Three Words For The Montreal Canadiens: Patience, Tolerance, and Hope

Miah D.Senior Writer IOctober 11, 2009

MONTREAL- SEPTEMBER 24:  Scott Gomez #91 of the Montreal Canadiens skates during the warm-up period prior the NHL preseason game against the Boston Bruins on September 24, 2009 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  The Bruins defeated the Canadiens 2-1 in a shootout.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

It was February 10th, 2008 in Edmonton, AB. The Canadiens had just suffered an eighth loss in ten games. The latest defeat came at the hands of the Calgary Flames.

One postgame interview after the other, Guy Carbonneau’s dejection almost got him to lose his mind.

“I do not understand,” declared the then head coach, a few weeks away from his demotion. There were no answers and so many more questions. The team looked like a ship lost at sea, and clearly about to gain water.

All the hopes of an amazing centennial celebrating season were quickly fading away. The team's playoff contention started to blur, and all the things we were sure of the year before, we rejected.

Then Guy Carbonneau and his staff took the Habs bowling.

Now, the outcome of such decision was as risky as kayaking without experience in dangerous waters.

If the team had succeeded after the bonding experience, Guy Carbonneau would have been a genius. Everyone would have talked about the famous Montreal Canadiens coach who became a legend by turning his team’s fate around through ... bowling.

Unfortunately, the kayak bumped into a rock and everyone made fun of the idiot who took it.

It is tough to be a head coach.

With just five games under his belt, it is still early to assess the new Montreal head coach Jacques Martin.

But if there is one thing we probably all have noticed already, it is that the coach is no joker.

From the yelling at Sergei Kostitsyn during a preseason practice, to the post-Vancouver humiliation punishing practice; the head coach has been sending a clear message to players and the entire city of Montreal:

He is not here to play around.

The 2-3-0 record that they bring home for the home opener doesn’t say everything about the team, either. It is one thing to evaluate each player individually, but as a team, we first have to take into account a few facts.

Although some of them already teamed up during the past, creating chemistry in a brand new team is not an easy task. The Montreal Canadiens have lost eleven players and the returning ones are, on average, 25 years old.

Only two who have been with the team for more than five years.

Also, let's not forget that despite the amount of pressure and responsibilities on Carey Price’s shoulders, he is still the fourth youngest player of the crew at 22.

Now with a new goalie coach, he might require his own adaptation time as well.

Although it is never too early for the coach to install a good work ethic that looks promising, we have to prepare ourselves for some down times this season.