Bummer in Pittsburgh

Part One

Habs lose 5-1 in Pittsburgh, and Marc-Andre Fleury and Peter Budaj, who was in relief of Carey Price, almost came to blows for some reason, and which was one of the more interesting parts of the night I suppose, along with, if you’re a Pens fan, Evgeny Malkin doing the quick step.

An even more interesting thing would’ve been a Ned Flanders goalie mask stuffed into Fleury’s smiling mouth.

Part Two:

It was a blowout and it’s sad. I was hoping for a bigger blowout. Something so huge, so shocking, that it might even force Marc Bergevin to panic.

Although he’s probably been trying for months to make moves but teams just aren’t all that interested in the moveable objects.

Douglas Murray, Francis Bouillon, Rene Bourque, Daniel Briere, Andre Markov, Raphael Diaz, Brian Gionta, Travis Moen, and George Parros just aren’t that popular with other teams for some reason.

It’s a head scratcher.

The team’s been ill since the beginning of December, back when it was only sort of freezing outside instead of feeling like we’re living on a friggin’ iceberg. Stores were gearing up for the big Christmas rush. The EGG line had been on fire up until then. The team had been fighting for first place in the east.

Life had been good. Then they started winning while sucking. And sucking when losing.

It’s been a walk on the mediocre side mostly since, except for that stunning and miraculous night when the team put it all together against a great Chicago team and thrilled us to no end.

It was a night to love. Brought back to another time, to years ago when the team was great, the joint was rockin’, and on a personal note, I had more hair.

But the Chicago game was then. A one time deal. We’ve cleared our eyes and heads and have come to the realization that the team needs serious fixing and management hasn’t done a thing in the fixing department.

No trades. Guys rarely brought up from Hamilton and when they are, they’re on the ice less than the anthem singer. The defence, aside from P.K., is slow and full of holes, like a pin cushion rolling along a table.

The coach can’t decide on set lines except for ones with guys who don’t deserve to be on set lines. Some play like they’re on morphine. Others have energy and take bad penalties and can’t hit the net. And the captain is shorter than Danny DeVito.

The team is sick right now, and instead of management giving it first aid, they stand nearby while the patient coughs up blood and prepares to meet its maker.

Everyone knows the Habs are in trouble. And now they play on Friday (against Detroit) which conflicts with my beer night at St. Hubert’s Chicken.

But I’ll watch it, hoping they put it all together and trick me once again into thinking they’re going good. Because the night after that, when the Caps show up, they’ll almost certainly stink again.

It’s been tough being a Habs fan for the past couple of decades.

16 thoughts on “Bummer in Pittsburgh”

  1. Useless stat of the night: Price became the first Canadiens’ goaltender to give up four goals in five consecutive road games since Paul Bibeau was lit up during the 1942-43 season

  2. When a team is losing and looking to make a trade the other teams are like vultures and will want your good youth and draft picks meaning

    1 Montreals 1st rd pick this summer

    2 Alex Galchenyuk, Nathan Beaulieu or Tinordi

    So I don’t think to much of will happen except maybe a minor trade

  3. Your last sentence resonated with me, Dennis. My oldest nephew is now a young man, in college and doing well. He’s a Habs fan, of course, but it occurred to me that he has never been alive for a Habs Stanley Cup win. He has no idea what that experience is like. My oldest is just shy of 15, and in his world, the Canadiens have always been mediocre (at best). He still cheers for them, of course, but in his world, the good teams “have always been” the Penguins, the Bruins, the Sharks, the Black Hawks and the Los Angeles area teams.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if we see Markov get traded. His uncertain contract status for next season, the team’s declining play over the last seven weeks or so, and the fact that a lot of teams would still covet a defenseman who can move the pick (even if he can’t move all that well himself) make him somewhat marketable. The others? Meh……..who would want most of them? Bourque? Zero passion. Briere? No legs, anymore. Diaz? Soft as a used kleenex. Bouillon? Has heart, but can’t move anymore, and he’s a smurf. Parros? Has a function, but a very, very limited one. Gionta? He’s marketable because he does provide some leadership. He’s be useful on a Cup contender as a third-liner, but that doesn’t get you much in a trade. Murray? About as useful as a telephone pole (and with the same mobility).

    The loss of Galchenyuk clearly hurt the team, but they were already in a funk before he was hurt. Gallagher hasn’t been the same player as last year, but he was so good last season that I’ll chalk his play up this season as being a “sophomore slump” and cut him some slack. DD got off to an awful start, but has been much, much better of late. Ironically, his play picked up as the team’s play declined. He’s probably the most marketable forward on the team (and his contract is manageable), and I can see teams like (for example) St. Louis or Los Angeles being very interested in his passing ability. Lars Eller has been a huge disappointment since his hot start when the EGG line was going well. He’s still pretty young, though, so while it’s fair to ask some questions about him, I’m not ready to “close the book” on him.

  4. I never thought I would be fast-forwarding through games but that’s what I do when I record them now. If they have no more passion, neither do I. My time is precious and I don’t want to sit for two hours, time and time again, and not only to be disappointed, but b.o.r.e.d.

    We’re an average team. This is what it boils down to. You can’t make superstars out of athletes who lack the skills, or passion or desire. We were on top for many decades and now we’re not. And I may be a cynic but I truly believe that the all-mighty dollar is at play here. Look at the standings: how many Canadian teams are in the top ten? One. And it’s in the tenth spot. Look where the others are…you’ll have to scroll down. We all know that Canadian venues sell out every year despite their teams not bringing the Stanley Cup home. Worse yet, we subsidies other teams who lag behind. It’s all happening down there, folks, because that’s where the numbers are and believe it or not, that’s where hockey will be one day. The stats don’t say 2% American when you look at the nationality breakdown in the NHL. It’s up to 24%. Over the years, we’ve fallen from somewhere in the 90th percentile to the 50’s.

    On another note, what was the Fleury-Budaj thing all about? Doesn’t Fleury like Ned?

  5. Marjo, I really don’t know what that was all about between Fleury and Budaj. But I wish they would’ve gotten together because I heard this morning on the radio that Budaj is an excellent fighter who would’ve demolished that grinning goalie. It sort of would have made up for the previous two and a half periods. I’m with you – often lately I feel I’ve wasted valuable hours watching them go through the motions.Changes need to be made. Not just because I need the team to be good, but I don’t want to lose readership. I lost about 200 readers per day after the lockout, who never came back, and this team, the way it’s going, will have me lose a bunch more, which depresses me to no end.I just want changes so much now. I want a whole new look to this team. They’re driving me crazy.

  6. This post won’t be as eloquent & in depth like Ian’s or Marjo’s, all I can conjure up is, it was a complete shit show!!! DK, I’m not going any where, you tell it like it is even if it pains you & us to read it.

  7. It’s true, Ian. Not much to offer to other teams, who will want our core guys for sure. You’re right about all the guys you mentioned, Bourque has it all except zero drive, and I don’t even think there’s much in the system. And other than the players, I’ve lost faith in Therrien, the way he handles call-ups and gives underachievers regular ice time. One thing that I found interesting that Ray Ferraro said. He thinks P.K. should be playing less minutes. He’s not like Karlsson who’s light on his feet, or a guy like Chris Pronger who could get things done in fewer steps. He said everything P.K. does is with full power, the way he skates, hits, shoots, everything. and big minutes won’t allow him to be 100% effective all the time because he can’t give that full power if he’s on the ice for 29 or 30 minutes. Ferraro things about five less minutes would help him.

  8. Thanks Beatnik. Price has stood on his head so often, and with the team in front of him playing the way they are, especially with slow defence and forwards who can’t score, it’s no wonder he lets in a few goals.

  9. Is it a blessing or a curse for those of us who can remember the Canadiens of the seventies or earlier? I’m glad that I had the chance to see a team that was truly special but that has made it hard to watch this team for the last 20 years. Actually the last 30+ years because the teams in ’86 and ’93 weren’t expected to win. We are cursed by a history that can not be repeated and that many of us can not forget.

  10. Dishonest John, I’d even welcome back the 80s and the early 90s–while those teams “only” won a couple of Stanley Cups, they were usually very exciting (except for the Lemaire days in 1984 and 1985.

    And, Dennis, I enjoy your blog too much to ever stop reading it.

  11. Thanks for that, Ian. I often wonder why some of them went away and never came back. Did they find something better, more to their liking? Or they got tired of it. Or they got run over by a bus.

  12. We’re cursed D-John. Spoiled rotten. Some of it will return when (a) they win it all, and (b) we get a flashy 50 or 60-goal scorer again. It’s been so long for both, and Habs fans need a big scorer, a league leader.

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