Montreal Canadiens: Three Reasons To Watch a Dead Team Skating in April

Jun 24, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens right wing Cole Caufield. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 24, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens right wing Cole Caufield. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jun 24, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens right wing Cole Caufield. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 24, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens right wing Cole Caufield. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports /

Can the “St. Louis Effect” Last?

The Montreal Canadiens hired Martin St. Louis on February 9th after an embarrassing 7-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils. He would lose his first three games behind the bench, but then the team went on an incredible run.

I mean, incredible considering they won just eight of their first 45 games. Over a 15 game stretch, the Canadiens went 9-3-3, and the only team with a better points percentage between February 17th and March 22nd was the Boston Bruins.

Since then, the Habs have stubbed their toes again. Defensive miscues have led to the team winning just one of its last five games. Even with the great 9-3-3 run, the Canadiens are now 10-9-4 with St. Louis behind the bench.

Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki have unlocked their offensive potential under their new coach and look like legitimate point per game, first line NHL talent. But will it last, or was it all a temporary new-coach bump that many teams experience?

April is going to reveal a lot in that aspect. While Suzuki and Caufield looked unstoppable for a while, they were exposed a bit defensively recently against top teams like the Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes. It is all part of the process for young players, but can St. Louis right the ship?

They started 0-3-0 with their new coach before going 9-3-2. In there past six they are 1-3-2, while Suzuki and Caufield have one goal each in that time. Suzuki has a plus-minus of -8 in those games while Caufield is -7.

Measuring the St. Louis effect isn’t so much about wins and losses as it is individual growth. This team just isn’t good enough right now to win often. Ideally, Suzuki and Caufield will start scoring goals again soon and show they can play big minutes against tough competition like the Lightning tonight.

St. Louis was given lots of credit for getting Caufield going and bringing Suzuki to the next level last month. They hit a bit of a rough patch in the last six games, and the St. Louis Effect is going to be tested now. Can the two young guns get going again quickly or was their incredible play just a short term hot streak?

We will find out over the next 14 games that will be played in the month of April.

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