Montreal Canadiens winger Jonathan Drouin will finally get the chance to play under new Canadiens interim head coach Martin St. Louis when returns to the lineup Saturday night against the Ottawa Senators.
Drouin has been out with a wrist injury since Jan. 20 and after getting the green light to play Saturday night he expressed his excitement and anticipation to play for and learn from St. Louis.
Just his knowledge of the game,” Drouin said when asked what he looks forward to most about playing under St. Louis. “He’s played for so long and been an offensive threat and a very good player in this league when he was playing. So, you want to take that knowledge from him and you want to have conversations about how he played; how he saw things and you kind of want to compare your brains a little bit. For me to have an offensive player like that, who dominated the league like that, I want to take the knowledge and I want to take the chance to talk to him and make sure that I learn as much as I can.
Chats. …videos and since I haven’t played any games, just from what I’ve heard, individually he takes a lot of time for a lot of players and checks the details and helps all the players on those little things as a player and I think he’s going to help me.”
Martin St. Louis actually played with Drouin in Drouin’s first training camp with the Lightning prior to the 2013-14 regular season. He recalled the 2004 Hart Trophy winner and Stanley Cup champion immediately taking his fellow Quebecor under his wing and absorbing whatever lessons the Montreal Canadiens interim head coach had to divulge.
“I didn’t say much, I was a young kid,” Drouin said with a chuckle. “You don’t want to interfere with those veterans sometimes. It was my first training camp so I kind of stayed low and made sure I wasn’t in anyone’s way but he came many times, put me on the side and talked to me about stuff that obviously I won’t say but he was very nice when I showed up my first year. He made sure I know what was going on in every drill.”
While St. Louis and Drouin did share that experience then, they have not really had a chance to really form a working relationship between player and coach with Drouin not being around the Montreal Canadiens team as much recently.
“I say it’s in the infant stage because he hasn’t really been with the team on game days,” Drouin acknowledged when asked about his relationship with Drouin. “He’s been trying to get back into game shape, nursing an injury and rehabbing. So I haven’t really had that much time with him so I think the relationship is gonna get to the next stage right now when we’re together in the trenches and during games and I’ll finally start coaching him. I haven’t had that opportunity yet because he hasn’t played. So like I said, I think we’re still in infant stage of our relationship.”
Jonathan Drouin has six goals and 14 assists in 32 games this season for the Montreal Canadiens.