Asked Martin St. Louis last night if he could structure a practice around finishing plays, and he said, not really.
Looks like he reconsidered. pic.twitter.com/pax5l3bMay
– Eric Engels (@EricEngels) November 15, 2023
An excellent club (soccer) technical director once told me that all the good teams that couldn’t string wins together had a finishing problem. In short, that if I coached a team I thought was good, I should regularly work on finishing in my training sessions.
Basically, the aim of soccer, hockey, basketball, football, baseball and other team sports is to score more goals/points than your opponents. That’s what you’re judged on as a team or as a coach, in the end.
Well, Martin St-Louis had the excellent idea of working on finishing this morning in Brossard. Unless it was a question from Eric Engels that convinced him to do so…
Martin St-Louis has never been afraid to think outside the box in his training sessions – especially since his arrival in Montreal – and he called on Adam Nicholas this morning to present a practice where the theme of finishing was obvious.
– Stu Cowan (@StuCowan1) November 15, 2023
On the agenda this morning: remembering how to score goals.
All the forwards are on the main ice.
And they’ve all been given one instruction:
ENFILER THE*^%#*^%%# EAGLE. pic.twitter.com/LT9TSHhsAM
– Anthony Martineau (@Antho_Martineau) November 15, 2023
It won’t surprise anyone but we’re into precision shooting this lunchtime. pic.twitter.com/cwlrE9j8pa
– Alexandre Gascon (@GasconAlexandre) November 15, 2023
– Priyanta Emrith (@HabsInHighHeels) November 15, 2023
Firstly, this kind of training allows players to correct a few shortcomings in their shooting…
And second, guys like Juraj Slafkovsky are reminded that they’re damn good shooters/markers and that little dose of added confidence could well make the difference in the next few games. Slafkovsky will probably dare to use his shot more in the team’s next few games.
When we say Juraj Slafkovsky needs to shoot more often pic.twitter.com/Fe72Ou0DY7
– Luc Gelinas (@LucGelinasRDS) November 15, 2023
The Canadiens’ (three) goaltenders have been getting the job done since the start of the season. They are all posting an efficiency percentage of over .900 in 2023-24. Kent Hughes has even gone so far as to say that his goaltenders are collectively among the best (the best group) in the entire NHL right now.
The team’s defensemen could be better, we agree, but the CH’s big problem right now is that we’re not scoring enough goals.
4. Only one forward has found the back of the net at 5-on-5 in the last four games: Brendan Gallagher. And this morning, it’s the forwards who have been working on their finishing…
5. Josh Anderson has plenty of chances to score, but has yet to score a goal in 16 games this season. If there’s one player for whom finishing could change everything, it’s Anderson. Relying on luck and changing sticks has its limits…
Rafaël Harvey-Pinard (who was absent this morning, however), Michael Pezzetta and Christian Dvorak can all improve their efficiency near the net, too.
6. The killer statistic of the day: the Habs are the 10th team with the most shots on net so far this campaign (479), but have the 8th worst efficiency percentage in the NHL (25th). If the team’s finishing had been better, they’d be in an even better position in the standings…
7. The Canadiens haven’t scored more than 3 goals since October 28. That’s 8 games with just one, two or three goals. That makes your plan to win a little more complicated…
At best, Adam Nicholas and Martin St-Louis put their finger on the real things to correct this morning, as MSL did with Caufield about a year ago…
But at worst, he’ll just have boosted the confidence of some of his forwards, and right there, it’ ll pay off.
Will it pay off tomorrow against the mighty Golden Knights and/or Thursday against the nasty Bruins (in Boston)? It certainly won’t! And if nothing else, it’ll help the team pick up four points in San Jose and Anaheim next week.
– Big cash!
Flames: Noah Hanifin reportedly turned down $60 millionhttps://t.co/I44YquNlFm
– TVA Sports (@TVASports) November 15, 2023
– Michael McNiven (who now plays for our colleague Mitch Giguère’s team) is still capable of making big saves.
McNiven… wow just wow pic.twitter.com/dqU6fjGqfY
– ECHL (@ECHL) November 15, 2023
– The subject is still the talk of the town (with good reason) 24 hours later.
Geneviève Guilbault understands the unease surrounding the Kings’ visit to Quebec City
– Tout un matin (@Toutunmatin) November 15, 2023
– 5 to 7 million for the Kings’ visit to Quebec City: Jerome Landry wants to see the glass as half full.
Many outraged columnists at the other end of the 20. In Quebec City too. But the last time we hosted the Canadiens, the poverty of the line-up bordered on the disrespectful. The subsidy is debatable but welcome to the @LAKings
– Jerome Landry (@JeromeLandry) November 15, 2023
– Renaud Raphaël Lavoie back in the NHL.