Montreal Canadiens: Working Hard or Hardly Working

Matt EichelSenior Writer INovember 15, 2008

It stuns me.  It literally stuns me.

That in their 100th season as a franchise, the most successful team in NHL history cannot decide when to show up and play and when not to.

Or was I the only fan that heard the boos rain down onto the Bell Centre ice during another lowly, lazy effort from the Montreal Canadiens (9-4-2).

After a stellar 7-1-1 start to the season in October, the Canadiens have stumbled into November going 2-3-0, losing sure games such as against the listless Toronto Maple Leafs (7-7-4), the up-and-coming Columbus Blue Jackets (8-7-2) and rookie netminder Steve Mason, and more recently against the upstart Boston Bruins (11-3-3).  

Who can forget the game the Canadiens only showed up in the third period to come back and defeat the lowly New York Islanders (6-9-2) 5-4, with a four-goal third period comeback.

Perhaps they could have been easy victories against teams that are working hard each and every game to scrounge as many points as they can to stay alive.  Yet, the season is progressing along, but are the Canadiens ready to jump on the train and get their act together?

Looking forward on the schedule, the Canadiens play the Bruins again, the Ottawa Senators, Detroit Red Wings, and Washington Capitals to finish off their so-far lowly November.

Besides a lack of hard work ethic to start off November, the Canadiens inexperience has seemingly gotten the better of them.  Has the gas tank run out after putting 32 pucks past netminders in nine October games and then only putting in 17 goals through six November games so far?  

Or are the goalies not playing up to par allowing 26 goals in the six November games so far after only letting up 20 goals in nine October games?

These early season games are vital to a team's success further into the season and so far the Canadiens have been on the better side of the 8-ball when it comes to their record.  But that success can only go so far and the Canadiens need to step it up in order to be successful for the rest of the season.

Another lowly effort Saturday night against the Philadelphia Flyers was worthy of a loss. It was a re-run from the 2008 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, except the Canadiens were wearing cool retro jerseys.

A pitiful offensive forecheck combined with an embarrassing defensive effort did the Canadiens in against the Flyers.  Include the sputtering powerplay, as the Canadiens went a dismal 0-for-4 with the extra man.

Besides the jerseys, there wasn't anything else cool and interesting coming from the Canadiens, minus a bright spot with Alex Tanguay potting his eighth goal of the season.

It's time to start working, because as it stands, the Canadiens are hardly working...and not winning.