Phillip Danault’s training program includes a lot of work at home this year.
When the 24-year-old striker does not train at PEPS on the Laval University campus in Quebec City or does not skate at the arena in his neighborhood, chances are he’ll find it in his garage. But not to repair his car.
“I bought a large synthetic ice surface early in the summer so I try to practice my skills as often as possible. I want to improve. I always wanted to be better offensively, “said Danault, who scored 13 goals and scored 40 points in his first NHL season in 2016-2017.
“I can not skate on it, so it’s really just for my hands. I have a false guardian too. I can throw real pucks and I can throw as hard as I want. I also have a ferryman. But I handle the puck more than I pull. ”
The purchase has already borne fruit, according to the Victoriavillois.
“I noticed a good difference on the ice,” said Danault, who incorporated his work on the synthetic surface into his training routine when he does not skate.
“I have to continue, but I already feel more comfortable.”
Danault’s training group includes Patrice Bergeron, Marc-Édouard Vlasic, Antoine Vermette, Alex Chiasson, Steve Bernier and Canadiens alumni David Desharnais and Mark Barberio, while sessions are supervised by fitness coach Raymond Veillette .
“We train every day. There is always a small internal competition. But it’s fun because everyone is pushing. We want to go even further, added Danault, about the group dynamics during the summer, his second with Veillette and company.
“Raymond is incredible. I am lucky that he has accepted me in his program. ”
Even though the intensity of off-ice and off-ice training is up in August, Danault does not complain. In fact, he likes it. His performances of the last season motivate him to be even better in 2017-2018.
“I think I will never be satisfied with my season unless you win the cup. Again, you always want to be better, both as a team and as a player. The synthetic surface was essential for me, to improve myself. I love hockey too, it’s my passion. There is no better feeling than performing. I do not want to have a career of ups and downs. I just want to improve year after year, “Danault said.
“I do not want to finish my career by saying” I should have done this, I should have done that “. I want to do it now and not waste time. ”
With that in mind, Danault has identified some facets of his game that need improvement.
“I want to be calmer and more confident with the puck. I want to play power play too, so I have to be better in this situation. You have to win this confidence, said Danault, the eighth player most used with the advantage of a man in 2016-2017.
“I also want to improve defensively. Last year, we scored a lot of goals, but we were also scored. I want to be like Patrice Bergeron. This is a very good model for me. This is probably the best player in both directions of the ice in the league. I’m lucky to be able to train with him. ”
If the defending champion of the Jacques Beauchamp Molson trophy has a lot of work to do, he also has every reason to be confident as we approach the new season.
“My confidence is much better. The coaching group gave me a lot of confidence throughout the year. I was a fourth-winger at the beginning of the season and I was fighting for a position. I was ready to fight for it. Then we changed coaches and I had to fight again, said Danault, who made his way to the center of the first trio.
“It was stressful at first [to rotate the first trio], but it was fun. I liked the pressure. I certainly have improved. ”
While waiting for the beginning of the camp, Danault takes advantage of the calm in his house in the region of the provincial capital, with his fiancee Marie-Pierre.
“There are only trees here. This is very quiet. You can see all the stars, you can not see it in the city center. It’s really cool. The moon on the lake is really beautiful. We see the sun set. It’s a good place to rest and relax during the summer, “concluded Danault.