A look at the oh-so-fragile Habs

Posted: January 24, 2014 in Uncategorized
Pierre Houde thinks the Habs are in the midst of a rebuilding process.

Pierre Houde thinks the Habs are in the midst of a rebuilding process.

These are not good times for your Montreal Canadiens.

Coming often a humiliating loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins Wednesday and what the Toronto sports media delighted in calling a “statement game” Saturday that had the Leafs besting the Habs, Montreal is looking mighty fragile this morning.

It’s funny, when my pal Avi Goldberg published this blog, We See the Elephants in the Habs Dressing Room, two weeks ago, I thought I was maybe sounding too negative. The blog is built around interviews with moi, TSN 690’s Tony Marinaro, and scout Rick Springhetti. None of us was exactly falling over ourselves with wild enthusiasm about Nos Glorieux.

I, of course, am the voice of doom and gloom. Hey it’s a dirty job but someone’s gotta do it. I have been a doubter since Day One this season for the very good reason that I look at last year’s collapse and see cracks in the foundation. The Habs went loco in the last ten games of the season and were downright terrible in that playoff series against a not-great Ottawa squad. They were out-coached, out goaltended, out-played and out-fought. It wasn’t pretty.

And are they really an improved team this season? I would hardly say you get much improvement with the addition of Daniel Briere, George Parros, and Douglas Murray.

I was just listening to Pierre Houde on CHOM with Terry DiMonte and the much-respected RDS play-by-play was busy trying to give fans a reality check, suggesting that this is a team in the midst of a rebuilding process, and he’s probably right. But I’m not sure the Habs brass believe that. I suspect they believe this is a team capable of a playoff run right now and though I’d love to believe that, it’s hard to imagine right at this exact second.

Pat Hickey has a pretty devastating column in the Gaz this morning. Here’s the killer line: “But saying that the Canadiens are 4-5-2 makes the team seem mediocre when it has, in fact, been dreadful. It’s a polite way of saying the team has only four wins in its last 11 games.”

What Hickey points out is that on Jan. 14 – around the time Avi’s downbeat blog was first published – Montreal was in third place in the Atlantic division, just three points behind division leader Boston. Today, the Habs are still third but are now six points behind the Bruins and the Lightning, and are now tied with the Leafs (the ultimate insult!).

So sadly, our early-January pessimism seems to have been well-founded. Sigh.

And I’ll say just one more thing – the solution is not pairing P.K. Subban and Murray! In fact, why is Subban having a heart-to-heart discussion with Marc Bergevin Thursday? I hardly think P.K. is the big problem here. Sigh part 2.


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