Montreal - Sitting on the 12th spot in NHL's Eastern Conference, head coach Jacques Martin must find a way to get consecutive wins if he hopes to be part of the spring waltz.
Not much to say against goaltenders Halak and Price. Last game against Nashville on Saturday, Price probably felt like he was on Omaha Beach, Normandy, on June 6th, 1944 as he was bombarded from all sides and managed to stop 53 shots in a 2-0 loss. Previous to that he stopped 30 of 31 shots in a 4-2 win against Phoenix.
So far Jacques Martin failed to find the right line combinations to generate offense. Gionta is out and no one knows when he'll be back. The clock is ticking. Other teams in the east are winning while Montreal is unable to get two wins in a row. The question is: "What else can Jacques Martin do?"
If he looks at the team he has, not much more can be done. He probably should start looking at the Hamilton Bulldogs as he may find a potential fix to the problem: Sergei Kostitsyn.
We all know he has been a problem player but all the reasons are there to believe that he has learned his lesson and the purgatory must end now.
Sergei can bring what's missing on offence. He has speed, hands and agility to create opportunities. He can draw penalties for the other team with his speed but also can do the same with his physical play. He is not the biggest guy out there but the kid sure can hit.
Gainey should start looking hard to make a trade. With 20 games already played time is ticking and the team must start getting winning streak real soon. The only problem is Bob Gainey doesn't have much to offer to his fellow GMs. Lapierre and Latendresse are not performing and being a club's GM I wouldn't touch either of them with a 30-foot pole. Right now he can only deal prospects, young guys, draft picks and... Oh I don't want to say this but hey! I am writing an article here... Halak could be dealt to a team in desperate need of a #1 goalie... Yes Halak has what it takes to be #1 in this league.
Bottom line is:
1. Jacques Martin should call up Sergei Kostitsyn from Hamilton
2. Stop his experiments. Pick your lines and stick with them
3. Put a "C" on a Jersey (Gionta, Cammalleri or Markov)
4. Gainey must make phone calls to see what he can work with.
After Sergei is called up, Here are the lines:
A. Kostitsyn-Plekanec-S. Kostitsyn
Price in nets.