Montreal Canadiens Will Start Winning Again

Jason HitelmanCorrespondent IMarch 16, 2009

It's really not the end of the world.

I've been reading articles saying that the sky is falling, but when push comes to shove, the Montreal Canadiens are still a playoff team with a brilliant hockey mind behind their bench.

Okay, they lost to the Devils on Saturday night. The score was 3-1, but it was a one goal game for most of the time. I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure that though we lost, keeping it close against the best team in the Eastern Conference is not something to hang your head about.

I know, I know, we were out shot 48-22 and it looked very grim in the third period. That being said, our goalie faced 48 shots and only let in three goals. I'm impressed.

The Devils had an advantage on us the other night: Their most talented offensive threat, Zach Parise, was playing. Alex Kovalev was not.

For the second straight game, L'Artiste was under the weather and couldn't muster up the energy to get on the ice. Unfortunately for us, as much as I hate to admit it, our entire team dynamic depends on that one player.

Kovalev is a potent threat at all times, most notably on the power play. The players that he draws to him opens up the rest of the ice and enables the Habs to make plays and, more importantly, score goals. No Kovalev, no goals. Plain and simple.

Bob Gainey is our coach. He's also a born winner. I know that the Habs have looked rather flacid over the past couple of games (without Kovalev) but what are all the critics going to say when the team starts winning again? They will start winning. Gainey's system will start clicking and the team will wake up.

And then someone will say something about the team not being built for the playoffs, and that there is no way that the Montreal Canadiens can win a round judging by the way they are playing now.  

Well, naysayers, why not wait until we get there before you decide not to give them a chance? Did anyone really think that the Habs would lose to the Flyers last year? I'm sure a lot of "fans" thought they would once it had already happened. Of the four games they played in the regular season, what was the record again?

Be patient. Stop panicking. Cheer for your team rather than boo them.