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Martin St-Louis thinks the CH played a good game (and is proud of his team)

Last night, the Canadiens played their second game in two nights… in two different cities. Facing the Panthers, no one really expected the CH to win.

What people were asking of the Habs was that they not be downgraded, and that the effort be there.

The result? The Canadiens did lose (5-1), the effort was there… but the club was still downgraded due to a third period in which everything fell apart in terms of goals. It was 1-0 to Florida after 40 minutes.

This morning, on BPM Sports during Renaud Lavoie’s column, Anthony Desaulniers summed it up by saying that he would have liked to have listened to that game when he was eight or nine… because he would have had to go to bed after the second period.

A perfect illustration of the Flanelle’s third period.

What’s most striking is that, after the game, Martin St-Louis said he thought his club had played a good game. He also said he was proud of his team.

That said, it’s important to add a (big) nuance when listening to Martin St-Louis’ comments.

And that is? Obviously, the words that were chosen are striking, but we also need to talk about his non-verbal style. The coach didn’t sound like a coach who was satisfied with the game when you analyze his non-verbals.

His answers were short and dry. And even if the message was positive, you could still sense that he was annoyed by what he saw.

Seeing him on the podium, I can’t imagine that once the doors closed, Martin St-Louis would have said the same words to his group. And if that’s the case, it fits with his bosses, who said from the start of the season that the playoffs weren’t an objective.

St-Louis isn’t completely wrong in the sense that it’s true that the effort was there. That said, it finished 5-1.

Josh Anderson still hasn’t scored and has lost his place on the power play? Yes, but he fought hard and “he’s back” in the coach’s eyes because of the way he played, but he still hasn’t scored this season. He’s obviously not going to lose his spot tomorrow.

Did Cayden Primeau look bad, giving up five goals with the mitten? Yes, but MSL gave him a pat on the back after the game, saying he’ll learn from this.

That’s all true to a certain extent, but the problem is this: it shouldn’t reflect the way the Habs are analyzing this defeat. There are limits to positive reinforcement in life, and sometimes you have to point out the negative.

After all, ultimately, it’s the customer who suffers. When such performances are praised after a game in which no one in the stands enjoyed themselves, it forces us to question ourselves.

Jonathan Bernier is right: paying to see such a show at home is… that. It’s not normal for a club to offer such performances at home so often.

On paper, the Canadiens are still selling tickets. But in reality, we sometimes see empty seats. That means fewer beers sold, fewer burps swallowed…

But it also means a certain lack of interest. And that’s something the CH has to take note of.

But that’s not all. That’s not all that should be remembered about this game, which was the first at home after a long stretch on the road to end the month of November.

What do I remember about this game?

1. Which do you think hurt more: the referees’ work or Alex Newhook’s injury? Obviously, we know the answer is Newhook, but I wanted to blame the referees somewhere…

Seeing Newhook get hurt in the first (on a play that deserved a penalty), come back and get hurt again isn’t a good feeling for Martin St-Louis and his team.

After all, we can’t logically expect the Canadiens to count on his services on Saturday.

Will it allow the Habs to stir their soup by putting Cole Caufield and Juraj Slafkovsky on the first line with Nick Suzuki, who has lost his left winger? Will it open the door to Joshua- ah pis laissez faire.

2. The power play had been struggling for a few games, and removing Josh Anderson and replacing him with Alex Newhook didn’t help. Yesterday, the CH was 0-in-6, which partly explains the loss.

Over the past eight games, Alex Burrows’ unit is 0-in-23. Something to work on, you say?

3. Justin Barron played 22:17. He was 11 seconds away from being the Habs’ most-used skater, and the duo he forms with Kaiden Guhle – as with Team Canada Junior – works.

When David Savard returns alongside Mike Matheson, the CH will have a more stable top-4. Because yes, I see the Quebecers together.


The Habs have today off from training. It should be skating tomorrow morning, a few hours before the Detroit Red Wings come to town.

So we won’t know if Alex Newhook will be able to skate (although we suspect he won’t) and if Arber Xhekaj is getting closer to a return to action. Hopefully, he’ll be back this week.

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