CFN – Stunning is the only word that comes to mind as Montreal blew a 4-2 lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins to lose 5-4 in the shoot out. Evgeni “Geno” Malkin is thriving with Sidney Crosby on the shelf as he scored the game tying goal and the shoot out winner.
With writers and fans openly writing off the Habs they pulled out to a manly lead with Max Pacioretty an assist away from a Gordie Howe hat trick. Erik Cole notched another goal and Alex Kostitsyn saw what happens when he manages three shots in a game with two points, but this year’s team doesn’t seem to have that killer instinct.
Infighting; bad management; weird mojo of some sort has led to an early golf season. Daily the miracle needed to turn the tide grows which is sad as I was ready to write about why it’d make good sense for Montreal to grab Alex Hemsky or Derick Brassard. It may still make good sense as Hemsky’s price will probably never be lower and I have a hunch he might be the winger Tomas Plekanec is looking to make magic with Brassard may be the big Centre that the team was looking for to take pressure off of Plekanec as well.
But geez these gormless wonders seem to be finding new and more pathetic ways to lose. Maybe Cammy was right?
With Ottawa looking better and better with a ton of cap space it should be interesting to see what they do to amp it up for the play offs. Toronto will probably wheeling and dealing as they are in the edge of making the play offs.
New Jersey quietly made a move sending over a 4th and spare parts for a big winger that fits in nicely with their team. Alexei Ponikarovsky can score and he can hit. His cap hit this year was $1.5M. Good move on Uncle Lou!
The thing about selling is yes the Habs can get value for Hal Gill and Travis Moen for example, but then next year who fills their skates? Of course if Geoff Molson doesn’t fix his house what agents or players will want to play for Montreal? Back to the dark old days of Reggie Houle where players nobody wanted came to die? Andreas Dackell anyone? Joe Juneau?
Sports writing Legend Red Fisher interviewed Serge Savard, one of the team’s best GM’s ever who at 66 just might have an interest although he denies any interest. Patrick Roy’s name is bandied about with even the sly threat of King Pat jumping to a Quebec City franchise if Montreal doesn’t snatch him up. While a marketing bonanza could Mr. Roy survive long if the team didn’t win? Would he be waving a finger in Mr. Molson’s face the way he did Ronald Corey’s at some point?
Over 20 years of bad mostly bad management have put Montreal in a space where there are no players under 60 to bring into the fold the way that people like Joe Nieuwendyk and Steve Yzerman have. Actually the NHL is littered with the successful bodies of former Hab coaches including last year’s Stanley Cup contenders both having Hab victims in Claude Julien and Alain Vignault.
No the key to turning this franchise around is ownership realizing what needs to be done and putting the right people in place. There was hope with Bob Gainey; but then Mr. Gillette got into financial trouble and distracted.
In today’s NHL you need a GM that understands contract cycles and cap management. You can’t just stack talent like the pre-cap days. I’m not sure what Mr. Molson and Gainey have against Pierre Macguire, but he’d be a serviceable choice.
For Habs fans they can only dream of the future and hope that Gauthier’s last act as GM is not giving Carey Price a 7 year $7M contract and trading PK Subban for Janne Niinimaa.
What do you think hockey fans? You can post your comments below.