Canadiens: Jonathan Drouin and the Postseason Turnaround

TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 12: Shea Weber #6 of the Montreal Canadiens is congratulated by teammates Jonathan Drouin #92, Jeff Petry #26,Nick Suzuki #14 and Brendan Gallagher #11 of the Montreal Canadiens after Weber scored a power play goal in the second period against the Philadelphia Flyers n Game One of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on August 12, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 12: Shea Weber #6 of the Montreal Canadiens is congratulated by teammates Jonathan Drouin #92, Jeff Petry #26,Nick Suzuki #14 and Brendan Gallagher #11 of the Montreal Canadiens after Weber scored a power play goal in the second period against the Philadelphia Flyers n Game One of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on August 12, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Montreal Canadiens, Jonathan Drouin
TORONTO, ONTARIO – AUGUST 18: Jonathan Drouin Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Throughout most of the playoffs, Montreal’s main issue was their offense, with Captain Shea Weber leading the team in scoring early on, with five points in ten games overall. However, against Philadelphia, a few more players answered the call, with rookies Nick Suzuki and Jesperi Kotkaniemi tying for the team lead in goals with four. After posting an impressive 41 points in his rookie season, Suzuki’s seven points tied him for first on the Habs in scoring with Drouin.

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Following a very shaky and misled performance in the qualifier against the Penguins, Drouin finally settled into a groove not seen since November 11th, when he posted his final two points of the regular season in a win against the Los Angeles Kings.

In the final two games of the Flyers series, Drouin posted four assists, for a total of one goal and six assists overall. While not having amazing numbers, it marked a welcome return to the Drouin Habs fans have continuously seen glimpses of over his past three seasons with the team.

Originally a third overall pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2013, Drouin was traded to Montreal in exchange for the Canadiens ninth overall pick in 2016, Mikhail Sergachev. Say what you will about how this trade turned out, but Drouin’s tenure in Montreal, while nowhere near perfect, hasn’t been a complete dud, and these playoffs showcased that further.

Head coach Claude Julien’s tendency to run with the same lines showed itself again in these playoffs, but following a health scare and subsequent hospitalization, interim coach Kirk Muller experimented with some different combinations that allowed Drouin to flourish offensively.