How can the Montreal Canadiens’ malaise feel less painful? As we say in good Quebecois, “We are in the shnoot.”
The situation starts to get old, and so do Alexei Kovalev and Saku Koivu.
“Where to start?” said Canadiens head coach Guy Carbonneau, after the team’s 5-2 loss against the Maple Leafs Saturday. It’s a bit of a sarcastic comment, but alarming. After all, truth hurts.
It hurts as much as those five goals the team gave up to the Maple Leafs.
The first goal was like your sweetie pie telling you that you two need to talk. Suddenly, sweetie pie doesn’t smile anymore, and doesn’t joke anymore. You don’t know the end of it, but you are still hopeful that it is because you have beer on the couch.
The second goal is when she starts her sentence by a sigh, looks down, and goes, “Look” and your first name. You still hope for the couch story, but each word digs a bigger hole.
By the fifth goal, you are devastated. There is nothing left to do, there is no more explanation needed. The hard truth is right in front of you and sweetie pie just turned out to be not that sweet anymore. Carey Price just turned out to be not that confident anymore.
And then, the deadly question—“Where did it all go wrong?”
Kovalev declared that the “effort needs to be constantly there.” It is as classical as it is “not you, it is me.” You look at the situation, and all you hear is “Blah, blah, blah.”
That is right, we need you to keep talking Kovy, because your eloquence is what is going to bring success to this team. We also need you to keep being fancy. I mean, they all know your tricks and you mostly get caught, but it is still pretty to watch.
But let’s not blame, shall we? Yes, it is hard, yes it hurts, but let’s be courageous. Once again, we made it through this last decade; we came out even stronger and even prouder.
Oh, even I start to “blah-blah-blah” too.
Here are some random facts, but are facts nevertheless:
Carey Price has allowed four goals or more in five of his last nine games.
Against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Price had to face 41 shots.
Josh Gorges is -10 since the start of the year.
Kovalev had zero shots on goal against the Buffalo Sabres.
If we take Price as the ambassador of the goaltending, Gorges as the reflection of the defense, and Kovalev is the most talented forward of the team; the above facts tell a lot about the situation.
Here are other facts that are unavoidable:
Montreal is currently fifth in the East. They are one point ahead of the New York Rangers, two points and one game in hand ahead of the Buffalo Sabres, and five points ahead of the eighth spot held by Carolina. The Hurricanes have two games in hand though.
Calgary has a player named Jarome Iginla, who leads his team by all means with 58 points. Not far behind comes Mike Cammalleri with 50.
What about Montreal? Well, its leading pointer has 41, and he is a defenseman. Its leading scorer underwent surgery last week.
The San Jose Sharks are in town on Feb. 28th.
With all the due respect that I have for Carbonneau, the more he comments on the situation, the more I wonder if “Illusionland” hasn’t overtaken him.
“Carey has got too much talent to not get out of this,” Carbonneau said. Yes but no. He hasn’t got enough to rely on it alone.
“We can’t be worse than this,” the coach went on. Still yes but no. Look at Pittsburgh, and they have a Crosby and a Malkin. Look at Ottawa, and they have a Dany Heatley.
Are we doomed yet?
Of course not, but we are in the “shnoot!”
Picture: Habs Inside/Out