Martin St. Louis' new school approach is cause for excitement

St. Louis played Lane Hutson for 22 minutes in his NHL debut. My, have the tides changed in Montreal.
Carolina Hurricanes v Montreal Canadiens
Carolina Hurricanes v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

Not so long ago, the Montreal Canadiens would staple Jesperi Kotkaniemi to the bench and have veterans playing crucial development minutes.

But not Martin St. Louis, that just isn't his style and the players have shown so much appreciation because of his new school approach. Dominique Ducharme's hiring was a chain breaker after the coaching carousel was rinse and repeat. But gone are the days of Claude Julien, Michel Therrien and then swap.

Marty breaks the mould and he promotes an exciting, young, fast-paced style of hockey. This is what the fans have wanted for years and if you scan throughout the league, the successful teams have adopted this style. If you want to win, a strong defence is important and stout goaltending, no doubt, but a fast-paced offence that strikes quickly and creates play in the blink of an eye is essential for success.

Justin Barron who struggled this season is playing on a pairing with Jayden Struble; yes it is the final game of the season, but the Red Wings are trying to secure a playoff spot. This game doesn't mean much in the standings for the Canadiens, but St. Louis is aware of the importance for the opponents. Entrusting in the young guys like he has goes a long way with the group and their confidence.

Lane Hutson played 22 minutes in his NHL debut on Tuesday night and he was on the ice during overtime also. There is a risk factor that comes with icing inexperienced players, but there is a fine line between taking a risk and prioritizing development. Hutson nearly iced the game, then just seconds later the puck ended up going the other way and Hutson just missed a loose puck to block the eventual pass that reached Lucas Raymond, who ended the game.

Hutson went on to score his first NHL point, an assist on Gallagher's goal and all around played a strong game. One night later, Logan Mailloux scored his first NHL point, with an assist on Alex Newhook's goal. If not for St. Louis trusting the young guys and giving them the confidence to go out and have fun, they wouldn't have gotten their first point in their first game.

There was definitely a certain level of risk appointing St. Louis as the head coach of any team, but it's especially true for such a storied franchise. Many believed it was going to be a coach with experience and that has been through the trials and tribulations of an 82 game schedule. But breaking the mould and revamping the culture in Montreal was what this team needed.

With so many fresh faces pushing to crack the lineup next year and beyond, St. Louis is going to continue teaching the only way he knows how. With a fiery passion, that shows exactly why he was able to go from undrafted free agent to NHL hall of famer.