For your benefit I waited a little while before starting to write this review. I will attempt to keep this blog a family friendly place by keeping the explicative’s out. What we all played witness to on Thursday night probably has the rocket turning over in his grave. Our Montreal canadiens are a team built on heart.

    You see, I became a fan of this team during the lean years, when there wasn't much to cheer about because bad management decisions meant that the on-ice product just wasn't up to snuff, but at least they tried. I wasn't born a habs fan, I became one and sure I might have been affected by the fact that my whole family are habs fans, but I didn't have to be, I knew that they weren't great but I didn't care because I loved the resilience, I loved that “us against the world“mentality and I felt that it was the approach I wanted to take in life. Now to see them succumb without so much as a whimper to a team who has nothing to play for feels like the cruellest of betrayals.

Enough about my sappy story. I will do what all good habs fans would do -or maybe just the masochistic ones- try to figure out what's plaguing them. I’ve narrowed it down to two possible things (although I might be completely wrong and it turns out to be something else entirely)

 1) Jacques Martin is not the right man for the job. Sure he exudes the confidence of a soothsayer, and matter how pressing the question is, once he goes into his speech on special teams, goaltending, and “the system” I always feel a little bit better. But I have yet to really see him light a fire under a player and pump the team up, sure he`ll demote a guy every now and then, and even an occasional nailing to the bench (see Sergei K. In Carolina) but he can't seem to get through to the team. Let's lay our cards on the table, our habs are an average group at best and because of that, half of the coaches job is to get them to play with more heart than the other guys. If you can't out-play them; out hustle them. He doesn't seem to be able to do that.

2) No captain. Maybe it’s because nobody has really stepped up. Gionta, Markov, and Cammalleri -the frontrunners for the captaincy in my opinion- have all gone down injured for long stretches throughout the season and therefore haven't really been able to jump into the driver’s seat. Usually if the coach can't get the boys pumped, the captain should, but we don't have one.

     I might be right or wrong, but whatever the problem is someone better get to the bottom of it soon, or we`ll miss the dance. Habs vs. Leafs tonight, I won’t even bother going into the stats – just win.

Ladies and gentlemen, your Montreal canadiens are one point away from sealing the deal and making sure we’ll be watching playoff hockey at the bell this year. But not all is peachy just yet, the team standing between our beloved habs and a playoff spot tonight is the Carolina Hurricanes. Eight days ago the ‘canes bounced back from a 1-0 lead to take the two points. MAB put the good guys up at 8:04 in the first period with his patented power play slapper before Sutter & Staal rippled the twine at 3:44 of the second and 2:55 of the third respectively.  As of this moment there is no word on who will be minding the net for the canadiens, but I’m guessing Halak will get the call to try and clinch a playoff spot with price possibly playing Saturday night versus the buds in a game that could mean absolutely nothing. Jaroslav Spacek looks like he could make it for tonight’s game pushing MAB to the fourth line and costing someone there their spot. Also to be noted: Halak is the canadiens Will Masterton trophy candidate, if he were to win he would become the fourth Montreal Canadien to take the honour after Saku Koivu in 2002, Serge Savard in 1979, Henri Richard in 1974, and Claude Provost winning the Trophy in its inaugural year of 1968. Also, Guy Boucher was named the AHLs coach of the year; I think the canadiens need to offer him an assistant’s job in the big show next year or risk losing him to a head coaching job somewhere else. The ‘canes are coming in playing above .500 hockey in their last ten at 5-3-2, while the habs are 4-3-3. Puck drops at 7:30ish in Carolina.


    Big time habs fan sharing my thoughts on the most storied franchise in all of pro, spors (I love being able to say that!)


    April 2010



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