Are You Sick Of The Mediocrity?

I saw Friday’s afternoon game 10 hours after the fact. I wish it was ten years.

Without being too harsh here, I’d say Montreal stunk. They played a mostly-uninspired game in Philadelphia, falling 3-1, and showing almost no drive or determination, as Claude Giroux, who was so great just a few years as a member of Canada’s National team during the World Juniors, played like it was men against boys. Giroux was sensational, and just imagine this guy in a Montreal Canadiens uniform.

Something we’re missing from this team. A big-time game-breaker like that. And a francophone to boot.

Petteri Nokelainen opened the scoring, his first of the year, and I guess those who are supposed to score, forgot for some reason. Maybe their paycheques were late by a couple of minutes.

Then Philadelphia and Giroux went to work, scoring three goals, (two by Giroux), the most depressing being the third with just five seconds left in the period.

And did the Habs wake up and pour it on, desperately playing to catch up?


It’s not been a great time lately for the Canadiens and us. In the last eight games it’s been win one, lose one, win one lose won etc. How mediocre is that?

Something has to change. Such lack of energy and enthusiasm. It’s an insult to the great Montreal teams and players who came before. And to us. We’ve become long-suffering fans, and is there a more depressing description than “long suffering?”

When I look at this team now, I decide this – when there’s no life, no energy, no enthusiasm, when not a whole lot seems to be clicking, then it has to fall back on the coach. The Habs need to be kick-started, come to life, and put together better than .500 hockey starting sooner than soon.

With this, it has to be the old adage – you can’t fire 22 players so you fire the coach.

Random Notes:

Claude Giroux hails from the same town, Hearst, Ont. as good old Claude Larose, who was a solid if not spectacular Hab forward during part of the 1960’s and into the 1970’s. I remember he wore sort of a greaseball haircut.

Shots on goal, Philly 36, Habs 24.

Sidney visits Saturday night. At least it’s not a day game.




26 thoughts on “Are You Sick Of The Mediocrity?”

  1. Dennis, it was a terrible all-round performance and I blame it on too much turkey – the turkey holding the note pad behind the Habs bench. The one named Jacques.

    I knew it was going to be one of those games when we got the too many men on the ice penalty. That always seems to be the harbinger of doom.

    It’s as if there are two teams. And this is the team we don’t want to see anymore but which keeps rearing its ugly head every other game. It’s the team that seems to be trying to send out a message to Geoff Molson and Pierre Gauthier – and that message is get rid of Jacques Martin.

    And another thing, to hell with this conservative approach. I want the real PK back. Have you noticed how PK is playing a tentative, hesitant style of game now as if he’s afraid of making mistakes. This is not the PK we know and love and I hope Martin doesn’t destroy him before he gets fired.

    That video featured music by the legendary Godfather of Soul, the late, great Mr. James Brown, who died almost five years ago on Christmas Day, December 25, 2006.

    You can say whatever you like about his checkered past, but Brown gave it everything he had when he put on a show and he expected those around him to do the same. And his band members respected him because they knew Brown was the hardest-working man on the stage.

    If Brown was coaching the Habs he would have docked everybody’s pay last night, with the possible exceptions of Carey Price and Hal Gill.


    Source: WebWire:

    “The Hardest-Working Man in Show Business” worked his band as hard as he worked himself, he ruled with an iron rod and once sacked half his band for asking for a small pay rise, he’s also known for docking band members pay for missing a note.”


    From Wikipedia:

    Brown also had a practice of directing, correcting and assessing fines on members of his band who broke his rules, such as wearing unshined shoes, dancing out of sync or showing up late on stage. During some of his concert performances, Brown danced in front of his band with his back to the audience as he slid across the floor, flashing hand signals and splaying his pulsating fingers to the beat of the music. Although audiences thought Brown’s dance routine was part of his act, this practice was actually his way of pointing to the offending member of his troupe who played or sang the wrong note or committed some other infraction. Brown used his splayed fingers and hand signals to alert the offending person of the fine that person must pay to him for breaking his rules.


    Dennis, all I know is the Habs can use a little James Brown discipline right about now. Too bad he’s gone. And too bad Jacques Martin does not command the respect needed to get the most out of his players like Brown had with his band members.

    For now, we’re stuck with a wax museum dummy of a coach who insists on using a failed system that is driving everyone nuts.

    Which Habs team will face the mighty Penguins and Sid the Kid tonight? Will it be Jekyll or will it be Hyde?

    Stay tuned…

  2. There was something I read yesterday that really shocked the hell out of me.

    I read it on Hockey Inside/Out and Mike Boone wrote it: he said that our beloved Montreal Canadiens do not have any scouts working in Quebec. If this is true, I have to say I’m really floored. It doesn’t make any sense. If a team like Philly keeps sending scouts here because they know the value of some of the players here then why can’t we do the same? It’s mind-boggling.

    What makes it worse is that we are located in Quebec where a French-Canadian player would mean a lot. This is really bad management. We should have picked Giroux for crying out loud. Instead we picked some guy who isn’t even in the AHL and looked at Giroux.

    I know RDS kept harping on him yesterday but in a way they have a point. He’s probably the best or one of the best French-Canadian players in the NHL and we had a chance to get him but if we don’t even scout here, we will miss gems like this over and over again. He was also a die-hard Habs fan growing up. Picture him playing for us. Sigh.

    I am so tired of mediocrity as well. We don’t have to be SC champs every year but come on, we should be better than this. Bad management, bad scouting, bad coaching, have killed us for 20 years now.

    There is so much wrong with this team. Apparently the ratings for Habs games have gone down almost 18% in Quebec. Scalpers are actually having trouble getting rid of all their tickets. Can you believe this?

    We’re such a pale pale shadow of what we once were. This is really depressing. Minnesota and Florida look like two powerhouses compared to us!

    There are some positives here and there but overall we’re just a mediocore team and have been for 20 years. If we even make the playoffs we’re going to get killed. We’ll be steam-rolled right out of the first round.

    Danno’s post was great and compare that PK to today’s PK. Martin is sapping all the energy out of the team.

    Who knows what will happen tonight. I heard if we lose tonight “something” will change on Monday (I doubt it). We may even win tonight and keep this inconsitentcy going.

    Boston had a long winning-streak. I wish we’d have one for once!

  3. No Montreal scouts in Quebec !!…you cannot be serious

    Claude Giroux played for the Gatineau Olympic for god sake..

    Giroux went 22th in 2006 to the Flyers

    Canadians picked 20th and took David Fischer an obscure High School defenseman from the US….From Apple Valley High School .. unreal..

    This will kill you Habs fans …Brad Marchand from Quebec junior went in the 3rd round to Boston also in 2006 ….Un-FREAKING believable….Both Franco’s

    As a Leaf fan I still hurt from Boston signing Bobby of Orr at age 14 right under the nose of the Leafs in Oshawa which is basically a suburb of Toronto….

    Is it true the theory that Franco phones do not want to play in Montreal due to the pressure (eg. Dan Briere) ??

  4. Leaf Fan: Montreal was also interested in Bobby Orr but passed on him. Incredible isn’t it? What a colossal mistake that was on both our parts. The idea of Bobby being one of ours..amazing.

    I know some francophones don’t want to play for us (understandable) but I would imagine the majority would. Giroux was a Habs fan his whole life. I’m sure he would have loved to have played for us. The fact they went with the other guy probably pissed him off. This year as well Philly took another Quebec player (who will probably be a good one).

    I think it’s insane that we aren’t scouting here.

  5. Darth, they probably don’t have scouts in Quebec because they need all the money they can find for Gomez.

  6. Darth, you gave us a bit of hope there. If the ratings are down, it’ll directly reflect back on the team and because the almighty dollar rules the roost, change will come. They can’t have the ratings down. RDS will start tightening the vice with Molsons.

  7. Good comment, Danno. James Brown was something else. Slightly out of whack, but what a performer. I’ve never grown tired of seeing his bit where he’s on stage, almost dying from exhaustion, a band member puts his cape or whatever back on him, and then, suddenly, he comes back to life, whips the cape off, and belts out more. He was brilliant, and yes, i’ve heard, also a little more than unuusal. Must have been tough to be a band member.
    I’m telling you, Danno, when I own the team, we’re tightening up like Brown’s band. For the kind of money these players are making, they’d better give all they can give or they’ll be sent down, or up to the press box. No exceptions.

  8. Last season The Habs according to their media guide had two professional scouts (as well as Trevor Timmins) & ten amateur scouts with one of the scouts being ex-Hab Serge Boisvert who I believe is a Quebecer and have added to their scouts with the appointment of Perry Pearn (not sure if any scouts have been dropped as do noy have this years media guide yet).

    My memory of Claude LaRose was taking long distance slap shots from outside the blue line as well as just inside the line but do not recall him scoring many goals this way but he must have gotten a few since he always seemed to take a couple of long distance shots a game.

  9. Thanks Martin. We’ve been waiting for the next Guy Lafleur for so long. C’mon scouts. Find him before we revolt. And Martin, love your avatar.

  10. Our horrible drafting record is a large issue but only a part of the big picture, which can be attributed solely to management. The lack of local scouting is a sin. However the path to success in today’s NHL seems to be paved with top draft picks. This method unfortunately requires sacrifices that Habs fans are unwilling to make. We need to suffer through several losing seasons in order to position ourselves properly.

    Look at Edmonton, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Boston, Philadelphia etc. Admittedly some teams such as Detroit are able to pluck gems in the later rounds while others have the assets to trade for high picks such as Boston. In my opinion the Habs should trade away small but talented assets for picks and begin a rebuild that will allow us to assemble a large, mobile and skilled group so we can once again compete for the cup. In addition the front office needs a revamp badly.

  11. I’d love to see some players’ pay docked like James Brown did when his band members missed a note or a dance step.

    Could you imagine docking Gomez? He’s be eating Kraft Dinner the way he’s been playing lately.

    @Marty. How do you get a hold of a Habs media guide?

  12. @Danno I’ve been collecting Habs Media Guides for several years
    (starting in the early 80’s) & have quite a collection with a few
    from the sixties & every year from 1969-1970 to 2010-2011
    (no media guide for the lock out season). I have not ordered a
    guide for 2011-2012 as of yet but usually get the current guide
    through the Montreal Canadiens Merchandise/Souvenior
    Catalogue. You can get a catalogue from The Habs Offical Web
    Site. The media guides I did not get from The Habs – I got off
    E-Bay via some very spirited auctions some you win & some
    you lose.

  13. Marty, that’s the problem. We always end up in the middle of the pack and always end with middle of the pack players. Me and you and all Habs fans crave that big superstar. Price and Subban are as close as we get, but we still need that big colourful 50 goal scorer. The guy everyone talks about. The guy that wins games for us. Giroux could’ve been that guy. But that’s just hindsight. The Habs have always had at least one glamour guy up until the last couple of decades, which is way too long. I agree with you – trade away some quality smaller guys and get a bigger team that can score. Cole is a nice step in the right direction, but we also need someone like Nash. A coaching change would be good too.

  14. Danno, I’m curious to see Gomez’ lifestyle. Does he live in some kind of incredible mansion? Does he have women all over him? A bunch of cars? When you look at it, Gomez won the lottery.

  15. bubby rich was the same as JB. if you clammed you got the look and the fine. i had a tape of buddy reaming out the band when they were on the bus. defiantly not language for a family show like this but funny…………i lost the tape but i’m sure it is easily available these days………. boston won the cup without tanking……….. the habs are so much like the leafs have been for the last 40 years it’s embarrassing.

  16. A little story about Gomez for you:

    Right across the street from where I work is the Drummond Medical Building. Last season, around March, Gomez walked by and he was met by the security guard who works there (who I talk to everyday). He met Gomez and he said Gomez was laughing and joking around and he had a girl with him. My pal asked if he could have his autograph and Gomez said sure but please hurry because he’s paying her (his date) by the hour.

    According to my pal she laughed about it and hit his arm. Kind of strikes me as a shitty thing to say about your date but maybe I’m just making a mountain out of a molehill.

    Also at this building Markov has shown up twice in the summer and Chara showed up during the pre-season.

    I haven’t seen anyone yet but I am keeping my eyes open.

  17. Darth, it is unusual. He was trying to be funny in front of the lady, but it was a little out there. I wish no one would ask Gomez for his autograph. Unless he’s signing off a cheque.

  18. All I know is I would never say that about a girl I’m with and if I did I would fully expect at least a slap in the face and maybe even a kick in the nuts.

    If that’s true, Gomez has no class.

  19. That was just ugly, they look lost out there. Gomez is possibly a lottery winner who’s actually buying his way in to the NHL, but the story of him getting 7Mil per year is just a cover-up so when people see his humongous house, that “Contract” will be validation.

    It’s a conspiracy I tell ya.

    The only thing I kinda liked about that game, was when I forgot to manage my Fantasy Hockey team, and I accidentally kept Claude Giroux in my starting line up and he ended up with 2 goals. (Trust me, I never play anyone that`s playing against the Habs. I guess it’s just a superstitious thing.)

  20. There is a cartoon I wish I could find online because I’d post it here:

    It’s from La Journal De Montreal and it was published on Saturday. The cartoon shows Gomez going to Crosby (who is surrounded by a group of kids wanting autographs) and asking something like: “Sidney, be a pal and offer me some advice on what to do…”

    Crosby looks over and says: “Stay injured.”

    Behind Crosby is Eller saying something along the lines of: “Thanks Sid, good advice!”

    It was a hell of a great cartoon.

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