A Phillip Danault 2.0 – TVA Sports
Phillip Danault has been playing for the Los Angeles Kings for a year and a half now. Under the California sun, she oozes perfect happiness.
As in his good years in Montreal, the Quebecer made defense a priority. However, since playing under Todd McLellan, he has given his offensive skills more freedom.
Entering Saturday’s game against the Habs, Danault has 19 points in 29 games. 0.65 points pace in a matchup similar to his first game with the Kings last season.
“I felt Rob Blake’s confidence [directeur général] and Luc Robitaille [président] from the beginning, as soon as he brought me into the organization,” said Danault, who played the 500th regular season game of his NHL career on Thursday.
“The coaches also trust me. I had to get my seat first. Later, I was in front of the goal in numerical advantage. I’ve been placed along the ramp this year and it’s going well.
Role in mass attack. While with the Canadiens, Danault would have liked that. He made a few appearances there, but it was very rare.
“It was important to me. I wanted to take my career to another level. He noted that I wanted to use another side of my game. I also believed in my ability. It took a little pat on the back to spread my wings. That’s what they gave me in Los Angeles.”
Open Mic: Phillip Danault –
More than reputation
Under the colors of Bleu-Blanc-Rouge, Danault showed some nice offensive flashes. He averaged 0.65 points per game and maintained that throughout the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 seasons. However, his reputation in the league rested more on his defensive efficiency.
Kings head coach Danault is a good example of how he was received when he played in Montreal.
“What we thought we had when we bought the elephant is what we have. Another package followed, McLellan said after his team’s morning practice on Saturday. But his attacking skills are at a very high level.
Despite this, Danault remains a defensive specialist. At the age of 29, he is starting to make an impact on his teammates. Moreover, his style of play serves as a role model for the younger Kings players.
“He has the ability to win not only face-offs, but battles for the puck. He uses his body very well, is strong on his skates, has a good stick, McLellan listed. We often make clips from it to make video sessions and teach our young players.
Confidence of teammates
Kings veterans also find their way with Danault. His work ethic and passion for the game quickly made him a valued and accepted teammate.
“Guys who have won a Stanley Cup and are still on the team want to get another chance to do it. They want Rob Blake and our board to add players to our roster so they can improve their chances. They want to trust the incoming players. And Phil gained that confidence quickly,” added McLellan.
I am happy for Captain Suzuki
Despite playing on the other side of the continent, Phillip Danault continues to follow what’s happening in Montreal. And not just to know if it’s snowing or if there’s frost on the ground.
He watches how his old formation behaves. Looking at the statistics, Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield are at the top of the list.
“Suz” is a great player. Since his arrival, we have seen that he has the right attitude and maturity is there. I am not surprised that he is the captain. I would make the same choice.
When the Canadiens acquired their future captain for Max Pacioretty in September 2018, Danault was entering his fourth full season in Montreal.
Seeing in him the ideal mentor for their new player, the team management chose to place them side by side in the locker room.
“I’m not going to take credit for what he’s become. The honor is his. His attitude was different from the beginning. His maturity was there from the start, he said. I may have tweaked it a bit. Maybe I helped him feel better. But I didn’t need to keep it straight and narrow. He’s super straight.”
Caufield is another young man Danault was lucky enough to see make it to the NHL. As with Suzuki, he quickly saw his teammate’s abilities.
“I am not surprised that he scored so many goals. Cole, he’s a sniper. I remember he scored big goals for us in the Stanley Cup Final. In addition, he plays with Nick, who is a very good shooter as well as a great passer.
We don’t know if Danault gave Caufil some advice, but we’ll remember that they shared a slice of pizza on the evening of Saint-Jean-Baptiste 2021 after the win that put the Habs in the grand final.