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Martin St-Louis: his methods are increasingly challenged
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

Lately, the question “Has the Habs improved this season? And everyone, of course, has an opinion on the matter.

Which brings us back to head coach Martin St-Louis.

He’s been in the job for two years now, and a coach who’s been there two years is obviously no longer in the honeymoon phase. But these days, it seems to be blatantly obvious.

We’ve heard in the past that he wasn’t the best at rolling his bench during a game, or that his quotes were smoke screens, but that wasn’t the norm.

Now? The more incisive comments are more present than before.

Take Martin Leclerc, for example. The Radio-Canada journalist spoke on the Tellement Hockey podcast recently mentioned that the Habs coach would get an excellent mark if he were to be graded on the development aspect, but that the head coach needs to improve aspects of his position.

The following quote is revealing.

As a development coach, I give him an extraordinary mark.

But collectively, the group shows no signs of improvement in fundamental aspects of the game. – Martin Leclerc on Martin St-Louis

This was stated alongside the Brendan Gallagher situation , which has never played as poorly defensively as it does now. In fact, he’s historically bad… and the rest of the Habs aren’t great either.

But that’s not the only aspect questioned publicly by people who follow the Habs.

MSL’s statement that the Habs had their best games of the season during the five-game losing streak didn’t go over well, especially with Jean Perron.

The former coach, who adores St-Louis, thought he was overdoing it.

I understand that a coach’s job is often to put everyone to sleep to take the pressure off his players, but in this case, I think it was a bit over the top – Jean Perron on Martin St-Louis

So he’s happy to see that, despite the win over Arizona, the pilot is still able to say that his club played a bad game and didn’t necessarily deserve to win.

He adds that he’s the right man for the job, despite everything.

And that’s what I’m noticing. More and more, comments like this are about things that Martin St-Louis has always done (he’s always said when his club is playing poorly despite a win, for example), but which are collectively starting to get on people’s nerves.

In my eyes, St-Louis is a good coach, but it’s just that the honeymoon is over and his shortcomings, which have always existed, are being pointed out more and more these days.

And why? Because three years of losing is tedious for many people. Especially those who have lived through the Canadiens’ dynasties…

It should also be noted that Michel Therrien thinks St-Louis will learn from his comments on the “best moments of the season” and that Stéphane Waite likes to see Juraj Slafkovsky skip a turn when he’s undisciplined(which happens a lot these days), because it means this :

He becomes a coach. I like that. – Stéphane Waite on Martin St-Louis

Obviously, it’s still early to tell whether St-Louis will be the right coach to lead the Habs to playoff victories in due course. After all, the club isn’t there yet.

I think he’ll be good, personally. But that doesn’t mean he won’t have aspects to correct in the meantime, including those listed above.

In bursts

– Erik Johnson isn’t out because he’s being traded: he’s sick.

– Joseph Woll is back.

– The 1000-pound question.

– Tankathon: the Habs have the toughest schedule between now and the end of the season. [Tankathon]

– Tonight, at 8pm, it starts.

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