Coach responds to fans criticizing Juraj Slafkovsky following the rookie camp in Buffalo

Published September 20, 2022 at 4:28 PM

The official training camp of the Canadiens has not yet started and already, Juraj Slafkovsky is receiving some criticism from some Canadiens fans.

It's true that the first pick in the last draft didn't break anything during the games presented during the Rookie Tournament but still, some criticisms are largely unjustified according to Louis Robitaille, the head coach of the Gatineau Olympiques.

At least, that's what he said during his appearance on La Poche Bleue at noon:

"It's not fair to the kid. We have to take our gas even with him and we have to relax a little bit. He hasn't been amazing, but he's been very good. Did we expect him to be Alex Ovechkin or Sidney Crosby in his first rookie camp? I didn't expect that at all! He did a lot of good things. Now I think he's going to have to adjust to the speed of the game. He's going to have to find his rhythm and get his bearings in the next few weeks. But there's a lot of positives with him."

Robitaille actually drew an interesting parallel between Slafkovsky and Cole Caufield. We remember well that the number 22 was going nowhere before the arrival of Martin St-Louis behind the bench of the Habs

"You have to stay calm. We were talking about Cole Caufield when he started and we expected things. We wanted Dominique Ducharme to give him more ice. The youngster has to live moments like that. It's the same thing with Slafkovsky. He will have more difficult moments and bad sequences where he will be less good. We'll give him the chance."

We all recognize that the pressure is always on for a first-round draft pick, but when it comes to the pressure coming from Montreal, it feels at times like some fans expect Slafkovsky to be as dominant as Connor McDavid or Auston Matthews in his NHL debut.

Despite the expectations, Kent Hughes and the Habs organization will be very careful with the Slovak winger to give him the best chance possible and the important thing about him is to see how he progresses over the next five years.

After that, it will be easier to draw your own conclusions but we are all anxious to see number 20 in action as soon as possible.

September 20   |   261 answers
Coach responds to fans criticizing Juraj Slafkovsky following the rookie camp in Buffalo

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