It’s the same old story, the same old song and dance with this edition of the Montreal Canadiens. Another 35+ shots against, another poor goaltending performance, another lackluster effort, another game with “not-so” special teams and ultimately another blown game against a team that is marginal at best. The script is becoming all too familiar and predictable. There were actually times last night when I was watching the game, when I was laughing at the performance. It just boggles my mind how a group of players this talented, could be this inconsistent. This team is running out of time.
That being said, I think it’s time for another edition of “20 Random Thoughts”.
1 – I hope that Guy Carbonneau opens up his mailbox on Monday and inside, he finds a letter from Bob Gainey. He opens it up, and the letter reads, “I’m Sorry.”
2 – I hope that Bob Gainey opens up his mailbox on Tuesday and inside, he finds a letter from Guy Carbonneau. He opens it up, and the letter reads, “Isn’t it ironic that you said that hiring me was the best move you’ve ever made, and now it appears that getting rid of me was the worst?”
3 – My one positive thought; Maxim Lapierre proved all of his doubters (including myself) wrong. He is the most improved player on the team and possibly in the NHL. He deserves a lot of credit for being the only player who the Habs can count on for a consistent effort night in and night out.
4 – Ever since the coaching change, and Gainey’s promise to cut down on shots against among other things, the Canadiens have given up the following shot totals; 32, 39, 48, 42, 39 and 37. I must say, Bravo!
5 – The last time the Canadiens outshot a team and won the game? That would be a 4-2 win over the Penguins back on February 3rd. That was game #51.
6 – Montreal is now in 8th place, and they have Florida and Buffalo to thank for that. The Panthers have lost 6 of their last 8 games, while the Sabres have lost 6 of 7.
7 – The Canadiens have called up Sergei Kostitsyn, who has been on fire in Hamilton. Rather than analyzing the move, I will just say that the move can’t possibly make this team worse!
8 – The last time I said “a move can’t possibly hurt the team” was immediately after the acquisition of Mathieu Schneider. The Canadiens had won 3 of 13 games, so it was assumed that it would be impossible for Schneider to negatively affect things. Looking back, I am a genius! Since their blockbuster trade, the team has won 6 of 15 games! Look at that progress!
9 – Let’s play the “who is earning their paycheck?” game! Maxim Lapierre for sure, Robert Lang was, until he got hurt and you could argue Andrei Markov has. That’s about it.
10 – Mike Komisarek is not worth over 5.5 million dollars. I am not playing Monday Morning QB, because even when he was at his best, I found it insane that there were some who suggested he will get 5.5 to 6 million on the open market.
11 – A friend of mine summarized the Habs problems in one very short sentence; “too much me, not enough we”. I asked him, “Can you blame them? How can a team have a “we” attitude if they have no clue who “we” is going to be next year?
12 – My analysis of the Habs is a little more complex. Every team has their flaws, including Montreal. The Canadiens may have more flaws than other teams but that’s a subject for another day. A team needs character to be able to overcome their shortcomings, and unfortunately, there is little of that ingredient in that locker room.
13 – Given the ongoing collapse of the team, people are starting to complain and make excuses. Some question whether or not D’Agostini and Pacioretty deserve their spots right now. My answer to that; learn to like them, because those are top 6 forwards next year, whether you like it or not.
14 – Back to the game last night; it’s funny to see Grabovski come back to Montreal and light them up for 4 points. Another great trade. Next thing you know, Mike Ribeiro is going to turn into a point per game player in Dallas … or did that already happen?
15 – The Kostitsyn – Plekanec – Kovalev line was a -2 as a unit. Maybe it’s time to shake up the lines again.
16 – Luke Schenn played 24 minutes, he was a +2, he picked up an assist, had 4 hits and 2 blocked shots. After watching him several times this year, I understand why Brian Burke places the untouchable label on this young star.
17 – What happened to the team that was 27-11-6? They are 9-16-3 since then, and with the losses to Ottawa and Toronto, they are officially a .500 team. I don’t care about the overtime/shootout loss, as far as I’m concerned, the Canadiens are 36-36.
18 – If there is one thing I hope fans have learned this year, it’s that coaches really don’t make that much of a difference in the long run. In the short run, from game to game, they can, but at the end of the day, if you don’t have the horses, you won’t win the race.
19 – Everyone talks about the playoffs. My question is; is it really worth it to come in 7th or 8th place and lose to the Bruins or Devils in 5 games? Wouldn’t you rather a high draft pick?
20 – Playoffs? Don’t talk about playoffs! Are you kidding me? Playoffs? I just hope we can win a game! (Thank you Jim Mora)
Next game is against the Thrashers on Tuesday night. Florida plays Carolina on Monday, so when the puck drops in Montreal, the Canadiens might just be on the outside looking in of the Eastern Conference playoff picture. With the recall of Sergei Kostitsyn, the Canadiens now have 15 forwards. Here’s a lineup prediction;
S. Kostitsyn – Plekanec – Kovalev
Tanguay – Koivu – D’Agostini
Higgins – Lapierre – Latendresse
Stewart – Metropolit – Kostopoulos
Scratches: Laraque, A. Kostitsyn, Pacioretty
Missing the playoffs is all of a sudden becoming a big possibility and it is up to the players and no one else to make a collective decision as to whether or not they feel like putting together 10 good, hard-working games in a row. This team still has enough talent that if they decide to outwork their opponents, the wins will come.
GO HABS GO!
Questions? Comments? Concerns? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Author
Written by Corey Krakower
I am the Director of NHL Content & Habs writer for ProSportsBlogging.com; I have spent 8 seasons behind the bench as a minor hockey coach; and I am the future GM of the Montreal Canadiens (according to my mom). I spend my days managing the Harrow Sports brand in my hometown of Montreal and I moonlight as a Hockey Advisor for Pi Athlete Management. Most importantly, I'll throw anyone under the bus for a laugh.