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.