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Habs hire Martin St-Louis as their 28th Head Coach


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2 hours ago, The Chicoutimi Cucumber said:

... And for every Pittsburgh Penguins - a Cup-winning team built via tanking - there are Oilers and Sabres, i.e., teams whose tank job has failed wretchedly and led to years and years of misery ...

Were most of those "tank jobs" or just horrible management ... there is quite a difference.

 

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4 minutes ago, GHT120 said:

Were most of those "tank jobs" or just horrible management ... there is quite a difference.

 

 

There is certainly a difference and I would say with the Oilers and Sabres it was mainly just bad management.  Bad management continues with the Oilers, Holland has made a mess of things.  I couldn't believe how bad the Oilers looked against Chicago the other night, zero defensive structure, Mike Smith actually made a number of great saves to keep it close. 

 

I thought Tippett would be the right coach for the Oilers as he made Arizona competitive and they had little talent. He couldn't get the Oilers to buy in, certainly not all his fault. The problems run deep in Edmonton.  The Oilers have had 10 coaches since 2008, something wrong with that. 

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1 hour ago, The Chicoutimi Cucumber said:

 

Kopitar was picked at #11. Not sure what that proves. If anything, it bolsters my critique of tanking.

Ah I thought he was 7. My misstake.

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1 hour ago, The Chicoutimi Cucumber said:

Kopitar was picked at #11. Not sure what that proves. If anything, it bolsters my critique of tanking.

 

Or demonstrates how much luck is required if you don't draft near the top because you have to depend on other teams making bad drafting decisions so that you can get "your guy".

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3 hours ago, GHT120 said:

Were most of those "tank jobs" or just horrible management ... there is quite a difference.

 

I think those were bad mgmt, more than tanking. Oilers weren’t trying to get McDavid. It was pure luck after incompetence. On the other hand, 

sabres were trying to tank, but we’re there was a lot  incompetence, before and after the tankin.

Phoenix, cheap/broke, and incompetent.

 

Leafs, actually did do a tank job under Shanahan, but mismanaged the cap in the 2nd contracts of all three of those big young players (Marner, Matthews, and Nylander). Gave them dollars without locking them up for the maximum term.

 

Whether you tank or not, you still need to have good management, scouting and development. So yeah, there are no gaurantees. But you usually only get generational players with high picks, and you only get elite players, with good management, scouting and development. So if you tank, you still need a good mgmt team.

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38 minutes ago, hab29RETIRED said:

I think those were bad mgmt, more than tanking. Oilers weren’t trying to I’m getting McDavid. It was pure incompetence.

sabres were trying to tank, but we’re also incompetent.

Phoenix, cheap/broke, and incompetent.

 

Leafs, actually did do a tank job under Shanahan, but mismanaged the cap in the 2nd contracts if all three of those big young players (Marner, Matthews, and 5). Gave them dollars without locking them up for the maximum term.

 

Whether you tank or not, you still need to have good management, scouting and development. So yeah, there are no gaurantees. But you usually only get generational players with high pick, and you only beget elite players, with good management, scouting and development. So if you tank, you still need a good mgmt team.

Avalanche, Lightning are good example of success. Herman is a beast but would be lost in other teams if it wasn’t for the other pieces you mention 

 

good points 

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Wonder if the MSL, and Hughes, hirings had anything to do with Patrick dumping his agent

 

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27 minutes ago, GHT120 said:

Wonder if the MSL, and Hughes, hirings had anything to do with Patrick dumping his agent

 

The article says the agent was let go in December, well before the Habs hired Hughes and St. Louis so I'll say they're not related.

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Just now, dlbalr said:

The article says the agent was let go in December, well before the Habs hired Hughes and St. Louis so I'll say they're not related.

The danger of skimming ... apologies all

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On 2/10/2022 at 11:33 AM, Neech said:

Caufield will score a goal a game under St Louis and roar back for a surprise Calder, followed by Harts indefinitely!

 

Cole keeping up his end of the bargain!

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2 hours ago, Neech said:

 

Cole keeping up his end of the bargain!

What a relief to see him scoring and couple of timely goals was cherry on top, to say the least. 

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19 hours ago, Commandant said:

Its not just the goals, he's creating a lot more chances out there.  This isn't just a couple of lucky goals, he's really stepped up his game in a noticeable way. 

 

It’s interesting. What explains this? Is it just that he’s now on the 1st line? But if so, why wasn’t he scoring earlier in the season when he was used the same way? Is it just that a big change allowed him to flip the switch on his confidence and reboot? Or that having a childhood hero as coach jump-started him psychologically? 

 

The darker inference - and CC’s comments imply this - that Caufield felt mishandled by Ducharme and resentful toward him. Was Ducharme doing what they tried to do to Subban, i.e., bludgeon him into becoming a dreary system player and stifling his gifts? Or, did CC blame DD for sending him down in the first place (suggesting a dangerous attitude of entitlement)? 

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1 minute ago, The Chicoutimi Cucumber said:

 

It’s interesting. What explains this? Is it just that he’s now on the 1st line? But if so, why wasn’t he scoring earlier in the season when he was used the same way? Is it just that a big change allowed him to flip the switch on his confidence and reboot? Or that having a childhood hero as coach jump-started him psychologically? 

 

The darker inference - and CC’s comments imply this - that Caufield felt mishandled by Ducharme and resentful toward him. Was Ducharme doing what they tried to do to Subban, i.e., bludgeon him into becoming a dreary system player and stifling his gifts? Or, did CC blame DD for sending him down in the first place (suggesting a dangerous attitude of entitlement)? 

 

I think its a few things.

 

1) That first goal and the confidence that comes with it goes a long way. He also got confidence from a second goal in that game, even if it didn't count.  When you get a fresh start, you feel better right away.  If things don't change, that feeling will go away, but when the fresh start also sees early results, there is a huge boost from that. 

 

2) Yes he was used on the top line, but by the second period of the second game of the season (Buffalo) he was on the third line.  Ducharme would put him on the top line every now and then, but when it didn't work for like 2 games, he would

put him back in the bottom six.  This likely also had a negative effect on confidence.

 

3) On the PP and at 6 on 5 (where 2 of the four goals have come) he's being played on the Left side, as opposed to the right side under Ducharme. This makes him more dangerous as a shooter.

 

4) He's got a coach who is letting him try things and not sticking to him rigid defensive philosophies.  We can see more aggressive offensive pressure and forechecking from the entire team. This suits an offensive player like Caufield. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, The Chicoutimi Cucumber said:

 

It’s interesting. What explains this? Is it just that he’s now on the 1st line? But if so, why wasn’t he scoring earlier in the season when he was used the same way? Is it just that a big change allowed him to flip the switch on his confidence and reboot? Or that having a childhood hero as coach jump-started him psychologically? 

 

The darker inference - and CC’s comments imply this - that Caufield felt mishandled by Ducharme and resentful toward him. Was Ducharme doing what they tried to do to Subban, i.e., bludgeon him into becoming a dreary system player and stifling his gifts? Or, did CC blame DD for sending him down in the first place (suggesting a dangerous attitude of entitlement)? 

 

Fair points. I think Caulfield, like a lot of Habs, started the year a little mentally tired after the long, deep, fun run they had last year and things spiraled downhill from there. Sometimes a change can spark a guy mentally and I think St. Louis is almost the perfect coach for Caulfield because they can relate.  St. Louis might not be the perfect coach for everybody (time will tell) but he is the ideal coach for Caulfield and I think the results are showing that.

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10 minutes ago, Prime Minister Koivu said:

I believe Caufield is also getting significantly more minutes 

In the last two games, yes, but in the first two he was at 13-14 minutes.

 

To put a bit of damper on things, I will note that the four goals are on just ten shots for a 40% shooting percentage. As Commandant likes to remind us 😁 such a percentage is not sustainable. He will need to take more than 2-3 shots per game in order to keep up his scoring.

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1 hour ago, tomh009 said:

In the last two games, yes, but in the first two he was at 13-14 minutes.

 

To put a bit of damper on things, I will note that the four goals are on just ten shots for a 40% shooting percentage. As Commandant likes to remind us 😁 such a percentage is not sustainable. He will need to take more than 2-3 shots per game in order to keep up his scoring.

 

Yes that's true. 

 

He was also shooting like 2% or something insanely small under Ducharme, so there is some room for a good hot streak that would just be reversion to the mean.

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Indeed. He's still at only 6% -- compared to Pitlick's 23%!

 

But. Really, he will need to shoot much more. Matthews has almost 2.5x the number of shots that Caufield has taken (and, yes, a 17% shooting percentage).

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Just now, tomh009 said:

Indeed. He's still at only 6% -- compared to Pitlick's 23%!

 

But. Really, he will need to shoot much more. Matthews has almost 2.5x the number of shots that Caufield has taken (and, yes, a 17% shooting percentage).

 

Matthews is on pace to reach 60. 

 

Caufield has to shoot more for sure, but we aren't looking at Matthews.... I think Caufield can get 35-40 in his prime... not 60. 

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21 minutes ago, Commandant said:

Caufield has to shoot more for sure, but we aren't looking at Matthews.... I think Caufield can get 35-40 in his prime... not 60.

I figure 35-40 goals probably requires around 300 shots, depending on Caufield's long-term accuracy and also how well Habs' power play works (Matthews has scored 12 of his 33 goals this season on PP). So, four shots per game would be a good average; this year, he's at about 2.5. Hopefully we will see this go up as he rebuilds his confidence, and also the team around him gets better.

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2 hours ago, tomh009 said:

I figure 35-40 goals probably requires around 300 shots, depending on Caufield's long-term accuracy and also how well Habs' power play works (Matthews has scored 12 of his 33 goals this season on PP). So, four shots per game would be a good average; this year, he's at about 2.5. Hopefully we will see this go up as he rebuilds his confidence, and also the team around him gets better.

 

That seems about right.  About 1.75x as manny shots as he takes now but not the 2.5x matthews has.  His shots per game are up with MSL

 

I also.wasnt looking at 35-40 as a rookie total.

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  • 1 month later...

In Friday's article (on Cole Caufield) in the Athletic, there was a comment posted with some excellent perspective on the coaching change and the "St Louis effect". Not that St Louis isn't a breath of fresh air, or that he's not having an impact, or that Ducharme wasn't struggling -- but it's not entirely an apples-to-apples comparison.

 

Am posting the comment in its entirety since it's not an actual Athletic article but a reader contribution so I figure it's OK. 🙂

 

Quote
Jaideep K. Apr 1   liked-icon.png 102 reply-icon.png
The biggest turnaround from the Ducharme era to the Martin St. Louis era has been the upturn in Cole Caufield's play. He plays with the enthusiasm and the verve that literally gets fans out of their seats, and that energy appears to be contagious within the entire team and fanbase. The Habs are worth watching from an entertainment perspective again, something that was not true in the first half of the season.

The comparison of Caufield's numbers between Ducharme and St. Louis are quite stark, and it does highlight St. Louis' ability to instill confidence in his players by relying on them despite obvious gaffes in games. However, I do feel that we need to remember the context in which both Ducharme and St. Louis are coaching within, and not fall victim to messianic thinking about St. Louis's coaching abilities.

Even with the goodwill generated from a Stanley Cup berth, Ducharme was always coaching with some pressure. He naturally had a shorter leash for younger players because there was still some expectation that the Canadiens would be competitive (despite the now obvious holes left by Danault, Kotkaniemi, Weber, Edmundson and Price). He naturally had to be more intolerant of mistakes, and became progressively more risk averse, knowing that his goaltenders could not bail him out. This undoubtedly affected the confidence of the young players, like Caufield. As Bergevin's days became numbered, the walls were closing in, and the situation became untenable for Ducharme under a new regime.

Meanwhile, when Martin St. Louis was hired, we were already in garbage time, a situation that Brind'Amour recently called, "playing with house money." Young players are given opportunities to succeed in what they are good at, and learn through their mistakes, without the fear of reprisal, because the season is long gone and the stakes are quite low.

I'm not defending Ducharme, because ultimately his decision making around lineups and treatment of young players look bad, but I think it is worth reminding us all of the context that he coached under was vastly different from the context that St. Louis is coaching under. Let's hope that players like Cole can learn enough through these games, such that they can be relied upon more regularly when the games have more meaning.

 

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