Canadian 5 – Lightning 4 (VG) |  A victory signed Martin St-Louis

Canadian 5 – Lightning 4 (VG) | A victory signed Martin St-Louis

No, Martin St-Louis didn’t put on the skates on Saturday night in Tampa, nor did he put on the gloves and the helmet, but this victory was one in its own way.

Updated April 2

Richard Labbe

Richard Labbe
The Press

Because it was a victory of tenacity and intensity and bold decisions, so many small details that sum up the arrival of Martin St-Louis behind the bench of the Canadian.

A random example: in overtime, in a three-on-three situation, he did not hesitate to send young Jordan Harris, who was playing his first game in the NHL, onto the ice. In the middle of the ice rink of champions, in addition.

Had to do it.

“But it will never be about me, corrected the coach Montreal at the end of the evening. It’s about the team, about the Canadiens. What I liked was the commitment from our guys. We were very good at five against five, we paid attention to the details. We have taken a step in the right direction. »

That’s what we see with this team: steps, however small, in the right direction. Thus, after having had a hard time following in Florida on Tuesday evening and in Carolina on Thursday evening, the Canadian showed up in Tampa without ever lowering his head. The Lightning had a 2-0 and 3-1 lead in that game.


PHOTO JASON BEHNKEN, ASSOCIATED PRESS

Martin St-Louis behind the Canadiens bench

For most teams, and especially with such a green defense, it would almost have been normal to give up and want to get home as soon as possible.

But not for this team.

“We played five games in eight days, and we managed to get five points during this series, added St-Louis. If you had told me that before the start of the trip, for sure we would have taken it! »

And now, if you don’t mind, let’s talk a bit about young Harris. It was his first game in the NHL, so we shouldn’t jump to big conclusions, but we’re going to do it anyway.

First observation: this guy is the prototype of the modern defender for today’s hockey. Good reading of the game, good skater, able to relaunch the attack, there is really a lot to like in the game of this guy, who is also very bright. Did you see that smile, by the way?

Second observation, and this is quite important: the pressure does not seem to be a problem for him. In the second, Alex Killorn gave him a blow to the limit of pettiness by tearing off his helmet in front of the net. Harris, unaware of the rules, wanted to continue playing without a helmet, which earned him a penalty … and led to a Lightning power-play goal.

For a young person, even more so for a young person starting out, it’s the kind of outcome that can lead to a sudden loss of confidence.

But no, not for him. His game has never been affected.

“I loved his game,” said Martin St-Louis. Jordan skates easily, he is committed, he played very good minutes [15 min 55 s en tout]. He played three-on-three in college, I knew he was capable, he knows the details, the importance of puck possession. Of course, the NHL is another level, but he deserved it with his five-on-five game, he looked comfortable. So I was not afraid to send him on the ice three against three. »

All of this is quite impressive, let’s face it, and it makes you believe that the Canadiens may have just found a top player on the blue line. May be.

“I think I hid my nervousness pretty well,” Harris said with a laugh after the game. I was a little nervous, but I went there, touched the puck and then there was the adrenaline. Everyone helped as much as possible on the bench, everyone talked to me and that helped a lot. »

In the end, it was a 5-4 shootout victory over the Lightning on Saturday night in Tampa on a superb goal by Suzuki. But that’s not what you have to remember. What must be remembered is that despite the defeats, despite the evenings where it is more difficult and complicated, there are all the same evenings like that, where you realize that there is not all gray in the sky of this team.


PHOTO JASON BEHNKEN, ASSOCIATED PRESS

Nick Suzuki (14) scored in the shootout to give the Canadian the win.

In details

Poehling back

Ryan Poehling was back in the training of the Canadian, Saturday night in Tampa. The striker, who had not played since March 13, took the place of fourth center, on a line completed by Jesse Ylonen and Tyler Pitlick. He ended his evening with an assist on the Canadian equalizer at the start of the third period, that of Jesse Ylonen. In the end, Poehling collected a shot on goal in 9 min 6 s of playing time. Remember that it was Laurent Dauphin who had been put aside to make him a place in the formation against the Lightning.

Obstruction against a goalkeeper, does that exist?

We don’t really know, and we don’t know either if someone would be able to explain this not very clear regulation to us very clearly. Thus, during the second period, the Lightning scored a goal when Anthony Cirelli came into contact with goaltender Jake Allen. On the play, we thought we saw Cirelli’s stick touch Allen’s pad. The Canadian thought he saw the same thing, since Martin St-Louis demanded the video replay. But the goal was awarded anyway. “The puck was going towards the net,” explained Martin St-Louis after the game. They judged it to be a goal, and I didn’t really agree with that decision. But it’s useless to argue, I’ve never seen a referee change a decision. »

Rem Pitlick on the first line

It is known, Martin St-Louis likes to surprise, and he surprised Saturday night in Tampa by sending Rem Pitlick on the first line, along with Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki. Pitlick ended his night with an assist on the Canadian’s first goal, that of Caufield during the second period. “I really liked seeing what that trio looked like during this game, explained the head coach of the Canadian at the end of the evening. I liked a bit of everything in their case. They’ve been calm on the ice, there’s a good shooter in Cole and also, those three are smart players together. I would say they were excellent. »

They said

The whole team played well, the 20 guys played a good game, especially the younger ones. It was good to see Jordan Harris go, you never thought it was his first game in the National League. He was very good. He is a talented youngster and he wants to progress and become better.

Joel Edmundson

I saw that Jordan [Harris] had proven that he could follow for the first 60 minutes, so I thought: why not send him on the ice in overtime?

Martin St Louis

The NHL game is certainly faster than what I’m used to. Especially the physical strength of the guys, they rely on the opponent. So yes, the speed, and also the intelligence of the players which is higher, like the skill level. I would like to review some of my decisions, but overall I’m pretty happy with my game. I think I’ve shown what I can do. It wasn’t perfect, but I felt pretty normal.

Jordan Harris

Rising

Jesse Ylonen

A goal on Saturday night, which gives him four points in his last five games.

Falling

Joel Armia

One of those evenings where the Finnish striker is not very present on the ice.

The number

40

Jake Allen has faced at least 40 shots in each of his last six starts.

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