And so the Habs line-juggling begins

Posted: February 11, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Michel Therrien. Courtesy of RDS.

Michel Therrien. Courtesy of RDS.

I was just listening to CBC Radio – it does happen sometimes, in spite of what Shawn Apel thinks (which is that I’m addicted to rock radio and jock radio) – and there was my pal Andie Bennett telling Sue Smith about the new lines designed to cure all the Habs woes. Sue, by the way, who sounded like she still hadn’t recovered from Saturday night’s massacre on Habs Ave.

So it appears kindly ole coach Michel Therrien has matched the wonder kids – Brendan Gallagher and Alex Galchenyuk – with Max ‘Bite-Sized’ Pacioretty, while Brandon Prust is demoted to the No. 1 underachieving line with Erik ‘Can I retire now?’ Cole and David ‘I’m acting like I’ve already retired’ Desharnais.

You like the changes? No I don’t either. That Brendan/Brandon line was a good one – from the name on down, with Prust providing the muscle to protect the young skill guys, and they were always dangerous. They will probably still find the back of the net with Patch but what has me more worried is the so-called first line (that’s obviously no longer the first line).

Cole has four points after 11 games and mostly looks like he just can’t compete at anywhere near last year’s level. M. Desharnais isn’t much better, with just five points so far this season. And now they’re gonna be playing with a less talented guy on the wing.

Well you can’t blame Therrien for trying to do something. You look at Saturday night’s shell-shocking and you can’t just sit there. But I fear that the team will return to the bad old days when the lines changed from shift to shift as the bench-meister desperately tries to find a magic formula to transform a just-OK team into something more.

To return to my favourite theme (of the month), is Ryan White really the only player on this team that deserves to be benched? You could probably bench any Hab after Saturday night.

What Therrien really has to do is motivate a club that’s looked a little like last year’s sad-sack team for at least part of the last three games (and all of the last game). Last time he got mad, he turned off the 24CH cameras (as he admitted on Tout le monde en parle). He should actually tell the boys he’ll leave the RDS cameras in the room and running while he chews them out next time they suck out the joint. Then the whole country can watch them facing the wrath of Therrien. Hey Michel, consider this suggestion a free gift from a Habs fan happy to do anything to help bring a couple of points the team’s way.

  1. Mike Chamberlain says:

    Brendan, you’re a true Habs’ fan. That is to say, the good guys lose 3 in a row, and you lose your mind.

    All around town today, people are going crazy. Half of them blame PK Subban, and the other half blame Eric Cole for the losing streak.

    Well, I call bullshit. PK has 2 goals and 2 assists in 5 games, and he is even in the +/- category. Cole? Sure he’s had a slow start to the season. And so what? He ALWAYS has a slow start to the season, not just in Montreal but in Carolina too.

    And poor Ryan White. Look, I’m not going to argue that he hasn’t taken stupid penalties at inopportune times, but to blame him for the Buffalo loss is going a bit far. Sure, his double minor cut a two-goal lead in half, but when you have the lead with 10 seconds left and the other team is still in the neutral zone, well, you have to close out the game, no matter what happened earlier. Therrien was wrong to call White out, and I think he did it to deflect criticism for his bizarre choices for the shootout. I mean, Rene Bourque and Brian Gionta ahead of Tomas Plekanec and Brendan Gallagher. Come on.

    As for your view on changing the lines: Brendan, this is the first time Therrien has done this, and to think that he’s going to turn into the second coming of Jacques “the Shuffler” Martin because he wants to tinker with the combinations after a loss in which his team looked as if they were skating in sand (did any Hab win a race to the puck on Saturday night?) is jumping the gun.

    Anyway, let’s not fire the coach or trade everyone not named Alex Galchenyuk or burn down the Bell Centre yet. Let’s wait until they’ve lost another one or two games in a row, OK?

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