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Johnathan Kovacevic reveals the key to the Montreal Canadiens’ success
Credit: Twitter

During the post-practice press interviews with members of the Montreal Canadiens this morning, Anthony Martineau (TVA Sports) posed a very interesting question to right-handed defenseman Johnathan Kovacevic: “What aspect of the game did he see the biggest progression in since last year, on a collective level?”

I have to admit that Kovy ‘s response was worthy of a very articulate person, as he painted a pretty accurate picture of the vision we have for the Tricolore. At least, that’s the identity we see of this group on paper, but since the start of the 2023-24 calendar, it seems to me that it’s hard to detect, isn’t it?

Anyway, here’s Kovacevic’s recital of “the key to success” for the blue-white-red:

“Our forward failure is working very well at the moment. This style of play will bring us more victories. We have to make ourselves difficult to play against. Take away the opposition’s space, play more often in the attacking zone. We need to use our speed to close the gaps. Our opponents need to feel suffocated. We have to be on them as soon as they get possession of the puck. That’s the key to our success.” – Kovacevic

How can you not be charmed by Kovacevic’s speech? Even though he’s only a depth defenseman, he’s been doing a colossal job since his acquisition, and his game intelligence has put him in the defensive top-6 game after game. Stéphane Robidas and Martin St-Louis both appreciate his ability.

Let’s get back to the Canadiens’ preferred style: using his speed to stifle opponents in attacking territory. One thing must be said, however: it seems to me that speed, without Alex Newhook, has gone down a hole.

Kovy ‘s description sums up the Habs we saw several times in 2022-23, but only a few times (on the fingers of one hand) since the start of the 2023-24 season.

There’s nothing complex about it: if the Montreal Canadiens players want to excite us as they build their identity and establish their culture, they have to play every game exactly as Kovacevic summed it up!

In gusto

– Tomas Tatar was traded from the Colorado Avalanche to the Seattle Kraken for a fifth-round draft pick.

– Nice pass from Joshua Roy!

– Excellent column about the Canadiens’ youngsters.

– Good words about Wayne Gretzky.

– Jake Oettinger injured on a routine save!

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