The Montreal Canadiens' Anniversary Year has been nothing short of disappointing.
The Canadiens have played teams they should have beaten easily, only to come out on the losing end of these games.
Last week, even against the lowly New York Islanders, the Habs fell to a 4-3 overtime loss.
They are continually outshot in their games. Saturday, against the New Jersey Devils, Jaroslav Halak stopped 45 shots and they lost 3-1.
I'm not saying they should have beaten Martin Brodeur and the Devils. But I can tell you it would not be so disappointing if the Habs played better defensive hockey and gave themselves a chance.
There have been games this season where the Canadiens were in it from the beginning, but they're few and far between. The firing of Guy Carbonneau was just a matter of time, and the reason for it apparently he didn't talk to his players.
Which, as a player himself, he should have known better. Different players were asked why they where being sent to the press box. Steve Begin, who was recently traded, said I don't know, I wasn't told. Other Habs players in a similar situation were saying the same things.
Now I realize that this is not the first time the Canadiens have had a poor season. Two years ago, they sat out the playoffs after missing the cut by one point. That was due to a final-game loss against the Toronto Maple Leafs—who also sat out the playoffs, thanks to the New York Islanders.
My point here is that has a Habs fan, I keep hoping the next season will be like 1971 when it all came together. Those were the days of Henri Richard and Jean Beliveau. The year before, they had been ousted from the playoffs!
This year has been the one, with the big celebration, Now some would say that's the problem so much time celebrating the 100th, that it has been a distraction to the players.
I know that these days of the cap do not allow for teams to have dynasties, but I'm not sure that's the absolute truth either. Year after year, the Red Wings seem to hang in there, along with the the Sharks.
The Montreal Canadiens this year have fifteen players who will be free agents, and there has been no effort on the part of Bob Gainey to re-sign any of them. I realize he wants to build the Canadiens through the draft, which he has done—but you need veterans so there is experience on the ice.
I have believed in Mr.Gainey's approach so far, but he is scaring me now. What's next for the Canadiens? The team needs the Kovalevs and Komisareks to put a winning season together.
After this season the next big question is, who will coach this team? I still have high hopes for this year but each new day and game is starting to wear on me, with losses continually piling up.
With the bottom dwellers putting their games together, the Canadiens have slid to sixth place. How long before they are eighth or ninth and out again?
The Montreal Canadiens have put so much importance on their history that they have forgotten how play the game, which won them twenty four Stanley Cups.
There is not another team in the NHL who will ever accomplish what the Canadiens have, but it means nothing if they cannot play in today's game, and once again become an elite team.