Good, Bad, And Ugly – Habs’ October

October was quite a month, eh?

It began on the 1st when the boys schmucked Tampa Bay 5-1 in preseason play in Quebec. We liked that.

On the 6th, it was a miserable 2-0 loss in Toronto in the first game of the regular season, but three days later, the gang rebounded by ruining Winnipeg’s party with another 5-1 win.

So October began with two wins (one in preseason) and a loss, and I suppose we were okay with that. Maybe slightly concerned with the loss in Toronto and the dismal six and two record in preseason, but we clobbered Winnipeg, didn’t we? 

Unfortunately, the heart of the month became a gnashing of teeth and the call from far and wide to send Jacques Martin to Pinkslipsville. Six straight losses. Andrei Markov still missing in action with no end in sight, and Jaroslav Spacek injured. Mike Cammalleri too. Erik Cole looked like a huge mistake, and assistant coach Perry Pearn got the dreaded word and not Martin.

The power play and penalty kill stunk. Guys like Mr. Reliable, Josh Gorges, were making weird mistakes. Fans were leaving early from the Bell Centre, and we longed for Kirk Muller to come back somehow.

And Scott Gomez? He was there sometimes in the month and sometimes not. It’s not important.

Would they ever look good again? We weren’t sure. What about Subban? His road to superstardom had gone from pavement to gravel. Carey Price was good but it wasn’t enough. Not when you’re a stud like him.

It was a lousy time and a great excuse to drink beer.

But however, October did end nicely.

It began with Yannick Weber tying the game with three seconds left in the first period that got the ball rolling as the Canadiens first downed the Flyers, then struck twice against the Bruins. And October, which is the birthday month of my dad, my brother, my son, myself, my best friend, and several people at work, was salvaged. (Please note – if my math is correct, nine months before October is right around New Year’s Eve. A lot of moms and dads were in a frisky, champagne-soaked mood, don’t you think)?

Erik Cole is getting it together and has become one of our best players. Travis Moen has been a nice surprise, as has David Desharnais. Raphael Diaz should be thanked for his yeoman’s service. Carey Price was voted NHL 1st star of the week. Guys paid to score are starting to score. PK Subban is finding his mojo and as a bonus, became engaged in battle with the Nose That Skates.

And through it all, Max Pacioretty, and then Lars Eller after returning from injury, have played like guys ready to don All-Star jerseys.

The team went from worst in the east to two points out of a playoff spot in a nanosecond. And we heard that Andrei Markov is indeed still alive and could return in November, a month when parents get frisky because there’s nothing else to do except write early Christmas cards.

Now it’s almost a six-day rest. It’s been years since Saturday when the Habs last played, and players’ babies will be toilet-trained by the time the team plays again, in Ottawa on Friday. Then it averages out to a game almost every second day after that, including one next Tuesday when the red-hot Edmonton Oilers, with all those young guns, come to town.

But until Friday, may the practices be sharp, may the bruises heal, and may the team not forget how they won their last three games. We want no more of the misery that so much of October gave us. It wasn’t a great month, even though it’s the anniversary of moms and dads everywhere getting frisky on New Year’s Eve. 


9 thoughts on “Good, Bad, And Ugly – Habs’ October”

  1. Hey Dennis,Yes,definately heal all those bruised and strained muscles,but dont let up.Keep trying for the best outcome from your hard work,never take a day off,Scotty Gomez,I don’t quite know what to do with htis guy,it may be to early to write him off this year,but then if you take the chance and he comes up lame like last year,what did you prove.This will be a very hard decision by Gautier,I dont relish his is actions on this hot dog.

  2. Derry, it’ll be very interesting to see how Gomez performs after coming back. I think most Habs fans, or the majority at least, are fed up with him.

  3. Great recap of the month Dennis.

    I’ll bet you this month is going to be great in spite of the hectic schedule. Remember last November and how Price played out of his mind? Well, November is back and Price is once again growing the ‘stache.

    If the Habs keep winning let Gomez sit – keep him on the injury list. If the Habs lose two or three in a row, insert him into the lineup but make him earn his time just like anybody else who winds up in Jacques Martin’s doghouse.

    If Gomez has any pride he’ll battle his way back into the roster. But if Gomez continues to play mediocre hockey it will be time to finally cut the $7 million anchor and let more capable players take over.

  4. Danno, yes, if Gomez continues to be mediocre, then something drastic needs to be done before he;s tarred and feathered and sent on the next bus to Alaska. He nevers seems to be in the doghouse and I don’t understand. Pouliot was in and out and spent more time in the press box than Red Fisher. Gomez hasn’t done a whole lot more than Pouliot did, but he remains on the top lines. I say wear the money and set him free.

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