Habs, Caufield immediately better under St. Louis

Published February 18, 2022 at 5:52 PM

Martin St. Louis was announced as the interim Head Coach on the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday February 10th. The organization's decision to hire the former player who had no professional coaching experience was highly scrutinized in the media and among fans.

Four games into the St. Louis era, there's no question the Canadiens are already a better team and last night defeated the St. Louis Blues by a score of 3-2, giving their new Hall of Fame coach his first win as an NHL coach.

Sportsnet Insider, Eric Engels, covers the Canadiens and offered this following last night's win:

Yada, yada, yada, it's only 1 win in 4 games for Martin St. Louis. I know. But after a week of Martin St. Louis coaching the Montreal Canadiens, the thought of him coaching the Montreal Canadiens makes much more sense than it did when the announcement was made he was taking over.

No player has improved under St. Louis as much as Cole Caufield has. Suddenly, he's playing like the star that the organization and its' fans thought he was when they drafted him 15th overall in the 2019 draft. Prior to St. Louis' arrival, the young star was mired in an awful slump and had even spent some time trying to find his game in Laval with the Canadiens' AHL-affiliate Rocket, both of which led to Caufield's being ridiculed on social media. Perhaps St. Louis' philosophy of "concepts over systems" -- which is allowing players to make their reads and play instinctually -- has unshackled Caufield and he's just playing the game and having fun again for the first time in awhile. Too, St. Louis is putting Caufield on the ice more than previous coach, Dominique Ducharme, ever did and the youngster's likely gained a lot of confidence as a result:

Caufield had the game of his career last night, scoring the game-tying goal with ten seconds left in regulation...

...and then the game-winner in overtime:

He joined a very exclusive club in doing so, too:

The Canadiens next take to the ice on Sunday afternoon in Long Island against the Islanders.
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