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The level of play has increased over the past month and the Canadian is no longer keeping up.
In the NHL, the level of intensity increases as the season progresses.

There are four periods in which there’s a noticeable difference in the intensity and speed of game play: from October to Christmas, from Christmas to the trade deadline, from the trade deadline to the end of the regular season… And then, of course, there are the playoffs.

At each of these periods, it becomes increasingly difficult to win games, as systems of play improve and tighten up. It’s often then that we’re able to see a team’s true colors.

Since Christmas, the Habs have struggled to resemble the good team they were at the start of the season. Martin St-Louis’ men have won just four games (out of thirteen) since the holiday break…

And that can surely be explained by the fact that the club has been one of the worst defensively for almost a month now.

The Habs are allowing more shots, possessing the puck less and giving the opposition (far) more goals.

All this despite the fact that the defensemen are healthy right now, as Simon-Olivier Lorange (La Presse) points out in a recent article:

The level of play has increased over the past month and the Habs just can’t keep up.

It’s going to be beautiful when the level of play is even higher…

If the trend is anything to go by, and with the Habs likely to have sold a few players by then, the period after the trade deadline is likely to be extremely tough for the Tricolore.

Especially as the Montreal club has one of the toughest schedules in the NHL between now and the end of the campaign, according to Tankathon :

(Credit: Tankathon)

Earlier today, Martin St-Louis said in a press conference that his club needs to make better decisions when they’re in their zone.

“We’re giving them too much space,” said the Habs head coach… And the Habs had better fix that aspect of their game, or it’s going to be an extremely long end to the season.

Offensive schemes are evolving and getting even better, after all.

The next few months are likely to be interesting for the Habs, as we’ll have a chance to see where the club stands in its rebuilding. Games are going to get even tougher to win… And that’s when we’ll see which players will be able to perform despite the adversity.

That said, things have to pick up quickly, because it’s going to be pretty tough otherwise.

In bursts

– With good reason.

– All the better.

– Oh?

– Now that’s funny.

– Too hard!

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