In the Canadian world, we like to talk about the future, but Mike Matheson believes that we can also talk about the present, all the same.
“What we see from our team is very positive for the future,” explained the Quebec defender after Tuesday’s training in Brossard. But we must also put the emphasis on now. Just because we say it looks good for the future, that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen like that… We still have a lot to do in order to reach the heights we want to reach as a team . »
As the club prepares to visit the Flyers on Wednesday night in Philadelphia, we can slowly look to the future, indeed; As of writing this, the Sports Club Stats site puts the Canadian’s chances for a playoff spot at 2.5%, which means that yes, there’s still a chance, but there’s also reality.
Another reality, according to Matheson, is that the club’s future looks bright, particularly on defense.
“There is a lot of talent among our young defenders here,” he noted. There aren’t many veterans on the blue line, but our role is to help these young guys progress. It goes both ways, because the older ones can also learn from the younger ones! »
According to Matheson, the offensive success of the Canadian defenders this season can be explained quite easily: there is a question of talent, yes, but there is also the coach, who encourages them to restart the game.
Since the start of this season, Canadian defensemen have scored a total of 30 goals, three fewer than the leaders in this regard in the NHL, the defensemen of the Colorado Avalanche.
To borrow a time-honoured expression in this industry: Martin St-Louis likes what he sees.
“We have youth and depth among our defenders,” explained the Montreal pilot Tuesday in Brossard before leaving for Philadelphia. We try to play a style of play where we can attack with five players, and our defenders are part of that. They are capable of doing it, but not to the point of neglecting their defensive play either. »
Over the last two drafts, the duo of Jeff Gorton and Kent Hughes have chosen a total of 7 defensemen out of 20 selections, including Lane Hutson, the American who impressed at the recent World Junior Hockey Championship, with 6 points in 7 matches, and a differential of 8.
This name is added to the other hopes and those who are already here, which leads Johnathan Kovacevic to believe that the future is very bright for this Montreal blue line.
“If I were a fan, I would be very enthusiastic about the future of this team,” he noted Tuesday in Brossard. We see at the moment that there is no shortage of skaters and defenders who are capable of moving the puck here…
“This is the direction the league is heading, with more and more teams requiring their defenders to be involved in restarting the game. Our defense is slowly taking shape, and so is our offense. From the inside, we have the impression that we are building something special…”