The dawn of the Martin St. Louis era started with another Montreal Canadiens loss, but as losses go, it wasn’t that bad. They outshot, out-chanced, and largely outplayed the Washington Capitals, and better goaltending or conversion on their scoring chances could have yielded a different result. There were some very encouraging signs from this game.
Most importantly, it was the best game that Cole Caufield has played all season.
Development is key in this failed season, and it was a key term in the press conference introducing St. Louis as the team’s new coach. That Caufield ended up having his best game of the year later that day I believe is no coincidence.
He looked loose, was trying some creative plays, and scored one of the prettier backhand goals you’ll see this year.
He and Ryan Poehling were arguably the best players on the ice for the Montreal Canadiens. Though St. Louis couldn’t possibly have had the time to implement the new concepts he intends to, I think the change and associated messaging got through to the players, in particular the youngsters.
Caufield talked after the game about how he used to wear the number 26 growing up because of St. Louis. He obviously has a great deal of respect for his new coach, and it should thus be very easy for St. Louis to get his buy in when he begins to implement the aforementioned concepts.
Getting Caufield going would be one heck of a silver lining to this season, and early returns suggest that his childhood idol is the man for the job.
Click the play button below to listen to your full Bottom Six Minutes, which is also available on your podcast platform of choice. Another episode will be dropping this Saturday in extra early fashion after the afternoon game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.