NHL: An awkward and frustrating start for Martin St-Louis against the Kraken

MONTREAL — In the context of recovery, Martin St-Louis seems calm after most losses. But this one, shattered by a horrible first period, wasn’t easy for him to stomach.

“The second period and the third really mean nothing after a first of the same. It’s boring…” St-Louis commented dryly with an angry look.

The coach said that such performances challenge him. He’s well-prepared to live with the ups and downs of a rebuild, but such a lack of commitment can only bring out his competitive spirit.

Additionally, his brief response to how he wanted his players to feel after their first period was eloquent.

“Embarrassing,” he summed up in one word.

“You know I wasn’t happy,” he later added.

His few frustrated replies made one wonder how St. Louis would have dealt with such a disappointing departure from their team during their playing days. It is thought that it would have been ridden on the bench.

On that subject, veteran colleague Marc De Foy asked him if he lacked leadership in his group to handle such a context.

“I don’t know, I’m not a little fly that hears everything that’s said in the room. But it’s unacceptable, our first period. I don’t know if it was communicated in space between players.

“We will correct things, but also the problem that we had such a time,” assured the coach.

St. Louis’ reaction was also justified by the fact that his team had just ended a seven-game losing streak with a more encouraging performance.

“After that big win, it felt like we took it lightly. However, there are no easy games in this league. Also against a team like the Kraken, who are playing very well these days. However, we knew what to expect,” said Nick Suzuki, uncomprehending.

“It’s frustrating, we’re playing very inconsistently at the moment,” summed up Arber Xhekaj, who had a disappointing evening himself.

This topic kept coming up in conversations with the four players (Suzuki, Xhekaj, Montembeault and Slafkovsky) who met with the media after the game.

“We tried to build on the win from Saturday, but it didn’t work. We won’t play at this level in the next game, we didn’t have that at all in the first third. That hurt us,” noted Slafkovsky, who has been the focus of some interesting forays into offense.

The only trio that put on a more convincing performance remains that of Jake Evans, Joel Armia and Evgenii Dadonov. That was no consolation for the coach.

“Yes, this trio gives us consistency in their game. But it takes more than that, we had too many passengers in this game, especially on departure,” said St-Louis.

“We’re not good enough as a team to have passengers,” he said.

Despite being sidelined for two games, Mike Hoffman was far from having the taste to eat the tapes. Jonathan Drouin should also have been more astute in his actions and the list goes on.

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