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“I love it here”: Slaf really doesn’t mind the pressure of the Montreal market
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

It took him some time to become the player he is today, and that’s normal.

But the way Juraj Slafkovsky has been behaving for some time now, you can really see how much he’s matured.

Both on and off the ice.

The start of his NHL career, we agree, wasn’t super easy. High expectations were placed on the young man because, after all, we’re talking about a first overall pick…

And in his first season with the Habs, he performed below those expectations, because they were too high.

All of which led to criticism and questioning of the Habs’ draft decision… And all of which also led to difficult times for the 18-year-old, who had just left Europe to come to North America.

But as Marc Antoine Godin pointed out in a recent article, this is the Montreal market: the pressure is great, even enormous, so not all players are able to adapt to the city.

However, Slafkovksy told the Radio-Canada journalist that he thrives on this pressure, that he loves playing in Montreal because he loves the attention:

Playing in a city where there’s not as much noise, for me, that’s what’s more difficult, much more so than at the Bell Centre, where there’s passion.

I love it here. – Juraj Slafkovsky

In Marc Antoine Godin’s excellent article, there’s also a quote from Martin St-Louis that’s worth its weight in gold.

The Habs head coach maintains that, first and foremost, it takes discipline to be successful in any National League market… And St-Louis also talked about the distractions (social networks) to avoid for players in the league, because sometimes, it’s too intense.

I found that interesting, because we know that Slaf is a hard worker and he’s not the most active guy on the various social platforms.

In fact, it was clear from the moment he arrived in Montreal that the Slovak had unshakeable confidence.

Even if sometimes it was more difficult on the ice, he answered journalists’ questions with a huge smile on his face, because he knows he’s capable of succeeding.

You have to work at it, but you can’t teach it. And that’s Slaf’s great strength, because he’s still so young.

His attitude, energy and confidence make him a player with the potential to be excellent in a few years’ time. And let’s just say, with what we’ve seen over the last 20 games or so, it’s really encouraging.

In gusto

– Wow!

– Absolument.

– At least!

– The defenseman deserves to have flowers thrown at him.

– That would be special.

– Ah, me too!

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