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A lot of things have changed in the life of Phillip Danault during the last year.
First, on the sporting front, the striker has seen his team transformed.
After having concluded the season 2017-2018 with only 29 wins in 82 games, the Montreal canadiens already has 31 wins in 56 games this season.
“The past year is really to forget. This year, the atmosphere is completely different within the team. It was a lot of fun. It’s going to well as much in the locker room than on the ice,” said Danault during its passage in the emission “JiC” aired on TVA Sports.
If many associate this wind of positivism to the departures of Max Pacioretty and Alex Galchenyuk, the Québécois did not want to accede to this theory.
“This is not because of the departures it’s going well. Sometimes, a team simply needs a new start. The arrival of many new players has had the effect to awaken us.”
“We also had a very good training camp. It has helped us to start the season off well. We all know that the good starts are important in the NHL.”
A solid group
The trade deadline is fast approaching, and if you look at Phillip Danault, the group could not be over-welded. By contrast, he says, it is Marc Bergevin who is best placed to assess the performance of the team on the ice.
In this regard, the centre player greet the arrivals of Nate Thompson, Dale Weise and Christian Folin in training.
“These three players will add a great depth to the team. It is very pleasing to see our director general, because it shows that he believes in us and that he wants to help us. It’s a nice pat on the back of his hand.”
And Danault insists on one thing : new players who bring the team must be able to integrate quickly within a group which advocates a positive mentality.
“Marc Bergevin is very close to the players. It is often seen in the locker room. Therefore, he knows what types of players can help us without moving too much air in the dressing room.”
A role increasingly important
Danault has also indicated that he would like to be one of the catalysts of the attack of the Canadian.
“This is exactly what I want to be! I want to be a good player in both senses of the rink. I want to help the team defensively and contribute to the attack also.”
We can say that it does a good job up here. After 56 games, he has 40 points and has a differential of +21.
“I was just 25 years old, so I’m still in development. I would have never thought I was going to unlock it just as quickly. I am according mentally and it has helped me in several aspects of my game.”
These statistics remind us of a few those that Danault was at the time of its passage in the national hockey League the Quebec major junior.
At this time, two words that described him perfectly : dominant and responsible.
Would he now deliver the same kind of performance as at Victoriaville and Moncton?
“I always told myself that I was going to go one step at a time in the NHL. Initially, I wanted to be good in 5 vs 5 and defensively. I wanted then to prove that I could distinguish myself offensively, as in the junior.”
The performance of the centre player is such that several compare now his style of play to that of a certain… Patrice Bergeron.
“It is sure that it is flattering. I know however that I am not Patrice Bergeron. I’m Phillip Danault and I have my own style. Patrice is a model for me and I have the advantage of being able to train with him during the summer. This is a big plus.”
The numeric advantage… To soon?
Phillip Danault is the only NHL player who is part of the three best markers of the team, and that is not changing is in digital advantage.
While coach Claude Julien was obliged to explain why in a press briefing, the main party has also wanted to give its opinion on the question.
“I am much used to be 5 vs 5 and shorthanded. Besides, we only have two waves of numerical inferiority and therefore, I am requested many times. I have to be able to provide a sustained effort when you use my services. Each thing in its time.”
A defeat hard to digest, but…
The Quebec was on the ice Saturday, when John Tavares scored in overtime the goal that gave the victory to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
A defeat that, faith Danault, hurts, but that not only includes the negative.
“Obviously, we were disappointed. But at the same time, it has been demonstrated to all the world, and we proved that we could amply compete with them.
“It is the opportunism that has made the difference in this game.”
A special season?
It is night and day between last season and the current campaign. The supporters appear to have regained the faith, and you can feel a buzz around the club which was missing for a good time.
“I sense the magic!”, answer Danault.
“Everyone wants to win. The guys play with character. It often comes back. Beautiful things can happen.”
As so well expressed by the adage : “there is not only hockey in the life”!
The Quebecers learned last year that it was going to be a dad. The child should also point the tip of the nose very soon.
The number 24 is mentioned that the impending birth of her first baby, does not make it too nervous at the moment, but must admit, however, that it will become increasingly febrile as shall pass away the days.
“I think I’m going to start to be nervous when my wife will have her first contractions. I just wish that the baby arrives on the scheduled date!”