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Martin St-Louis’ defensive concept criticized
Martin St-Louis coaches his club in a special way. He sees the game differently behind the bench because of his experience as a former NHL player: he wants to let the guys play, but he also wants the players to anticipate where the puck will go.

We saw that in Wednesday night’s game against the Ducks. Jake Evans was smart enough on Alex Newhook’s second goal to anticipate that the puck would be passed to the defenseman.

So he had time to intercept the puck, leading to a two-on-one, before making a perfect pass to Newhook, who only had to deposit the disc in a virtually abandoned cage.

The play was perfect:

But not everyone is happy with Martin St-Louis’ approach.

As an example, last week, some criticized him(like Tony Marinaro) for not sending Jesse Ylönen on the ice late in the game against the Golden Knights when the CH was trailing. The forward had a good game, scoring two goals.

The Canadiens aren’t an offensive club, and their style of play doesn’t arouse passions.

We saw at the start of the season that the team relied heavily on speed to win games, but it was still difficult offensively.

After 20 games, the CH has scored four or more goals only five times this season… And that’s not enough.

In fact, some are beginning to question Martin St-Louis’ “defensive concept” against other teams. Here’s what Jean-Charles Lajoie had to say in an article published yesterday, before today’s game against the Sharks:

I’ll spare you the “x’s” and “o’s” on the board here, but many good hockey heads consulted really don’t understand why the Habs are stubborn and bogged down in a defensive concept that makes all their opponents salivate. – Jean-Charles Lajoie

The Habs need to score more goals, and that’s a fact.

That said, it’s hard to score goals in the NHL when you have a lineup that has a glaring lack of raw talent.

The proof? This afternoon, against the Sharks, the Habs were unable to score more than two goals.

Do I really, really need to remind you that the Sharks are the worst team in the NHL so far this season?

The Habs don’t have a natural goal scorer in their line-up, other than Cole Caufield…

Josh Anderson is a good scorer, but we all know he’s looking for his first goal this season…

And the CH’s top scorers are Alex Newhook, Sean Monahan and Alex Newhook with six goals each…

That’s not much.

It’s true that the defensive concept can be sleepy at times, and it’s true that it doesn’t make for exciting games. But the club is having trouble scoring, and that doesn’t help the strategy employed by the Canadiens’ head coach.

In gusto

– It’s going to be beautiful tomorrow.

– Really.

– It’s always special.

– He never gets old.

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