was Dominique Ducharme.

Why ? Because the new head coach “suffocated” his talented offspring in a defensive game system. However, Duarme was not spoiled for choice. Carey Price, Shea Weber, Joel Edmundson, Mike Hoffman, Paul Byron and Jonathan Drouin were absent. Phillip Danault, Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Corey Perry were gone. The squad wasn’t overflowing with talent. Ducharme knew his players would find their heads underwater if they opened the floodgates.

I defended him. powerful.

It got me a tomato rain.

Not just the little currants that pinch.

Large beefsteak not quite ripe either.

In the weeks that followed, the situation worsened. The Canadian even played a match with just 17 players – including 8 from his school club and 2 claimed on waivers. It looked like a softball formation during the construction holidays.

Duarme was fired. Martin St-Louis replaced him. Two completely different styles. Ducharme was quiet, taciturn. St-Louis is talkative, exuberant. Ducharme closed the game, St-Louis opened it. Result ?

After a slight run-up, the Canadian is crushed again.

He just lost his last nine games. Everything in regular time. The last time it happened in Montreal, Maurice Richard was at the Junior, Jean Béliveau at the Atom, and Guy Lafleur wasn’t born.

The Canadian’s problem isn’t his head coach.

Neither does the game system.

It’s the lack of talent caused by years of poor recruiting.

I’ve already sued former animator Trevor Timmins. Since then he left. I will leave him alone. While the Canadian may lack talent, he’s not lacking either. Nick Suzuki has talent. Cole Caufield has talent. Jonathan Drouin has talent. Carey Price has talent. Justin Barron and Kaiden Guhle are promising. Except that the Canadian has less talent overall – in quantity and quality – than the other clubs in the National League.

Still not convinced?

This season the Canadian has:

· no count of 25 goals;

· no 30-point defender;

· no winger over 40 points (Caufield is at 40).

The attack is starving. Only the Arizona Coyotes have fewer goals per game. On defense, it’s the first time in their rich history that the Habs have conceded more than 300 goals. Not surprisingly, this is the National League’s worst result this season. The guards – long the strength of the organization – are also struggling. They stopped only 88.7% of the shots aimed at them. That puts them in the basement of the league along with the New Jersey Devils and Seattle Kraken.

It must be said that Martin St-Louis, like Dominique Ducharme before him, manages an amputee alignment. Four veterans left the company during the trading period. Jonathan Drouin underwent wrist surgery. Joel Armia returned to Finland. Carey Price is no longer the shadow of the goaltender he was in the playoffs last summer. He just gave up 12 goals in two games. His former trainer Stéphane Waite confided in our podcast leave area to be worried “. “I don’t know if he hurt his knee again or if he instinctively protects his knee. That worries me the most. »

Where can we find it quickly? Let’s say before next season?

There are not forty-two solutions. Either the club sacrifices the hope of immediate help. It probably won’t happen. Or he turns to the free agent market. The problem is that talented players are rarely drawn to team rebuilding unless they’re paying top dollar.

There have been a few cases recently. The Los Angeles Kings with Phillip Danault (33 million). The New Jersey Devils with Dougie Hamilton (63 million). The Buffalo Sabers with Jeff Skinner (72 million). The Chicago Blackhawks with Seth Jones (76 million). The New York Rangers with Artemi Panarin (81.5 million).

Except that the Canadian has less wiggle room under the salary cap. The big contracts of Carey Price, Brendan Gallagher, Jeff Petry and Mike Hoffman weigh heavily. So much so that the Habs find themselves in an unusual position: first in spend, last in overall standings.

It’s a difficult situation for Martin St-Louis. He’s a rookie, an interim head coach who’s doing his best with cards that are significantly weaker than his opponents. I hope his recent failures don’t encourage new management to replace him in the summer.

The Canadian’s problem isn’t behind the bench.

He’s on the bench.

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