It’s done. I’m writing this listening to Habs captain Brian Gionta talking on the radio about how the season ended and I’m happy to hear that he doesn’t sound too happy. If you’re a Habs fan, this is not a day for celebration. Sure they fought the good fight and took the big bad Bruins to OT of game 7 (on Wed. April 27), but they lost and the bottomline is that they’re not making it beyond the first round.
This isn’t good. This is a half-empty situation. Worse, they allow the Bruins to move forward. To me, that’s just as bad as the Habs being on the golf green today. Not to put a fine point on it, this Bruins team is one that is easy to really dislike.
So what are the pluses and minuses here. Let’s, difficult as it is, start with the positives. The team has two extraordinary young players in P.K. Subban and Carey Price who will be stars in this league (and hopefully for the Canadiens) for years to come. Arpon Basu has a column on these two stars on ctv.ca and I couldn’t agree more.
But then there are the problems. First-off our goal-scorers simply didn’t score enough goals. Gionta had two the first night then more or less disappeared from the score sheet. Michael Cammalleri did just amazing, like he did last year, but there remains the enigma wrapped in a riddle that is Scott Gomez. He gave the proverbial 110-percent but it just ain’t working. And we’re stuck with the guy for years to come.
Then there’s our aging, lumbering defense core. Roman Hamrlik was once again just not good enough and Jaro Spacek wasn’t much better. The Habs boosters will rightly note that things might’ve been different with Andrei Markov and Josh Gorges but who knows if we’ll ever see Markov as a Habs regular again.
Short version? We need scorers that score, preferrably over six-feet tall, and some tough, talented guys to clear the net in front of Price (who, by the way, let in one goal last night mostly because he was so busy doing the defenseman’s job and pushing Patrice Bergeron out of the way). Oh yeah and someone who can make a vicious ugly team like the Bruins understand that you can’t just kick us around at will. That would be a big, tough player who can actually play – something we haven’t had in eons. Philippe Cantin has a good column in the Thursday La Presse detailing the challenges facing the Canadiens.
Should be an interesting summer for Habs fans…..Speaking of enigmas wrapped in riddles, is general manager Pierre Gauthier up to the task? We’ll see.