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Best Martin St-Louis quotes in 2023

Since Martin St-Louis took office, we’ve become accustomed to his entertaining press briefings.

In 2023, he was very wise with his words, which prompted me to put together a top-5 list of his best quotes of the year.

Without further ado, here are the rankings.

1: “Everybody’s got to play their game in the game”.

This famous quote is legendary.

We’re going to be talking about it for a long time. Yes, MSL said it in 2022, but Hydro-Québec brought it back in a commercial in 2023.

I don’t know which Hydro employee thought to show off the Habs’ coach, but hats off to him.

In 2022, he said word for word: “I want them to bring their game inside our game. You can’t just play your game. You have to play the game. You have to bring your game to the game.”

For the purposes of the ad, he’s simplified his quote a little, but the message remains the same. It’s undoubtedly the quote of the last two years.

2. The gods keep the Habs from winning in blue

So far in 2023-2024, we haven’t seen the blue jerseys. How fortunate…

Fans know how cursed these jerseys are. And the coach knew it too.

After a rare victory in the blue jerseys earlier this year, St-Louis admitted he was fed up with the color.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen next year, but I hope the blue jerseys don’t come back.”

He also said that “it’s the hockey gods who are the cause of the defeats”.

To sum up what he said, the Habs are a glorious organization and they’ve always won wearing red and white. When the sports gods see the team in blue, they put a curse on the team.

If only that were the case…

3. The Canadian is no longer a baby

In 2023-2024, the Habs won’t be making the playoffs, although as of today, they’re still a few points away.

At the start of the season, despite the rebuild and lack of talent, standards were high internally. And rightly so.

To explain these standards, Martin St-Louis used the analogy that his team is no longer a baby.

We’re further along.

You have to take care of the baby. But a child is more autonomous: he’s able to make his bed or brush his teeth. – Martin St-Louis

The Canadian (child) is now more autonomous and perhaps needs less supervision.

While the Bruins, Leafs, Panthers, Lightning and Red Wings are all adults in the Atlantic section, the Habs haven’t even reached adolescence yet.

After the Habs come the Senators and Sabres, who are children, but very immature, shall we say.

4. Chairs, chairs, that’s no reason to get hurt

In hockey, players have to be selfish. Juraj Slafkovsky, who has to shoot on the ice, is often told this.

But this flaw in real life, which is a value in the hockey world, must be adopted by athletes in specific moments.

For example, you shouldn’t be afraid to take someone else’s place in the line-up.

St-Louis agrees with me on this one.

“If you’re going to encourage a player to steal a chair, he might not be the right player”.

This is very true and Slafkovsky is proof of that. He didn’t start the season in the top-6 and wasn’t necessarily performing well.

When the opportunity arose, he went on the first trio with Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield, and barring a catastrophe, he’s here to stay.

The analogy of stealing chairs reminds me a lot of the word “opportunity”. A player must do everything in his power to steal a chair when the opportunity presents itself. This is the case in all professional sports.

5. Hockey and driving

I used to think that hockey took up a lot (too much?) of my life.

But that was before Martin St-Louis joined the Tricolore.

I understand that he’s been in the hockey business all his life, but even in everyday life, he manages to bring hockey back into the conversation.

Like the time he taught his kids to drive by making comparisons with the sport.

You have to understand the game up front. You have to know what’s going on back and how fast you have to execute your moves. – Martin St-Louis

In short, 2023 has brought us some legendary coaching quotes.

Let’s hope 2024 brings us even better ones.

Martin, never change!

Extension

For the purposes of this exercise, I’ve only chosen five MSL quotes, but I could have chosen more.

Here are two other quotes from the coach that didn’t make the top-5:

Juraj Slafkovsky, like the directions app on your cell :

And Martin St-Louis, the poet.

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