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Cole Caufield: Martin St-Louis wants to make him a better player, not a better scorer

Yesterday was a game of ups and downs for the Habs. It wasn’t perfect, but in the end, there were several players that stood out against the Winnipeg Jets. One of them was Cole Caufield. I didn’t say much about him this morning in my review of the game because I wanted to write about him. After all, for the second time in two pre-games, he threaded the needle. This guy is a scorer and clearly knows how to use his shot.

But that’s not what I wanted to talk about this morning because Cole, whether he’s with Nick Suzuki or not, can find the back of the net. That’s his trademark and that’s why he’s so beloved.

In fact, I wanted to talk a little bit about how Martin St-Louis is going to coach him this year.

How is he going to make sure the kid progresses? The question of CC’s progression was asked yesterday to the coach, who said (in a very thorough answer) that Caufield is the kind of guy who is going to help his team more by being a good field hockey player and not just a good goal scorer.

Obviously, St. Louis wants to see the youngster score since it’s his bread and butter. That said, he doesn’t just want Caufield to be a goal scorer and he wants to make sure he can play well on 200 feet.Was St-Louis still thinking about Evgenii Dadonov’s end of the game when he made those comments?

For my part, I liked St-Louis’ answer. After all, it’s true that a complete job helps the whole club and that’s how the club will progress, via the youngster. And with the CH development department, which does everything possible to make practices realistic, one can think that during practices, Caufield will be put in situations where the CH will want to develop him “without the puck”, as the coach often says.

In practice, Adam Nicholas doesn’t like to see a player try to hit 20 shots in a row because that never happens in a game. What does happen is that in a few moments, a player has to recognize when to use a slap shot. The image of a guy practicing golf really speaks to me.

I love golf. When I go to the practice green, I’m a superstar, I play like a zero handicap golfer, but once I get on the course, it’s different. You have to execute and remember that.

Adam Nicholas

The only caveat I want to make about #22 is that Caufield must not neglect his defense, but more importantly he must not forget that he is a scorer first. His defensive game can’t make him lose his identity,last year under Dominique Ducharme he lost his identity trying to fix his defense, we’ll remember that.Obviously he has to learn to play without the puck and play on 200 feet and I have a feeling that St. Louis last year let him do that more to regain his confidence before he tackled his defense this year.

If that is the case, that will be fine because you need everyone to play as a team, what I bring up, with that said, is the fact that a middle ground needs to be found so that Caufield is not sent back into an offensive lethargy like they were last year. Caufield will have to give some to his coach to be able to make up for some defensive deficiencies later on. Remember also that CC will be a restricted free agent next summer… and a contract, for scorer, is earned by scoring. Caufield won’t want to neglect this aspect of his game, but he will certainly have to “meet his coach in the middle”, as they say.

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