Monday, May 6, 2013

Paul Martin's Next Whiteboard Session

image courtesy of National Post. 
After Sunday's line brawl that saw the Habs lose 5-for-5 and the Sens players egging on the crowd, I guess there may have been some mis-communication as to which player should do which victory move.

The theme for Martin's next whiteboard session: "In the case of another line brawl, Neil will do the pro wrestler woop, Smith will do a couple laps around the ice like he just won the cup, and Cowen will do a posedown... Phillips, you keep smoldering with an ancient rage."

What a gong show.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Firing Martin Was The Stupidest Move Since Hiring Him

I was not a fan of the Jacques Martin hiring. After watching him coach Ottawa for so many years, I was not looking forward to his style of hockey for the Habs. It just wasn't my thing -- but I understood exactly why Gainey hired him.

One major problem that absolutely plagues the Canadiens is coaching stability. The team is to suseptible to emotional highs and lows, whims of fans and media to sway who they think should be in charge. It can infect the dressing room, obviously, where rookie coaches get chewed up and spat out like ice chips.

Martin was hired to put an end to all that. An experienced coach, bilingual, calm and level headed always, Martin ended all the absolute Bull Shit that is the Montreal Canadiens coaching drama. 4-years, love it or lump it, get over yourselves Montreal and watch the games. And with an experienced hockey guy, veteran talent would consider playing for the team.

This slump was bound to happen. After the excitement of a few years ago where Montreal got the the conference finals, the players were bound to find a slump. The big names on the team are comfortable in their contracts, and stuck in a rut. The team around them has changed from an experienced group to a younger group, and its safe to say the team is trying to figure things out. But with an experienced coach at the helm, this year might be a bomb, but the could all turn it around.

So who is at fault if not the coach? I am looking at you, New GM Pierre Gauthier!

He traded away, (or let them go) the experienced emotional players on his team, to be replaced with youngers, smaller skill. Moore, Halpern, Lapierre, these strong third liners that would make the other team work so the skill could get out there and score some goals. Instead you have a bunch of 'skilled' players who don't wear down the opponents, and can't punish -- so they are pretty much wasting everyone's time out there.

Gauthier has picked up players he thinks are good -- Cole, Kaberle, Campoli, without understanding if they fit with his current roster; the current character of the team. Slapping good players on a team that doesn't play their style isn't going to work. Then he replaced his grinders with some young talent (who I like to watch, but they are green). What did he expect, really?

And he let Kirk Muller go, who was a special teams master, it seems.

Martin would have figured it out and gotten this team to work. Maybe not this year, but get the draft picks and kick butt next year. Instead the stabalizing rudder is cut free, and the team is gonna be in another emotional storm of chaos, with no direction. The big name players will avoid this team like they were doing in the early 2000s, because who wants to play for a rookie coach in a market where the media will critisize everything down to your breakfast choices.

Stupid move. Gauthier should have been fired. Its clear he is as lost as Reajan Houle.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Price is the new Halak

Well, I really haven't had the energy to keep up my game tweets or blog notes. Luckily the community is large enough now there are plenty of others to fill these roles :)

I would like to congratulate Carey Price, and the team, on a great season so far. There was a lot of anxiety and speculation at the start of the season on how CP would perform; and he has really answered the call.  I knock him when he's struggling, so now I'll praise him that he is succeeding. Mr. Price has found that competitive edge to his game, and really stepped it up. He looks pretty good in that net, and his team is playing well around him.

41 save shutout against Philly? Em, nice work!

On another note, I would like to tip my hat to Bob Gainey as well. He really put together a solid team; a group of players that want to win, and feed the team mentality. When I look at the strategy employed by Brian Burke in TO, versus the moves made by Bob Gainey when he 'blew up the team,' well, I'm pretty thankful! Bob Gainey also stepped out of the way; if nothing more than to prevent himself from screwing up what he put together :) And Gauthier has to be credited as well, I'm sure it wasn't all #23.  Where Burke tried to make big impact moves to spark his team, the Canadiens set a foundation, and quietly built on it with gutsy players (and they seem to have a deeper resource pool from Hamilton than Burke has in TO). Oh well, its worked the last couple years.

The Habs are a fun, fast team to watch.

Go Habs Go!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

One down, 81 To Go

The loss to the Leafs was not entirely a surprise; the Habs are coming off a surprisingly successful playoff campaign, and the Leafs are really looking to do better than last year's embarrassment.

Carey Price didn't look bad, but Hal Gill did. But that's Ok, because so did Mike Komisarek ;)  The rest of the team failed to really impress, and although it was great to have hockey back on TV, the game wasn't really that exciting.

And that jam at the net just before regulation ended? Think Toskala or even Gustavson would have let that one in? I do. Giguere is already making a difference for the evil White-and-Blue this year.

Tonight the Habs visit the Penguins. It'll be nice to have Cammalleri back, but I gotta predict a Pens victory on this one. I'd say 4-1 Pens. The reason? Although the team really came together at the end of last season, it seems that they have since split apart a bit. There is a jump to their game that is missing, but you know the Penguins on home ice will be ready to Bring The Noise.

So, good luck Habs! Although its way to early in the season to worry about anything, remember that every game you lose now, is a must win in March.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Season Opener!

Go Habs Go!!! I hope the team has a good outing tonight: it's gonna be a tight game!

I'll be out drinkin and cheering!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Woes of Carey Price

The season hasn't even started yet and the fans  (and some media) are turning on Carey Price faster than last week's fresh fish. Maybe he deserves it, maybe not (probably not) but one thing is certain; Carey Price brought it on himself.

And I don't say this because of the way Carey has played -- there has been enough press about that already -- I say this because Carey Price has shown, in the last couple years, that people can get to him.

You see, its no fun picking on a guy who doesn't care. Booing a guy like Halak isn't gonna get you anywhere, because he's not gonna react and he's not gonna care. But the fans know that if they boo Price, he is gonna react to them. Maybe he'll wave at you, or his game will change, who knows what will happen! But he will react...

And the opposing players know it now too. If Price lets in a bad goal or 2 because he's a bit nervous or whatever, then you've got him mentally beat for the rest of the game. Maybe he'll flip the puck at you, or start blaming his defense; in any case he'll change his game for the worse, and you can score at will.

The calm, cool, unshakeable kid is now more like a jello cake with a firecracker in the middle; one bad play and KAPOW! Everyone's covered in a green mess.

So now the entire hockey world knows the Carey Price is a vulnerable hothead, they'll crack him open like an egg every game.

And if Carey Price can't shake off a bad goal, a tough play, and (re)learn to keep his cool in bad weather, then this will be the last contract he ever signs.

Good luck Carey Price; no one on earth deserves the shit storm that is brewing in Montreal with your name on it.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tampa Bay and Simon Gagne?

No surprise here, but I am a huge Simon Gagne fan. big left winger, takes lots of shots, tries hard every night, and was once described by Bob Clarke as one of the smartest players in the league.

So given that he is now playing with another big favourite of mine, Vinny Lecavellier, I cannot but start to wonder what could have been, if the Habs had made the right moves and been lucky enough to get these players.

I'd be so excited if my Montreal Canadiens could have Vinny and Simon playing for them! Amazing home grown talent lighting up the league with speed and skill, razzle and dazzle...

Or would it have been a nightmare? It seems very common for Quebec born players to return to Montreal and then under acheive. A couple games without a goal, heros are turned to goats in the press, the pressure gets to them, they stop having fun and 2 of my favourite hockey icons end up with misery and crushed careers. Montreal is a difficult town to play in, and an albatros to anyone with talent.

So maybe its best that my heros stay down in Florida; enjoy the sunshine and play their hockey stress free. Have a good year here and there, retire as 'quality hockey players'.

Besides, our current team seems to have the right mental state to play in the Mad Montreal Market; no point in cracking that egg prematurely.

I still can't help but wonder what could have been; I haven't had my favourite players play for my favourite team since 1993.