A three game road trip to Buffalo (27th in NHL), Arizona (22nd) & Denver (17th) nets the Habs zero points. Their record on the road since December 3rd is 3-14-1. Not a single NHL player has been brought in to help. The coaching staff ran out of solutions in 2015. None of the top (under achieving) players on the team have been subjected to a benching. But now, with 24 games left in a lost season, we’re supposed to believe it’s P.K. Subban’s fault?
I’ve seen this act before. It’s a horror show and it’s just getting started.
- Andrei Markov. Looked like the thin Denver air helped shave six years off his age.
- Tom Gilbert. Only Markov had more ice time. Any playoff bound team looking for experienced help on the blue line should be interested in Gilbert who has become the classic “steady but unspectacular” type. But with a warning – when he does muck up he does so in spectacular fashion.
- Nathan Beaulieu. Best game in a long time. But it’s become clear that he does not possess an NHL quality slap shot.
- Tomas Plekanec-Brendan Gallagher-Alex Galchenyuk. Helped set up the Markov goal. Came closest to scoring on another punchless power play.
- Jacob de la Rose. He should take David Desharnais’s spot. But not Galchenyuk’s.
- Lars Eller-Sven Andrighetto-Max Pacioretty. There were enough moments to think there might be something there. But there were also glaring mistakes. The opening goal featured speed & hustle on the forecheck by Andrighetto, puck hunger by Pacioretty and finish by Eller who was left alone in the slot of front of Semyon Varlamov. On the down side, Pacioretty stayed down on the ice for what seemed like an eternity after Francois Beauchemin took a scoring chance away from him on a Montreal power play in the second period. He never made it back as Erik Johnson tied the game at one. And what Pacioretty was thinking on the late winning goal by Iginla is difficult to figure out,
especially since he refused (ordered?) to talk to the media after the game.because nobody bothered to ask him (Thanks to Francois Gagnon for the info). Late in the second period Eller took a bad holding-the-stick penalty in the offensive zone. Just nine seconds later Iginla scored his first goal of the night to give the Avalanche the lead (Eller didn’t reference this when he referred to playing 58 minutes of good hockey only to lose on a late “mistake”). This is a fact based non-overboard assessment of Eller by Chris Boucher.
- Lucas Lessio. They finally scratched Tomas Fleischmann. And Lessio played like he had been locked up for weeks.
- Ben Scrivens. He gives the Canadiens a better chance to win than Mike Condon.
- Dale Weise. He played 14:07? Invisible. Maybe he doesn’t want to get traded.
- Torrey Mitchell. In the last six games he has one shot on goal.
- P.K. Subban. No offense generated against a poor defensive team. Tried to win the game with two minutes to go instead of making the “safe” play and dumping the puck in deep. Instead of beating Mikhail Grigorenko (normally a mismatch) along the boards, Subban slipped and lost control of the puck. But even as Grigorenko moved the puck ahead to Matt Duchene the Habs appeared to have the defensive zone covered with Markov, Pacioretty and de la Rose. Yet Duchene, Grigorenko and Iginla managed to mesmerize the the two Montreal forwards and turn the play into a two on one before Iginla deposited the puck into an open net for the win. With Scrivens on the bench for an extra attacker Therrien nailed Subban to the bench. #FriendsofTherrien predictably launched an all out assault on Subban after the game even though the ultra confident Norris trophy winner said “…I lost an edge…(but) it doesn’t really matter…you gotta get the puck in deep.”
- Michel Therrien. Mired in a free fall of historic proportion Therrien decides to single out Subban 24 hours after Ron Fournier tells his considerable radio audience there is a major rift in the Habs room and it’s because of Subban. What an act of coaching cowardice.
- Subban smear campaign. It’s on. Big time. Over 30 years ago, when it became obvious that baseball’s Team of the 80s had fallen short, ownership, management and some players pointed at the team’s most popular player as the source of the downfall. Charles Bronfman said giving Gary Carter a new multi-million dollar contract was the biggest mistake he ever made. President John McHale said the Expos dealt Carter to the Mets because the All Star catcher had asked to be traded (total bullshit). Players whispered that the clubhouse had become fractured because “Gary Carter was all about Gary Carter”. I saw it go down firsthand. In his second year in New York Carter played a huge role in the Mets’ World Series win. Expos fans were left with Hubie Brooks, Mike Fitzgerald, Herm Winningham, Floyd Youmans and nearly a decade of shitty baseball. This is beyond finger pointing. In addition to blaming Subban for being who he is (loud, brash, cocky) and what he is (which includes hockey champion) they’re trying to run him out of town to cover their own unproductive asses. We knew Carey Price was the glue that kept this team together. What we didn’t know was that he also cemented it.