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SLBAM: Please keep Joshua Roy in Laval
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

Hello everyone, two weeks have gone by already and it’s time for my article. Thank you once again for your questions, and please don’t hesitate to come and see me if you have any questions.

For his sake, you don’t need to keep him in the NHL to evaluate him right now, especially if he’s not ready and especially if he’s going to play 8-12 minutes in a role that’s not his compared to 18-22 minutes in the AHL.

His development will be greater staying with Laval, trying to win important games and playoffs.

Also, the number of responsibilities will be greater, as will the number of touches, the number of times he’ll be in the goalie’s face, and so on: this will help his development.

We often forget this for talented players: they have to have the puck, they have to be able to take shots and they have to play. That’s part of development. Staying with Laval is an obligation for me, especially since the Habs won’t be making the playoffs.

It’s a funny question, but I understand it very well.

For example, everyone thinks my kids play hockey and love hockey. The two older ones just like free skating, they’ve never been into hockey. My youngest likes being a goalie, but not on the ice.

And my son, since we moved to Ohio, he’s been obsessed with hockey. Unfortunately, where we’re located, there really isn’t any organized hockey. So I have to take him out on the ice with me after practices or games on the weekends so he can skate a little with me.

But my guy, he writes right-handed like me, but he’s left-handed. Same thing with the other three girls.

But I said to myself, if ever my guy, for X/Y reason, plays hockey. I want him to be right-handed, simply because there aren’t any more right-handers, and even in my day, there weren’t many.

If I take myself as an example, in hockey I’m left-handed, but in baseball I hit from the right. I don’t know if there’s a science behind it, but yes. It’s hard to find right-handed defensemen.

Even here in the ECHL, it’s not easy to find not only right-handed defensemen, but right-handed centers.

Love him or hate him, having played 1,000 games and being one of the most used in PK, few players are able to pull it off and cheat, unless you’re a generational player, for example.

What’s happening with Eller is that he was seen as a saviour in Montreal and a player who had to produce at a hellish pace. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work that way.

Just look at Maxime Talbot, who finished as the QMJHL’s top scorer and, once in the NHL, had to adapt his game and became one of the league’s best defensive players and an excellent PK.

Eller is a bottom-6 player who can fill in or lend a hand on the top-six from time to time. He quickly understood his role and adapted to be effective, but above all, to have longevity.

1,000 games in the NHL is no mean feat. You don’t get there by cheating and working badly.

For the2nd part of the question. Yes, a coach can see when a player is cheating or not working well. There’s a lot of experience involved, though, in knowing when to recognize them.

But with visual technology, players are no longer able to hide. We see every move after the game and can address them.

Between periods, we can even use video footage for team or individual video, to motivate them or make sure we correct our shortcomings or mistakes.

The Habs don’t budge in terms of statistics and rankings. Yes, the journalists are 100% right about that. Just look at the standings, the number of wins and you can easily make the connection.

But that’s like a lot of people: you can make statistics say whatever you want.

Let’s take a look at the arrival of MSL and where the team is now. You have to look at the team in front of him. He has a very solid first line, but then, you can’t win. Scotty Bownman or Patrick Roy wouldn’t necessarily do any better with the Habs’ current line-up.

If you look at individual players, that’s where the progress is. Look at Slaf: everyone wondered about him, but he’s slowly becoming the player upper management saw in him.

Suzuki is establishing himself as an excellent two-way center, and Caufield was producing at the same rate as last year, but making more plays. On defense, the young defenders are developing, and so on.

As far as I’m concerned, in terms of development, he’s doing quite a job and the hockey staff is doing quite a job. But the NHL is a business, and you have to win at some point.

If MSL were in its fifth year, I don’t think we’d be having the same discussion. But right now, the Habs are growing and that’s good for everyone.

A huge thank you for your questions and we’ll see you next week. @Mitch_Giguere.

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