On June 15th of this past summer, Max Domi was traded from the Arizona Coyotes to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Alex Galchenyuk. It worked well for both Domi and Galchenyuk, as they were in dire need of a fresh start somewhere new. Upon first announcement of the trade, it had Canadiens’ fans irate, claiming they traded away one of their two scorers, stressing Domi’s goal production last season. Coming into the season, Domi was under a much bigger spotlight in Montreal than he was in Arizona. Montreal is considered to be the toughest marker to play in as the fans demand results from their players; and they are not afraid to be heard. Montreal is a hockey city, and with that, only the ones mentally tough and fierce will thrive.
Domi coming to play in Montreal meant coming back to play on Canadian soil. He was very successful in his World Junior days as he captured gold back in 2015. The World Juniors allow for the top prospects from around the world to gather in one tournament. Domi was a major contributor to Canada’s gold as he was near the top in the point totals. Surrounded by the pressure of this tournament, he showed that he can come up big in the meaningful games. The environment surrounding the sport can effect the performance of any athlete. Different competitive environments along with the pressures imposed by spectators influence the performance of the athlete; and there is no pressure like playing in Montreal.
Some players need the extra pressure on them in order for them to really flourish. The Canadiens were hoping the constant pressure of the fans and the city of Montreal would aid Domi in bringing out his true potential. Fortunately for them, Domi is off to a rocket start this season as he currently sits in the top ten in points, already surpassing his goal total last year. They, along with their fan base, hope he continue his play and prove his worth to the city.
This change of play in Domi emphasizes that one’s production levels need to be evaluated at different levels of pressure in order to see what they truly are capable of. It applies to all aspects of society, not just sport. People differ in the amount of pressure needed for them to reach their optimal level, so you need to test them under different situational factors.