It’s certainly not good that Andrei Markov will be sidelined for up to four months. Everybody knows he’s a premier defenceman, so me mentioning that it’s not good is a little silly isn’t it?
But it’s not the end of the world. The Canadiens’ blueliners appear to be a solid bunch, with big goal scorer Josh Gorges scaring the bejeesus out of enemy goaltenders; Paul Mara being steady as a rock; Jaroslav Spacek, who will have to do his best Markov impression; Roman Hamrlik – poised to have an important year; Hal Gill – who bumps his head on the sprinker system in the rafters; and Ryan O’Byrne, who, I’m convinced, is about to have a break-out season after an extremely rough two years that included getting busted at a Tampa restaurant for a slightly bad decision, and scoring a beautiful goal into his own net.
I’m expecting a lot from O’Byrne, and I’m almost prepared to make him one of my favourite players. Yes indeed.
Of course we’ll miss Markov and his great mobility, big shot and his power play genius and all that. But he’ll come back, rested and ready to go, just as the crunch begins. Defencemen around the league will be too pooped to pant, in horrible moods, and their wives will be bitchy, all after so many games and so much travel. Meanwhile, Markov will be running and dancing and getting frisky with his woman, and skating like the wind. It’ll be tremendous.
Sergei has been convinced by his agent, naturally, that he needs to get the heck out of Montreal and play elsewhere. I agree. The Habs have too many good young forwards like Max Pacioretty, Matt D’Agostini, and Kyle Chipchura to be putting up with this. Sergei’s agent, I’m sure, is concerned his player might not have have a long NHL career, judging by the up and down performance of the last year or so, which means no money for said agent. And bailing out like he has is a little similar to the Mikhail Grabovski situation when he bolted the Canadiens into the arms of his agent, soon to become a Toronto Maple Leaf.
Sergei said he “worked pretty hard” in pre-season, and can’t understand why he was sent to Hamilton. My feeling is, “worked pretty hard” isn’t nearly good enough. He should have said he worked his ass off, lost 10 pounds on the ice, and tried like he’d never tried before because no raw rookie was going to take his job. But no, he worked “pretty hard.” Sergei, anybody can work “pretty hard.” You’ve got to do way better than that.
And coaches and general managers don’t demote players just for the heck of it. Their jobs are on the line too. They want the best players out there, and from what they saw, Sergei wasn’t one of them. He should just go to Hamilton and play hard. Really hard. Not pretty hard. Didn’t he understand he’s been on the bubble for a year now?
Or go to another team and one of our guys will pound him unmercifully when he plays the Habs.