In the aftermath of the stinging defeat at the hands of the Tampa Bay Lightning in raising the curtain of the Stanley Cup final, it was time for analysis and corrections in the camp of the Montreal Canadiens.
The video sessions being obviously held behind closed doors prevent to affirm with certainty the points which were on the agenda of Dominique Ducharme, still isolated in Montreal, and of Luke Richardson. However, it is safe to say that the work to be done against the trio of Brayden Point was at the top of the list.
Jon Cooper had a lot of fun against his opposite by opposing his best unit to that of Nick Suzuki throughout the evening. The confrontation was so to the advantage of the Lightning that the veteran coach will not hesitate to provoke it again in the second game.
“It was a bit shocking,” said Phillip Danault, helpless witness to Point, Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat’s demolition work. I understand the way to “coach” [de Cooper]. We must be prepared for all eventualities. We will have to increase our level of play. I know Suz (Nick Suzuki) can do the job. ”
Like the day before, Richardson defended himself for not having been able to pit the Quebecois trio against that of Point.
“Abroad there’s not much you can do. You can try to change the streak a bit, but the home team always has the last word. The best recipe is to limit their possession time and have them play 200 feet while avoiding costly turnovers, ”explained the assistant coach.
See Luke Richardson’s press briefing in the video above.
The 21-year-old center has a bright future ahead of him. But, Monday evening, he understood that he still had scabs to eat before entering the big leagues. He only won 29% of his face-offs. One of those he lost led to a goal for the Lightning, the second for Nikita Kucherov. A story that has repeated itself a few times since the start of the playoffs.
“Kucherov can do anything offensively. He can make games and shoot at the net. He’s a very competitive guy. He gives everything he has. We have to do a better job against him, ”said Suzuki.
By his side, Cole Caufield was unable to come up with a solution to the enigma of the Lightning’s big guns. Obviously, at 20 and with only 26 games of experience in the NHL, season and playoffs included, it is not necessarily for him to do it. Except that the veterans of the Lightning have greatly benefited from the inexperience of the two line-mates.
“Our young players have gained experience last year and in the current series. They are growing every day. They will have the opportunity to demonstrate it tomorrow. You have to learn quickly. Especially in the final. That’s why I expect everyone to be better tomorrow (tonight), especially our kids, ”said Richardson.
It is especially at the level of puck management that Richardson hopes his players will be better. Moreover, we can assume that this was the watchword since the three speakers for the day alluded to it on several occasions.
“They thrive on turnovers. By managing the puck better, we will limit their momentum and the number of excess attacks. [lundi], we caused our own downfall. ”
As mentioned above, it was the Lightning’s big trio that profited with a combined harvest of seven points, including three each for Kucherov and Point.