Photo: Nathan Denette, The canadian Press
Victor Mete at the game of Canada against the Czech Republic at the upcoming world junior hockey Championships on January 4 last
Enriched with the experience of winning a gold medal with Team Canada at the world junior Championship last week, Victor Mete is once again ready to put his talent to the service of the Montreal canadiens. Remains to be seen how the young defender will be able to do over the next few days and next few weeks.
At his first press briefing after four full days of leave Friday afternoon, head coach Claude Julien has been careful, even nebulous about it.
“If we decided to keep it here, we certainly have the intention to use it, said Julien, of approximately 24 hours for a reunion with the Boston Bruins on Saturday at the Bell Centre. It is a thing. For the rest, we have not looked further. “
At first glance, the back of Mete arrives at point. The Canadian only has six other defenders and its leader, Shea Weber, could miss the rest of the month of January. In addition, the Habs should also take account of its development and its position in the ranking.
“In an ideal world, one does not want to play only a few minutes per game. This is not the way it will improve. If we decide to keep it here, still you need to play. But I can not get in front of you and you say, “he’s going to play 15 minutes, he’s going to play 17 minutes.” We’ll see in time and place. The purpose is to give him the best possible chance to develop while taking account of the fact that we must win games. “
A rewarding experience
Failing to be able to count on the services of Mete during the Holiday season, Julien has been able to see them at work during the world junior Championship. He found the same qualities in his young defender to Montreal.
“We saw a guy that carries the puck. It has been seen on the ice at the end of the match during the match for the gold medal, where there was a lot at stake. He has been responsible defensively, what we have seen here. The only difference is that here, the guys are a little bigger, a little stronger. It is such situations that allow it to work and continue to improve. “
Julien is convinced that Mete will pull many of the more than three weeks with Team Canada. And the Canadian is expected to produce earnings also.
“These are beautiful experiences, and it is competing at a very high level. He had a lot to gain in this situation. First, to play with elite players of his age, to win a gold medal, and to know what are the necessary sacrifices to get there. And for us, it was worth it for his development, give him this chance. “
Returning to Montreal, Mete has returned to the jungle media, which follows the Canadian, and he seemed delighted. After having done a little bit of extra time on the ice, he stood at his locker with his usual smile.
“I was relieved and excited when I learned that I would be back. When you sent me [with Team Canada Junior], my only goal was to win a gold medal. And after that, I wanted to come back here. This is what happened, and I’m happy. “
As it has throughout the first months that he spent with the Canadian, Mete said not to have any kind of hold and it is ready for any eventuality.
“I have not spoken with Claude [Julien] about my use, and I will have to wait to see what are the intentions of the instructors. I’m ready if they want me to play a lot, like at the beginning of the year, or if they want me to use for 10 or 12 minutes. I am happy to be here, I want to be here. No matter how I use, I’ll be grateful. “
A match like any other ?
Inevitably, Claude Julien had to answer a question related to the Boston Bruins that he will face three times in the course of the next eight days and for the first time in a match of the regular schedule since his dismissal on 7 February last.
But to hear him speak, this will be a match like any other.
“These things, as records made in the past, I keep it to the point where I am going to retire and be sitting in my rocking chair. Honestly, this is more a question of what we should do during this match. My attention is on my team and the importance of winning for the right reason. “
In another order of ideas, the attacker Ales Hemsky made his return to training on Friday, wearing a sweater, grey ” non-contact “.
The veteran Czech has played in seven games and is discarded from the game on October 20, in because of symptoms related to a concussion.