Martin St-Louis may have lost the match but he won his point.
The sheriff has laws to enforce and beware of those who dare to cross the line. And, he will never forgive a player who lacks respect for authority and also for his teammates.
We want to instill a new culture and Jonathan Drouin has gone beyond the limits. The coach made the necessary decision.
We know very well that Drouin would not have donned the uniform, Saturday night, in Tampa, if the Canadiens had had enough skaters at his disposal. What we are trying to understand in this file is where Drouin had his head in defying authority in this way? His absence at the start of the team meeting on Friday morning put the mustard in Martin St-Louis’ nose.
Worse still, I am convinced that the anger of St-Louis can easily be explained by retaining that he has provided Drouin, since his return to the game, with every opportunity to create a good impression. He used him in numerical superiority and he gave him increased responsibilities by giving him a very important role in the center.
It didn’t seem to be giving results that weren’t spectacular, but we felt a desire from Drouin to prepare for the next season, whether in Montreal or elsewhere. But, two minutes late, and everything changes.
Drouin still faced the music. It is correct so. His coach repeated that he liked Drouin and he even recalled on a few occasions that his player had behaved well under the circumstances.
No other choice
On the other hand, he placed his coach in a situation where there was no other choice but to suspend the skater, on the one hand because St-Louis, during his career, has always respected the concept of team and that, as a coach, he puts a lot of emphasis on the community. This is why he insists on the fact that a flagrant breach of a settlement is non-negotiable. The culprit must suffer the consequences.
As for whether St. Louis would have made the same decision if the Canadiens were trying to get a bye to the playoffs, the comparison doesn’t hold up. Because we must assume that the Canadian would be in better health, with the workforce competing at a higher level. Would he have reacted differently? Without a doubt. He would have invited Drouin to visit the press gallery.
He had to demonstrate his leadership, he had to demonstrate that he has objectives to meet, that he has an important role to play in the relaunch of the dealership and in the plan established by senior management.
And, let’s challenge his authority, he had to take great measures to send a clear and precise message to all the players.
Also to remember. Already in a rather precarious situation, Drouin did not improve things by his lack of discipline.
When the time comes to take stock of the season with the decision-makers of the Habs, I’m not sure that we will dwell long on the assessment of Drouin, whose contract ends this season.
The Guhle file
Should Kaiden Guhle be sidelined for the rest of the season?
Perhaps if the injury suffered by the young defender forces him to be absent for a long time, that settles the debate.
On the other hand, if the prospect of a return to the game still exists, should senior management bet on caution regarding Kaiden Guhle, kept away from the game for a third time?
The options are numerous and invite a long reflection.
Taking Kaiden away from active competition, allowing him to recuperate and tend to injuries proves to be an interesting solution.
Allowing Guhle to finish the season is another option especially as he relished this first experience in the National League.
Certainly, injuries sometimes raise concerns but still, in such a context, who is the one who, in the end, decides exactly what would be best for him? It’s Guhle, whether we agree with his decision or not.
Keep a little embarrassment
We will keep a little embarrassment about Denis Gurianov but, let’s say he is doing surprisingly well.
However, the question cannot be avoided: why did the Dallas Stars trade Gurianov, 25-year-old first-round restricted free agent, for Evgenii Dadonov, 34, unrestricted free agent? ?
There is a reason. Peter DeBoer didn’t like him. It’s the style of player he doesn’t particularly like. Skaters who have no sense of the art of playing in their territory, defensively in general.
However, didn’t we say the same thing about Valeri Nichushkin, another who failed in Dallas and found his niche in Colorado? Well, Nichushkin can always count on Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen with the Avalanche. The Canadian does not yet have a player of this caliber.
Flat five attack
Should we make a big deal out of the Canadian’s low power play production? Quickly, his best sniper, Cole Caufield, has been absent for almost three months. We haven’t seen Sean Monahan since early December. Any news from Kirby Dach? Mike Matheson has missed a significant number of games.
With so many players in the infirmary, your five-man attack could take a serious hit. Imagine for a moment if David Pastrnak were absent for a long period with the Bruins. I dare not refer to Connor McDavid because it is often said that any comparison is lame. But I dwell above all on the impact that Caufield, Monahan and Dach exerted alongside Josh Anderson and Nick Suzuki…