Jonathan Drouin will respond to a regular concern during a post-game interview after a current win over the Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues when the crowd spontaneously emerged into cheers.
For more than 30 seconds the Bell Centre faithful showered the kid who grew up only an hour and a half away from Montreal with love-- as the fans roared you could almost see a metaphorical weight lifting off Drouin's shoulders.
"I attempted to value that minute. It was pretty emotional for me as well and it's something I'll remember for a while," Drouin said today.
Things are working out to start this season for Drouin, however it hasn't been all flowers and standing ovations given that he was traded to Montreal from Tampa Bay in June 2017.
Vice versa. Drouin's first two seasons in Montreal were a roller-coaster of up and down play, enjoy and hate from the fans, and appreciation and sharp criticism from the media.
Quel minute émouvant entre Jonathan Drouin et les fans des Canadiens ... https://t.co/SMz5vQCqvg pic.twitter.com/en8Jky42Lt— @TVASports As a regional francophone playing for the Canadiens, the spotlight on Drouin
is stronger than many other gamers on the group. He matured north of the city in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts."It's around what I anticipated," Drouin, 24, stated. "I saw it as a young kid and it type of got
me a bit more all set for this."Drouin only needs to search for at the rafters of the Bell Centre to understand how essential star
gamers from Quebec have been to the Montreal Canadiens. The retired numbers of the greats hang over him each time he steps on the ice for a home game and the pressure to live up to names like Guy Lafleur, Maurice Richard and Jean Beliveau is ever present. "You can't reject the reality that there is pressure. [ If you do] you're just lying to yourself, "Drouin stated.
Now in his third season wearing the CH, Drouin stated he has a much deeper understanding of what it actually implies to be" the person "for one
of hockey's most essential and historically abundant franchises. He's likewise developed an eager understanding of how dramatically the pendulum of emotions can swing amongst Habs fans."It's been all over the location, "Drouin said."When you provide effort and all that you have, fans are going to appreciate it no matter what which's something I've come to recognize." As a hometown francophone gamer, Drouin is under more examination than most gamers in Montreal. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)
Drouin stated that he's discovered not to take criticism from the fans too personally. He stated former local players have actually informed him it comes with the territory.
"A lot of gamers back then still got booed, it's just an event here. It's something you cope with. It's nice to talk to ex-players and know I'm not the only one. It's taken place in the past and I'm not going to be the only one in the future, either."
Habs management has been patient with Drouin. Head coach Claude Julien said during the pre-season when Drouin's play was being scrutinized in the media that the company comprehends he's under a various kind of pressure than the majority of other players on the group.
He does media in 2 languages-- which takes more time-- and as one of just a few players on the team who speak French he's under a sharper microscope in Quebec.
Finding out to browse this environment takes time and therefore Drouin had longer leash during slumps in his first two seasons.
"It makes my task much easier, since there is pressure," Drouin said. "For me I think I've handled it better this year. As the years go on I get better with certain circumstances that I was in the past."
Up until now this season it appears the persistence is paying off as Drouin is balancing almost a point per game. While marking up the score sheet is nice, it's his better play on the protective side that his colleagues have observed and value.
"It's been the work far from the puck that's resulted in more opportunities for him," Habs assistant captain Brendan Gallagher said. "He's skating so well today. His energy has actually been so high."
Habs captain Shea Weber concurs.
"One of his biggest characteristics is his speed when he's really skating, not only on the offensive side of the puck, but he's working back for us and cutting people off on the backcheck and that's resulting with pucks to go the other method also," Weber said.
Drouin has actually had strong runs of play to start previous seasons. His numbers in 2015 after 10 games-- 3 objectives, 5 helps-- aren't far off from the numbers he's put up so far this year.
Long downturns, like finishing last season with just one goal in his last 26 games, have derailed him. He hopes his experience will avoid him from falling into a prolonged downturn again.
"Looking back, often that one [bad] video game lingered a little too much for me in my head," he stated. "There is some games that are not going to go your method. You can't let one video game ended up being two bad weeks or 4 bad games."
NHL gamers typically state they attempt to shut out interruptions so they can focus on hockey -- Drouin prevents any social networks-- but that doesn't imply players don't know what is being said about them. Minutes like the one between the fans and Drouin after the game against St. Louis can go a long way to raising the pressure.
"That was unique and we understand how much that implied to him as well," Gallagher stated. "We do hear what's going on outdoors in the city as much as we try to pretend we don't."
It's still early, however Drouin seems to have figured out what went incorrect in the past and if he can prevent the risks of previous years there could be more touching moments in between the Habs fan base and their local hero to come.