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No, Trevor Letowski is not Martin St-Louis

Auteur: Dose
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No, Trevor Letowski is not Martin St-Louis
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

Martin St-Louis is an excellent head coach. We all knew it… but we know it even more now that he decided to leave the team a week ago.

He’s good at developing youngsters on an individual basis, but he’s also excellent at ensuring that his group – limited in talent, of course – is able to give their all every time they take to the ice (or nearly every time).

It’s no coincidence that the Habs have lost the most games by one goal (often in overtime). The Habs, even with a depleted line-up, have been able to hold their own against just about everyone else in the NHL this season.

From February 24 to March 15, when many players were injured or traded, the Tricolore maintained a 4-2-3 record, losing only one game by more than one goal (in Carolina).

Except that since St-Louis has been away from the team, we haven’t seen the same line-up on the ice (even if, theoretically, it is the same line-up).

Three-goal loss in Calgary, one-goal loss in Edmonton, three-goal loss in Vancouver…

And more often than not during this Alberta and British Columbia tour, the club has been dominated by its opponents in the shootout. Yesterday, the Habs directed only 17 pucks at veteran Casey DeSmith. Come on!

I’m willing to believe that, historically, trips to Western Canada are always difficult, and that both the Oilers and the Cauncks are having stellar seasons, there’s reason to think that MSL ‘s Habs would probably have performed better than Trevor Letowski’s team over the last three games.

Letowski is nice. He speaks French and knows his hockey. He’s a good assistant coach. It’s cute to note that he looks like Mike Matheson: but he’s not Martin St-Louis. He doesn’t have the charisma, respect or presence (Hi Jeff!) of St-Louis. Nor the hockey intelligence…

(Credit: YouTube (screenshot))

We don’t know when the head coach will be back with the team, but we have to hope (from a strictly hockey point of view) that he will be one day. At least next season, when it’s time to fight for a playoff spot.

Right now, though, regulation-time losses aren’t hurting too much – quite the contrary! #Lottery #Draft

Especially since the Coyotes, Senators and Blue Jackets aren’t far behind

Sometimes, a coach ‘s departure can serve to weld players together. It happened against the Golden Knights in the 2021 playoffs. Who doesn’t remember Dominique Ducharme’s COVID, Luke Richardson’s interim replacement and Artturi Lehkonen’s goal on the evening of June 24 in Montreal?

Luke Richardson had the kind of poise and rare, almost unanimous respect that makes guys want to give their all for you. Maybe even more so than the head coach himself…

In 2020, in the bubble, Kirk Muller had to replace Claude Julien after the latter suffered a heart attack. The Habs responded well on opening night with a 5-0 win over the Flyers… but lost three of the next four games to end their playoff run.

Muller also had the poise and respect needed to lead in the NHL. His team had agreed to play for him and had simply been beaten by a better team. I don’t think the Habs would have eliminated the Flyers, even with Claude Julien behind the bench.

Both Muller and Richardson have coached (in chief) in the NHL… something that will probably never happen to Trevor Letowski. It’s bad enough that sitting veterans like Tanner Pearson or breaking up all the regular defensive pairs can’t please everyone in the dressing room…

Letowski is an excellent assistant or head coach in a lesser league, but he’s currently experiencing his own personal Peter Principle.

The Canadian should be flying to Seattle in the next few hours. The club won’t be playing tomorrow night; instead, its next game will be played on Sunday at 9:00 p.m. (in Seattle).

Then comes a tough game in Colorado on Tuesday, before finally returning to Montreal to welcome John Tortorella and Sean Couturier to the Flyers next Thursday. How will Trevor Letowski’s club fare (if, of course, Martin St-Louis isn’t back)? We’ll see.

I’m repeating myself, but we’re lucky to have Martin St-Louis in Montreal. We’re lucky to have him. Let’s hope the family ordeal he’s going through won’t leave any lasting damage to anyone.

In brief

– Is Olivier Renard fed up with having such a small budget to manage the Montreal CF?

– Will Lassi Lappalainen ever be fit and healthy?

– There’s a good chance we’ll see Joshua Roy David Reinbacher in a Rocket uniform tonight in Belleville.

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