FEBRUARY 24, 2021 – When you’ve watched and worked in hockey as long as yours truly has you develop instincts. My instinct since very early of Carey Price’s career is that he would never win in Montreal.
Carey is a great goalie, but to win in Montreal you need to either not appear to care about Montreal’s famed Hockey noise, like Ken Dryden, or be passionate like Patrick Roy. Most importantly you need to win.
With his insane contract, the window to get any value for Price is closing. On the right team he just might get a Stanley Cup, but clearly he has never “stolen” a series, or shown that he’s the guy like Roy or the greatest goalie in NHL history, Martin Brodeur.
When you get paid at the top you have to deliver and Price failed this season. Now Claude Julien is gone.
Whether via owner Geoff Molson, or GM Marc Bergevin this team has bet on Price for far too long. The problems with this team are not new and changing a coach is not always a long term solution.
The team still has problems at Centre. They still have problems with being a play off team. They should never have tried to showcase Mete because each game in this shortened season is important and since they put him in the lineup the team has gone into a skid.
Can they turn it around this season? For sure. Are they built for a long play off run? You never know? The odds are not in their favor however.
Bergy has achieved some good things so far this season, but the team still is structurally flawed by the Price and Weber contracts. The Gallagher deal was too rich in this cap age, but it’s survivable . The Cap space Byron is eating up this year could also have been much better spent. There were some useable veteran centres available during free agency and the team didn’t sign them.
The Canadiens are not longer in rebuild rejig mode. Fans are expecting a play off run this year. The days of showcasing a Mete in hopes of maybe getting a 2nd rounder instead of a 4th are not now.
The shelves have lots of players in the pipeline and the team needs to up the ante for the fans.
So out goes Julien and Muller. Captain Kirk simply could never make the PP work. Not sure who could, but clearly Kirk could not.
Montreal is also going to have to land more Francophone players if they refuse to hire anglophone coaches. It will cost the team if the core of the squad doesn’t get in synch with their head coach.
Language politics do not lead to drinking from Lord Stanley’s cup.
What do you think? And you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org