The Canadian | Joel Armia “is rebuilding,” according to his coach

Given the Canadian’s omnipresence in the Quebec media, one might believe that the players and journalists who cover the team rub shoulders a lot. In reality, these people breathe the same air for only a few minutes a day, at most.

Some players are more in demand than others, whether because of their role on the team – the captain, for example –, their ability to speak French or simply their ability to express their thoughts. As in politics, it is valuable to offer a good clip.

Therefore, this gives rise to inevitable perceptual biases. A very talkative player becomes, in a way, a safe bet. Let’s think, in the CH, of Johnathan Kovacevic.

Those who are furthest from the spotlight will inevitably be the players who, in addition to having a limited impact on their team, are not very talkative. Non-incidental example: Joel Armia. Nearly mute in front of the microphones, and not much more talkative once the cameras were turned off, he gave his typical terse, almost monosyllabic answers. He’s still friendly and courteous, but in his sixth season in Montreal, you know what to expect when you go to talk to him. That is, not much.

On Monday night, the Finn scored the winning goal against the Colorado Avalanche. In this game and the previous one, against the Edmonton Oilers, he was among the most used forwards on his team. His commitment was sustained and effective.

However, in the locker room after the game, Armia, the third star of the game, was absent. Because no one had asked to speak to him. And even if he had been present, would he have provided any interesting information? We can doubt it.


Joel Armia (right) celebrates the winning goal with Jayden Struble.


A little later, during the coach’s press conference, Martin St-Louis had this to say about his big winger: “I think he’s having fun. He’s smiling, he’s playing really good hockey right now. »

The attacker, in fact, has good reasons to smile. After he started the campaign with the Laval Rocket, flirting with 20 minutes of play is quite a turnaround. He has scored three goals in his last six games. And in the last two games, big guns from the Oilers and Avalanche were shut out of the power play when he was on the ice. Since the beginning of the season he is the best attacker in CH’s shortage.

However, St-Louis’ observation, made about such a dark character, could open the door to different interpretations. After all, Armia himself has already stated that he can being your “worst enemy” when success is not there. His confidence is fragile, an obvious paradox with the character’s apparent invincibility when he is in full possession of his means.


Johnathan Kovacevic and Joel Armia

The day after the victory, the protagonist seemed amused when journalists asked him about his coach’s comments. In fact, his smile said it all.

I really don’t know what to think about it! I’m always in a good mood. I don’t think you know me well.

Joel Armía

We might as well immediately debunk the myth of the tormented being running through the walls of the Bell Center hallways. “The moment you meet him, he’s really funny.” He cracks jokes all the time and smiles constantly,” says Jayden Struble.

The defender worked alongside Armia in Laval at the start of the season. According to him, the 30-year-old veteran never pouted or projected his discontent onto his teammates.

At the Rocket, “everyone liked him and he played his part very well,” Struble insists.

” Good place ”

“Since the beginning of the year, it has been rebuilt a little,” says Martin St-Louis. It’s hard to rebuild yourself the right way if you’re not in the right place mentally. He’s working on it. »

Rebuild? But still ? Compared to the time of St-Louis’ hiring in Montreal in February 2022, the coach continued. In fact, during his first season and a half behind the bench, the Quebec driver did not have much access to the best version of Joel Armia. Often injured, he scored 12 goals in 70 games. He also accumulated a differential of -16, an embarrassing statistic for a forward who is presumed reliable on defense.

Since the start of this season, he has scored 7 goals in 27 games. His +1 differential is one of the best among the regular players on the roster.

St-Louis was asked about his difficulty predicting which version of Armia he will see in action on any given night. In fact, the Finn has difficulty delivering consistently good performances. Even recently, Press praised him after an inspired match. From the next he fell into anonymity again.

“Historically yes, but lately no,” the coach responded about the unpredictability of his protégé. This is good, but how long will it last? It is, still and always, a mystery.

In any case, Joel Armia is enjoying the good time he is having.

“I feel good, I really enjoy being on the ice,” he said. That’s pretty much all I have to say. »

Basically, what more can we add?

Montembeault against the demons


Samuel Montembeault

Samuel Montembeault will be the designated goaltender to face the New Jersey Devils this Wednesday, the first game of a three-stop trip. Striker Jesse Ylönen flew with his teammates, but had not trained with them on Tuesday morning. He failed to finish the game against the Avalanche, apparently after being hit in the head by a puck. It is unclear if he will wear a uniform in Newark. If he is not ready to play, it is not ruled out that Martin St-Louis deploys a formation with seven defenders, due to not having additional attackers. Josh Anderson, with a lower-body injury, remained in Montreal and could join the team on the road on Saturday. As for Tanner Pearson, who is about to return to play, he practiced with the team on Tuesday and will accompany them on this short trip to continue his fitness after suffering an “upper body” injury.

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