(Laval) Jonathan Drouin believes he has taken the means to avoid reliving a desert crossing like the one he experienced at the end of the campaign last spring.
Last season, his second with the Canadian, Drouin scored 46 points in his first 55 games, before finally blacking the score sheet just three times in his last 26 games, adding seven points to his record.
The 24-year-old striker worked with assistant coach Dominique Ducharme during the summer to watch video footage. One of the points noted during these sessions was the importance for Drouin to simplify his game.
"There are times when I complicate things," said Drouin Thursday, before participating in the second edition of a golf tournament bearing his name and whose profits go to CHUM patients. It was a problem I had in the junior and in my NHL debut. Sometimes it's better to do the simple game, even if it's less spectacular.
"We have been looking for ways to be more effective with and without the puck. It's not about being more conservative. (…) It's not to complicate things, to be more efficient. "
Head coach Claude Julien also participated in some video sessions with Drouin and Ducharme during the summer. He appreciates the fact that the young man is doing everything possible to continue to grow.
"He has to go to dangerous areas more often and he knows it," said Julien. He has the talent to make games. And we did not just show him things he needs to improve, but things he does well to explain to him how he helped the team. "
"I can not be a player who stays on the periphery," added Drouin. The best players on the circuit are looking for 15 or 20 points in the slot. It makes a difference. I can not always go for the spectacular game. I have to be more efficient and go to dangerous areas. "
While Drouin was moping in the last third of the campaign, the Canadian struggled for a playoff spot. The team just ran out of its goal.
"Who knows? If I had not had this slide of thirty games at the end of the season, maybe we would not have missed the playoffs, "said Drouin.
It is with such a remark that we can understand how much Drouin is putting pressure on the shoulders and the success of the team at heart. He also repeated Thursday that he loved playing in Montreal.
However, Drouin always misunderstands this decline in the right that has made him one of the scapegoats for the failure of the Habs in his quest to participate in the playoffs.
"If I had found an explanation, the sequence would have been shorter," noted Drouin. I may have put too much pressure on my shoulders when it did not work for five or six games, then it stretched over 25 games. "
Drouin hopes not to relive the same situation this season. He thinks he has done what is necessary during the summer to get there, as much thanks to his work with Ducharme as to his physical preparation. The goal of the native of Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts is clear for the 2019-20 season.
"It may be a cliché, but I want to be consistent for 82 games," said Drouin. I do not want to let anything deconcentrate me on the rink and outside. And for the team, we want to do the series. We passed very close last season. Everyone wants to give a little more this season to get there. "
"He wants to improve and be an impact player," added Julien. He is still very young and we like the direction he is taking. He took charge. He wants to be a good hockey player and these are encouraging signs for the future. "