THREE-RIVERS — the turbulence of the season 2017-18 with the Montreal canadiens belong to the past for Phillip Danault. Obviously disappointed with the conduct of the last campaign, the forward’s 25-year-old native of Victoriaville remain convinced that the Habs can bounce back next year.
Crossing to Trois-Rivières to take part in a photo shoot for a calendar of Leucan Mauricie–Centre-du-Québec, the old Piers of Trois-Rivières midget AAA reiterated its confidence in general manager Marc Bergevin.
Since a few weeks, the portrait has evolved within the general staff with, among other things, the departure of assistant head coach Claude Julien, Jean-Jacques Daigneault and Daniel Lacroix. The head coach of the Rocket of Laval, Sylvain Lefebvre and the right arm of Marc Bergervin, Rick Dudley, also have left the ship. Up to now, Dominique Ducharme was confirmed in his new role as assistant with the Montreal canadiens.
“It was a disappointing year for everybody, at all levels in the team. [The changes] bring a new wind. It allows you to go in search of people who can enable our team to be better, both on and off the ice, highlights the 24 of Canadian. I know that Dominique Ducharme, he is an excellent coach. Jonathan Drouin has worked, I am informed a bit. It is a coach full, ready to show what he can do in the NHL.”
If the collective results have not been at the rendezvous this winter, the last season was not of any rest in the individual plan for Danault. The former star of the Victoriaville Tigers and the Wildcats of Moncton has been limited to 52 games due to injury, earning 25 points (8 goals, 17 assists). The attacker was given the jitters in Quebec whole on January 13, when he was struck in the head by a powerful shot hit the defender of the Boston Bruins, Zdeno Chara.
Then, on 10 march, he had to put an end to his season, during a game the Canadian in Tampa. “This season, it is a small problem in my life that’s gonna make me stronger”, he says.
In addition to the movements in the joint staff, the speculation and questions about the intentions of the Canadian view of the opening of the free agent market. If the name of John Tavares is often found in conversations, Danault prefer to trust to his DG. “It is hard to point a finger at someone and say this is what we need. I really trust Mark and, regardless of who he will pick, I’m sure it will be the best for our team.”
Glad for the Gourd
Moreover, Danault is one of those eliminated players that always follow carefully the Stanley Cup series. In addition to admit to appreciate the journey of teams like the Winnipeg Jets and the Golden Knights Vegas, he can’t help to rejoice in the success of Yanni Gourde with the Tampa Bay Lightning. The two forwards have shared the dressing room Victoriaville Tigers for three seasons in the national hockey League the Quebec major junior.
While Danault has been selected in the first round by the Chicago black hawks in the summer of 2011, the Gourd had to take a path much more winding to the circuit Bettman. This year, his first full season, he has been turning heads with 64 points in 82 games, in addition to add up to 6 points in 10 playoff games up to now.
“It is a very good guy, with a good attitude. He has always found a way to make it his niche. And this year, it has managed to not almost! I remember that in the junior, I had an operation to my left hip. During this time, he had been operated on both hips! It was said that it would be fun to get them both in the NHL. He finally got his chance with the Lightning and he took the opportunity to have a great season. And it continues in the series,” said Danault, who admits to having also been carefully monitoring the progress of the lottery in view of the upcoming NHL draft.
“I often talk about hockey with my girlfriend. I can’t stop watching hockey. When it will be finished, I’m going to try to win. But the series, it is so special. I look at it since I’m small.”