The Habs can’t even tank successfully

Posted: February 9, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

There isn’t all that much to cheer about for Habs fans these days with Your Montreal Canadiens sitting in the basement of the Eastern Conference. The one straw we in the mopey Habs Nation could grasp at was to jump on the Fail for Nail campaign.

That’s the growing movement to have Montreal do as badly as possible in the hopes of finishing dead last and having a good shot at nabbing Russian sensation Nail Yakupov in this June’s entry draft. The 18-year-old from Tatarstan – who is currently a high-scoring right-winger with the Sarnia Sting in the Ontario Hockey League – is generally considered to be the guy most likely to be snatched up first at this year’s draft.

Richard Labbe has a good piece in La Presse Thursday, titled Pas de ‘Fail For Nail’ a Montreal in which, unsurprisingly, the Habs players say they are not buying into the notion of playing as bad as possible in order to snare the Russian sniper. I guess that means the Habs are playing so bad for other reasons only known to their psychiatrists.

But if they keep doing fairly bad, rather than really terrible, then the Canadiens will once again finish just out of the playoffs. The result? No playoffs – which means no fun for us and no dough for the owners – and also no good draft choice. Brilliant.

When Jacques ‘Mr. Personality’ Martin was given his walking papers that fateful day Dec. 17, the team’s record was 13-12-7. Since Randy ‘Parlez-vous’ Cunneyworth has taken over, the team has come up with an oh-so-mediocre 8-12-2 record. The result is that they are 21-24-2 after 54 games, which has them comfortably nestled in 14th place in the East. But there are actually four teams below them in the League standings, including Carolina, Anaheim, Edmonton and cellar-dwellers Columbus.

In other words, if the season ends today, no Yakupov for the Habs. Too bad.

In my more delirious moments – which occur with frightening frequency – I’ve actually thought that the team management deliberately threw the season in December by firing a coach with a .500 record and hiring a unilingual anglophone as an “interim” coach. It was completely predictable that it caused a firestorm of controversy chez nous, which was a huge distraction for the team, and the ‘interim’ tag ensured that the players would not take Cunneyworth seriously. Looking back, it was the perfect formula for failure.

But apparently there was no conspiracy. As usual, the conspiracy theorists are wrong. The disaster that is the 2011-2012 Habs season is the result of sheer incompetence on the part of Pierre ‘Major Major’ Gauthier and the rest of the Habs brain-trust not any Machiavellian plot to ‘Fail For Nail’.


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