Habs Fall Deeper Down The Mine Shaft

I distinctly remember saying in late summer that I was more excited about this year’s edition of the Montreal Canadiens than any in recent years.

Then the boys lost six of eight in preseason, and have now dropped five of six in the regular season. Which means they’ve won just three of fourteen games so far.

Boy, is my face red.

It was a 3-1 win for the home team Penguins on this late October night, and I don’t know what others saw in this game, but I know what I saw. I saw a Canadiens team without passion, without drive, with no hunger or flair. They showed little in the way of wanting it badly, of doing whatever it took.

I saw a team that’s driving me nuts.

Fans in Pittsburgh on this night didn’t get their money’s worth because the game was a nondescript affair, compliments of the Canadiens who failed to be worthy and exciting opponents. That wasn’t a good road game for the Habs. It was a mail it in and get it over with and get back to the hotel or onto a plane and have a beer.

Only Max Pacioretty showed drive, as he has on most nights so far. If only the others played the way Max has……

What’s happening? Why has the colour seemed to have gone out of the players’ faces? Has Jacques Martin lost his team and therefore soon loses his job? Are many players unhappy, and if so, why? Are there cliques developing? Are tempers flaring? Have we overrated our skilled guys? Will trade winds start blowing? Is Carey Price’ mediocre season going to last all season? 

And how much longer before it’s too far gone to make that eighth spot? 

A lot of questions.

Random Notes:

Toronto pays a visit to the Bell on Saturday, and once again, Carey Price will attempt to get that 100th win. Tell me, goalie hockey gods, what has the young fellow done to incur your wrath?

Brian Gionta scored the Canadiens only goal on a blast from far out. And speaking of Gionta, there’s not a better time than now to show some fire as a captain and incur your own wrath on your teammates. I’m sure the guys will listen to you before they’ll listen to Martin.

This is one of your jobs as captain, Brian. Giving teammates shit to wake them up. It’s not all ceremonial faceoffs.



30 thoughts on “Habs Fall Deeper Down The Mine Shaft”

  1. Dennis, the Habs are now tied for last place in the conference with Winnipeg and there’s something fishy going on for sure. This team isn’t as bad as their record indicates.

    Did you notice how they perked up and started playing with intensity with about 90 seconds left in the game.

    The players are under-performing and trying to send somebody a message.

    You listed several reasons about what might be behind this and I agree something funny is going on around here.

  2. What a depressing situation, Danno. This is not the team I was expecting, and they’re not the team they can be. Coaches have been fired for less, and now it’s time to make a move in this department.

  3. Dennis, I’m afraid there’s a mutiny afoot on the S.S. J-Mart, and somebody’s got to walk the plank.

  4. I agree with Danno, they’ve given up on Martin. There is no way this team is that bad. We’re playing like an expansion team.

    Pittsburgh is banged-up and they still out-played us and looked about 10 times more talented and intense than us!

  5. Price played his ass off last night. This team’s defense has no brain or legs. When I saw Weber bail during key plays I got real angry for the first time this season. He made no notion to hold the blue line while on the powerplay and then slowly made his way to the bench, not even looking that behind him where the Pens had some guys heading for the lose puck, leaving Diaz and Price alone to fend off shorthanded chances. He may as well have been a cardboard cutout when Vitale tipped the puck in, similarly on Asham’s goal. You’re on skates! No reason you should be standing completely motionless.

    Price’s “mediocre” start is a huge reflection to a rotten garbage for a defence that has pucks rolling off their own sticks to assist the other team with scoring chances or that would prefer to just watch as the other team skates rings around them. In this game, he showed he has adjusted to it whereas the last two he looked like he couldn’t trust anyone. This is a defence that ignores Real Deal Neal in the slot, a guy the Stars should have never traded. And the forwards aren’t supporting. Cole looks like he’s just walking around the ice half the time. Only Eller looked like he didn’t drink the water. And JMart’s line juggling began before Gomez got hurt. I don’t know why he destroyed his one productive line (which, surprise! started generating some notion of offense when reunited–talking about DD/Patches). And their faceoffs… They gave Fleury the first star for what? I don’t remember seeing him after Darche’s half-assed attempt at a breakaway my hamster would have stopped.

    For Hal Gill’s 1000th, I’m sure he’s real happy about the rallying effort his teammates put out there… I just don’t understand how uncaring they look. How is it the game against the choke-you-to-death-boring Sabres was more exciting than against the high-flying Pens?

  6. Don’t dispair Habs fans .. Leafs and Habs on Saturday with Cherry

    Boston thrashes my Leafs back to earth 6-2 ,, Habs tank to Pens 3-1

    One of us will have a smiley face Sunday morning ….

  7. They way we are playing Leafs Fan? It’ll be you smiling on Sunday. Other smiles to come: Florida fans, Flyer fans, and Boston fans (twice).

    Apparently JM yelled at the team at practice after that Buffalo game. Nice way to rally the troops.

  8. The trouble is that this is too good to continue loosing like this.
    Since JM came in, our begin to be boring as a cow on some nights, but the very next day, they control the game as Redwinger and make fans proud.

    I’m sorry but don’t see JM go. Not with PG as GM. That’s too bad. We are stock with heartless team, at every level.

    Only good news that may create movement around CH, it will be difficult continue calling sell out crowd after October.

  9. But seriously, J-Mart would be good as a short-order cook. He’s really good at whipping out that little note pad of his and taking notes.

    Now he can orders for burgers and shakes.

    Would you like fries with that?

    Next, please!

  10. What an utter disgrace. No passion; no momentum; no rhythm ; no organization.

    I think (like others) that the team is under-performing to send a clear message that it’s not playing for the coach(es). Honestly I don’t like their method showing dissatisfaction (if indeed this is what’s going on) because I don’t like passive aggression in any way. However, sometimes “not doing anything” has creates an impact for change.

    Did you notice what I noticed when Pittsburgh called a time-out in the 3rd period? The camera focused on the Pens players circling around Bylsma while he held all players attention to a game plan. Shift to the Habs side for same time-out, ALL FOUR COACHES ARE STANDING BEHIND THE BENCH AS ‘some’ players talk.

    Unbelievable, unacceptable.

    Goodbye, Martin.

  11. Marjo, did you see the 24/7 ducumnetary last year about the Caps and Pens? Bylsma was excellent in talking to his guys and giving them heat when they deserved it. He has real communication slills. Our guy? Nope.Completely different. It’s a good thing Crosby, Malkin, and Letang weren’t there. It might have been 10-1.

  12. Danno, J-Mart doesn’t have the persoanl skills to talk to customers about food. And he’d mix up the orders.

  13. Vanhouse, you’re absolutely right. This team is much better than this to lose like this. There’s no passion or drive. We’re missing what it takes to be a good team – spirit and soul.

  14. Darth, our team might not have any momentum on the ice but the drive to get rid of this guy has sure picked up steam. I’ve gottta hand it to Hobo. He’s been pushing to see this guy go for two years now.

  15. Number 31 – I think Weber plays a soft game and hasn’t played well since preseason. And I hope you’re not offended by my saying Price has been mediocre, but he’s sure not standing on his head like he can, regardless of what the D are doing. He doesn’t have his A game going at all and I’m sure he’d be the first to admit it. We know what he can do. When he’s on the best in the game. But we haven’t seen much of this Carey price yet. The defence has allowed way too many clear-cut chances. It’s horrible. Roman Hamrlik may be slow as molasses but he knew how to cut off the angles and get the puck safely out. Josh Gorges has not had a good start. Fleury hardly had to work, and our team, which is built for fire-wagon hockey, is playing without heart. Gauthier needs to step in.

  16. I noticed that as well Marjo. They (the players) don’t care because their own coaches don’t care! I couldn’t believe it. It’s insane.

    On local radio they are saying the Saturday is a really important game – if we come out flat, on Monday there maybe some big changes. Molson is going to have to get involved.

    The first year Martin was here was great but then he kept the same routine over and over and over again. It’s really boring hockey. Go for the kill dammit!!!

    We are in for one rough week Dennis.

  17. Darth, there’s the word I missed. Intensity. That’s the key word and the Habs have none of it.

  18. I forgot to add:

    Funny how Gomez is out hurt yet most people don’t even seem worked up about it. When Pacioretty went off the ice my heart went in my throat. With Gomez? It’s “whatever”. Even the RDS guys laughed about it!

  19. Darth, when Patches went off I just said to myself, of course. What else can go wrong? When Gomez went off, the only thing I thought of was, does this count as his 45th game not scoring?

  20. Get rid of PG nd JM and ask Serge Savard if he would take over the gm position on an interim basis like Cliff Fletcher did with TO. I don’t know if Kirk has an out clause with the Admirals but i’m sure the players would love to have him behind the bench. I f not Kirk , Cunnyworth till the end of the year and then Kirk

  21. Zak, something has to be done before we’re so far out of it we’ll be past the point of no return. Let’s start with a new coach and take it from there. Maybe a couple of heart transplants for some players are in order too.

  22. Was angry yesterday and a little hope has trickled back. But they need to mature up a lot. I don’t think the players are playing less just to get Martin fired. I think they are just too f*ckin’ immature to work their way out of this and JM is to f8ckin’ shitty of a coach to recognize what he needs to do. Gionta and Gill need to step up and settle things down.

    Hoping for JM to be fired seems to be hopeless. Loyalty from upper management is discouraging. I hate being a luaghing stock.

  23. it is important to note that, yes the players should pick up the slack as best they can and i don’t for one minute think they are not trying. those of you who have had people working for you realize that as the leader it is up to you to create an atmosphere and implement a system to get the most out of the talent at hand……….. it seems to me the difference between the current habs being a middle of the pack team or basement dwellers is kirk muller.

  24. Once again I say Mr. I don’t know what to do. Well I do get on a bus to anywhere!
    Pissed off in the East!!!!

  25. Martin says:”We’re not panicking”.

    No, you’re not, Martin, and we know that. That’s part of the problem– you show no emotions, positive or negative.

  26. Marjo, Jacques Martin is a dream come true for Madame Tussaud. He’s so dead-looking behind the bench he looks like he belongs in her wax museum.

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