During the third period in Sunday night’s game, the Montreal Canadiens found themselves in a situation where the Winnipeg Jets started to push and created pressure in the Canadiens end. The Montreal breakouts were rushed, uncontrolled and caused Montreal to take repeated whistles in their own end.
When the TV timeout came around, the Sportsnet cameras caught Canadiens interim head coach Dominique Ducharme collect his players around him and draw up exactly what needed to be done in their defensive end in order to come out of their own zone with control and relieve the pressure in their own end.
What happened was a face-off win, the defender passed across to the other defender who had support from the winger to get out of the zone with control and speed. Something that was necessary at the time and added to the frustration that the Jets experienced and showed towards the end of the game.
Ducharme used the TV timeout in the best way possible, not only for rest but to correct the tactical situation and stabilize the defence. Ducharme’s influence in this segment it telling; he is implementing his own style of hockey, the team has bought into it even if they sometimes need a refresher. Waiting for the TV timeout is a tactically smart move as well, you might need your own timeout towards the end of the game, in order to challenge a goal or to just calm some nerves.
The important thing is that the team have bought into the Ducharme way of hockey, they trust his coaching and Ducharme’s tactical acumen will be on display more though these playoffs. As the team looks more and more comfortable through the post-season, so does their head coach.