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Problem #13 in Montreal

Posted By Corey Krakower On Dec 19 2011 @ 10:44 am In Montreal Canadiens | No Comments

It is generally expected that when things don’t go according to plan, that people look to point the finger at someone else. This is especially prevalent in sports, and even more so in Montreal when it comes to the Canadiens. If the Habs so much as lose 2-3 games in a row, fans will start calling for people to be fired and players to be traded.

The most recent scapegoats have been General Manager Pierre Gauthier and the now former Head Coach Jacques Martin. Erik Cole was ripped on earlier this season, Scott Gomez has been repeatedly thrown under the bus and team captain Brian Gionta has been called out as well by fans.

Oddly enough, there is one player who seems to never get criticized, and that’s Mike Cammalleri. Case in point; the left winger who comes with a $6 million cap hit has scored 6 goals all season. Over the past 11 games, he has scored only 1 goal and has recorded less than 3 shots in 8 of those games. So not only is he not scoring, he is not even getting many chances. The bigger part of the problem is that when he is not producing offensively, he doesn’t do much.

So why doesn’t Cammalleri get called out? My best guess is that because he has been great in the past 2 playoffs, people use that as an excuse for him, in the sense that they’ll say things like “no need to worry about Cammy, he always picks it up when it counts.” It’s the same sort of thing with Hal Gill; its clear that he struggles in the regular season but fans in Montreal are now content with him merely because he takes his game to another level in the postseason.

My issue with that excuse, specifically regarding Cammalleri’s struggles, is that this team may not even make the playoffs. Having said that, Cammalleri needs to elevate his play NOW before it’s too late. The goals will come if he pushed himself a bit more by getting to loose pucks first, winning battles along the boards and going to higher traffic areas as opposed to settling for shots from the perimeter. Mike Cammalleri does care and he does want to win. But there is a difference between “wanting to win” and being prepared to do whatever it takes to win. Can anyone justifiably say that they are seeing the latter out of him; because I certainly can’t.

Randy Cunneyworth is said to be a coach that holds his players accountable in order to get results, so lets hope that he starts with #13.

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