NASHVILLE | Martin St-Louis is not one to smash sticks or kick a trash can. We have never yet seen him raise his voice with one of his players. However, the way the team has behaved lately, one has the right to wonder if the pot is not about to boil.
• To read also: Suzuki and Caufield: a bond even for mothers
“Everything in life has an expiration date. Whether it's us, as a human being, or the milk on the table. Sometimes patience also has an expiration date. »
The head coach of the Canadian made this statement, with a smirk, at the end of the rigorous training he held in the capital of the country, on the eve of the match against the Predators.
A 60-minute training session during which the exercises of struggle for obtaining the puck, the protection of the territory and the work in restricted space were numerous. A very intense hour.
“It was not a punishment, made a point of specifying St-Louis. I want us to play with a little more rigor. We need to be accountable to each other. »
Too easy to face
Rigor is what the Habs have been terribly lacking since the start of this seven-game trip, which ends on Tuesday. Especially during the stops in Sunrise and Washington where the Canadian suffered losses of 7 to 2 and 9 to 2.
“We are too easy to face. We do not win enough battles, explained the Laval resident. Seems like we don't know what impact it can have. »
“Not only on the match, but also on a presence. You win a battle in the offensive zone, it gives you a chance to score. You win a battle in the defensive zone, we can go out with the puck. Winning more battles has a domino effect,” he continued.
Also met at the end of training, Nick Suzuki agreed with his trainer.
“We have to raise our level of competition. Doing it in training today is a good way to set the tone for tomorrow (Tuesday),” said the captain.
Beyond the effort provided and the intensity deployed in the back of the territory, Suzuki believes that he and his teammates have lost, a little a lot, the essence that allowed them to achieve certain successes in the first quarter of the season.
“Our defensive game and our transition game have lost their luster. You know success when you kill games and start the attack quickly. We haven't been able to do that lately," he said.
“Moving the puck faster and getting the puck out of our crease more directly will help our offense,” he added.
With a battered defensive squad, that might be easier said than done. At this level, the Canadian will possibly get reinforcements. In training, David Savard formed a pair with Jordan Harris.
What is certain is that Samuel Montembeault will have the mission of stopping the Predators' shots. He will be keen to help the team cap off this seven-game journey with a second win.
“This is the first time my mother has been on the road. It's fun to have him here, said the Bécancourois. In fact, we owe them one. We didn't play well in the last game. We owe them a good performance. »
Brendan Gallagher hurt his lower body after taking a hit from Joel Edmundson. He continued training, but did not seem to be in top form.