(San Jose) It was a bright sunny Thursday afternoon in San Jose, but Josh Anderson decided to enter the arena before everyone else to shoot.
It may seem trivial, putting the puck in, but in the case of a player who is looking for himself, who hasn’t scored all season, and in fact hasn’t scored since March 14th, probably all that’s left for him to do is put it in and then throw it again. Hoping that one day the puck will end up inside.
“This is probably the toughest series of my career,” Anderson admitted at the end of Thursday’s practice. I don’t think I’ve ever had to experience anything like this before. But as I said before, we must not give up…”
This season, it is 19 games without a goal for the veteran striker, who will try to overcome this bad luck in the next game, on Friday at the Sharks. He had already experienced worse; once, as a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets, he went 21 games without a hit.
Now he’s gotten to the point where he’s trying anything, anything; he even wanted to borrow a stick from teammate Justin Barron at practice Thursday, presumably to try something new.
Are we therefore to believe, to quote Dave Hilton Jr., that the damage is “inside” the head?
“I don’t know if it’s psychological,” he answered. It’s frustrating, obviously. But I think I’m in a good place. I have to keep my head up and keep trying to be the player I know I can be. »
While he waits for answers, Josh Anderson remains a player in search of himself, and who better than Martin St-Louis to revive him? The coach, who himself was an excellent scorer in his younger days, says he is working closely with his player to end this never-ending drought.
He must not lose his identity while trying to score. Josh has to continue what has allowed him to play in this league: his skating, his power and his shot, sure… But he can’t just think he has to score. He must continue to take positive actions that will help him score.
Martin St-Louis on Josh Anderson
“I don’t want him to forget the details of his game just because he’s trying to score a goal. If you forget the details of your game, you’re just waiting until you get an easy chance, next to an open door… If you do, you might score one, but not many. So Josh has to keep working on the details. »
Anderson himself admits he struggles to aim where he wants, and besides, he spent part of his individual lunchtime routine on Thursday set up near the goal, looking at the posts, as if the dimensions of the goal were suddenly no longer the same.
“To be honest, I’m not comfortable with the way I’m aiming, where I’m sending the puck these days…I’ve always been so good at putting the puck exactly where I want it. It’s about inches, but I haven’t been putting the puck where I want to lately. »
What will happen next Friday night in San Jose and who knows? Maybe Josh Anderson will put one in there eventually.
In any case, Martin St-Louis is confident. “He’s going to get through this,” he added.
Primeau vs. Sharks
No, it won’t be Samuel Montembeault in San Jose on Friday night, even though he is coming back from a very big match. Why ? Martin St-Louis didn’t elaborate, but it appears the Canadian has recently established some kind of rotation with his goaltenders, and on Friday night it will be Cayden Primeau’s turn. Montembeault is getting used to it. “Of course I would like to play more often, but there are pros and cons,” explained the Quebec goalkeeper. It gives us more time to work with the goalkeeper coach during training and also gives me more time to improve my game.”
No Monahan at training
At training with the Canadian on Thursday, there was only one (apart from the injured, of course): Sean Monahan, who justifiably went for treatment. The Canadian did not give any other details about this absence.