Habs Defence Missing One More Piece?

Matt WoodmanCorrespondent IJuly 10, 2008

The Canadiens recently locked up affordable defensemen Josh Gorges to a three year contract, but I’ve really got to wonder, will the Canadiens have a strong enough defensive corps to launch them to the Cup finals for their 100th year anniversary?

Defensively I think the Canadiens have a fairly strong group. Their top three consists of Mike Komisarek, Andrei Markov and Roman Hamrlik. They have plenty to choose from in Francis Bouillon, Josh Gorges, Ryan O’Byrne (assuming he re-signs) and even Mathieu Dandenault for there latter three.

This list does not even take into account the endless amount of talent they have been stock piling on in recent drafts, and of course their top two defensemen in Carey Price and Jaroslav Halak, if you know what I mean.

But does this group really have what it takes to make it to the Cup finals?

The Canadiens defensive group looks physical enough, especially with the acquisition of Roman Hamrlik last season along with the development of Mike Komisarek and Ryan O’Byrne and of course the presence of Francis Bouillon. But to me it feels the Canadiens are missing one vital part of their defense, a scoring defensemen.      

Of course you would think the defensive unit shouldn’t have to worry about scoring goals, especially with all the talent and speed the Canadiens boast up front. But scoring defensemen are a crucial part of scoring goals, making plays and the power play.

This season the Canadiens look to add to their surprising last season voyage which saw them lead the league in goals for. To repeat the Canadiens should look to add a scoring defensemen, who can also hold his own in the zone.

The departure of Mark Streit certainly won’t help the Habs power play, which was number one in the league for a second straight year, yet seemed to vanish once the playoffs hit.

Offensively the Canadiens don’t have much to pick from on their blue line besides the likes of Markov and even he was some what of a “no show” in the playoffs. Roman Hamrlik isn’t as much as a threat as he use to be either, as he has traded in his risky puck moves for a solid defensive vibe over the past few years.  

Bringing back veteran Patrice Brisebois would be an okay move, but basically is like slapping a piece of duck tape on a ripped plastic boat. Bob Gainey missed out on trades like Dan Boyle, although I’m not sure if he would have been a good fit. He also missed out on UFA’s like Ron Hainsey.

Now unlike when Sheldon Souray left the Canadiens I am worried about what may happen to the Canadiens lethal offence on the blue line. But of course like most Habs fans, I believe “In Bob we trust.”  

Despite everyone saying Mats Sundin would be perfect to help bring Montreal its 25th cup home, I also strongly believe they require one more proven, scoring defensemen.

In my opinion Gainey needs to add one more piece to his already impressive puzzle.

Thanks for Reading,

Matt Woodman