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Canadiens Coach St-Louis Struggles In Loss To Tampa

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Montreal Canadiens head coach Martin St-Louis

The Montreal Canadiens showed the intensity of a bag of lawnmower clippings on Wednesday night, falling 4-1 to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The scoreline was not flattering to Jake Allen, who, by all accounts, kept the score a lot closer than it should have been.

Kaiden Guhle scored the lone Canadiens goal, late in the third period when the game was far out of reach.

It was one of Martin St-Louis’ worst games as head coach of the Canadiens, not only because his usage and roster decisions were questionable before the game started, but also because he failed to adjust his game plan when the team needed it most.

The Canadiens shouldn’t be expected to beat teams like the Lightning on a regular basis, but they also can’t fail to show up in games where so many young players are gaining valuable experience.

We usually focus on the Canadiens’ exploits in these recap, but there was one Lightning play that no NHL fan should miss, which involved him posterizing four Canadiens players before scoring a fantastic highlight goal.

Failed Experiment

The Canadiens have struggled to find an ideal match to play alongside Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki this season.

To be even more precise, the Canadiens have struggled to find an ideal match to play alongside Caufield and Suzuki that isn’t named Kirby Dach.

Against the Lightning, Martin St-Louis decided to give Joel Armia, who has 0 goals and 3 assists in 23 games, a chance to prove his worth on the top line.

And the results will shock you!

[PLACE HIGHLIGHT HERE – HIGHLIGHT NOT FOUND]

No, seriously, their underlying numbers were shockingly bad.

They controlled 33% of the shots, 0% of the high-danger scoring chances, and less than 4% of the expected goals.

Not only did Armia not manage to get off the world’s longest schneid, but he also managed to bury the Canadiens’ best two players to a point that has never been seen before.

There’s value in giving veteran players opportunities they perhaps don’t deserve, but it’s time to cut the cord on Armia.

And it’s also worth discussing the value of trying to spread talent throughout the roster versus the risk the Canadiens’ only functional line this season loses its confidence.

Understandably, the Canadiens are hoping to increase the value of their many overpaid forwards, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of souring the players that will act as the foundation of their rebuild.

Justin Barron

There weren’t many silver linings in Wednesday night’s game against Tampa Bay, but it is worth noting Justin Barron’s season debut for the Canadiens was encouraging.

He participated in a few nice rushes, showing off his great shot and mobility in the process. His decision-making, in particular, looked much improved compared to the last time we saw Barron in a Canadiens uniform.

Unfortunately, St-Louis did not decide to give Barron, who led the AHL in power-play goals before his call-up, any time on the barely functional, chaotic mess that is the man advantage.

It would be one thing to ignore Barron’s potential if the Canadiens did not have the worst power play in the league. But they do have the worst power play in the league and they’ve had the worst power play over the last five years.

St-Louis doesn’t need to overthink this.

Give Barron a chance to do exactly what he did to earn a call-up to the NHL in the first place: score power-play goals.

Bright Side

Connor Bedard scored seven points in Canada’s big win over Germany at the World Junior Championship.

Just sayin’.


The Montreal Canadiens are back in action Thursday night and will face the Florida Panthers. The puck drop is scheduled for 7 PM ET.

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Snowballing

It’s articles like this that affect the growth of a young team. To say Dach isn’t the answer is ridiculous. Suzuki, Caufield and Dach carry this team on their backs. They are bound to have bad games and should be allowed to struggle rather than nudged by someone like you, whatever your name is…insert sports writer’s name.

Dave

I do want them to play better, but this season doesn’t look positive to make a playoff run, so time to weaken the the team with trades, and hope for 2 top 5 picks if things go right. Beating Florida tonight should demoralize them further , but either way, one of our picks will be improving tonight. And hopefully no OT.

Brian Chandler

Apparently this organization has not learned from hiring coaches with no coaching experience anyone remember Mario Bluet?

John Zanutto

The team went south when Drouin returned. He gets top 6 minutes and PP minutes and is minus 9. His decision making is awful. I suspect his problem is back. I’d rather see Xhekaj on the point on the powerplay on the first unit because not only is he not afraid to shoot, he gets pucks through to the net and doesn’t fold under pressure. Drouin panics the second he is standing still and someone skates at him. Armia needs to start hitting people. He’s too big to play shy.

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