Habs Fans Know

Following the fiasco in Nashville, and going back even further to recent games in which the Canadiens performed in a less-than-stellar manner, even while winning from to time to time, the comments from readers were extraordinary. It’s simply amazing how well-versed and hockey-savvy these folks are, and I have great respect.

Non-hockey fans probably wouldn’t have a clue what these people, mostly Habs fans, are talking about. It’s simply too involved for the layman, too complex, spoken when the hockey heart and mind collide. And what I’ve gleaned from them is this:

Carey Price is not the reason for the woes of this team. Yes, he’s had his weak moments, especially earlier on, but lately he’s been a voice in the wilderness, crying out for some sort of help that never seems to come. Price, for most, is the number one goalie on the Habs, not Jaroslav Halak.

Coach Jacques Martin is not the problem. He can only create a system, have his players try to learn it, earn respect from them and vice versa, and discipline them. He can only do so much. It’s up to the players to get it done.

Marc-Andre Bergeron is not a fan-favourite. He’s prone to heart-stopping mistakes, making strange passes every player learns in peewee not to make. He’s a culprit.

The Little Big Three are not to blame. Brian Gionta and Mike Cammalleri have done the job. Scott Gomez has also, to a lesser extent.

Guillaume Latendresse provides only brief flashes of anything. Not nearly enough to say he’s elevated his game. He’s underachieved mostly every night, and it’s inexcusable. Lats is a prime example of someone who feels he’s won the job and 75% is enough instead of 100%.

We thought Maxim Lapierre was growing every year. Someone who began as a grinder and was certain to become more than that. The signs were there – the exciting goals, the work ethic. Then, this year, inexplicably, he’s regressed and is now a disappointing non-factor on a regular basis.

Tomas Plekanec, in the eyes of just about every commentor, is doing the job game in and game out, and now most are concerned he won’t re-sign with the team. He came off a mediocre season last year and has rebounded in great fashion. Why can’t some of the under-achievers learn from Plekanec?

Imagine what the team would be like without Roman Hamrlik? He’s been a rock on the blueline, a steady, experienced defenceman who has avoided any criticism from readers. Everyone knows this guy’s importance with so many injuries of his peers. Without Hamrlik, we’d be in Leaf territory.

Finally, there’s Andre Kostitsyn. The general consensus is, get rid of the bum and do it quick. Before this year he was a fan favourite, one people thought was about to explode at any time and become a bonafide star in the league. But maybe it began when he and his brother Sergei were found to be friends with some unsavoury types in Montreal, and it mushroomed from there. Sergei lost his game first, and Andrei followed soon after. Those who comment on this site have no patience for a 3.2 million dollar man who achieves nothing on a nightly basis. Rarely will I see a comment defending this guy.

All in all, if a player is going to wear the uniform of the Montreal Canadiens, he’d better perform. Otherwise, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

10 thoughts on “Habs Fans Know”

  1. Pretty much dead on eh? I was going to say “But of course we get it, we’re habs fans!” but then I remembered that even les Canadiens have some dolts for fans!

  2. @Dishonest John: “even les Canadiens have some dolts for fans!”… ever been to habs inside/out?

    Dennis, my thoughts exactly. But about plek, it has just occured that it may not be a coincidence that playing well the season before he is a potential UFA. But hopefully it is and he keeps this up for seasons to come, and we don’t have another Theodore on our hands.

  3. Good point, Gillis. We’ll have to wait and see how it all plays out. Now, what about this Latendresse/sleeping thing?

  4. Hey Dennis, I got a bit of a chuckle when I saw your post on the H I/O site, where you asked folks there to click onto this site for some “INTELLIGENT” (my emphasis) comments about the Habs loss to Nashville.
    Funny thing is, nobody seemed offended…
    I go there for the entertainment. I come here for the thoughtful insight and your great stories.

  5. Thanks Danno. I wasn’t trying to slight anyone on Inside/Out, I was just emphasizing the great quality of the comments here. I hope no one there was offended. But regardless, I think a lot of the readers there don’t like me much. I’ve even gotten nasty comments and emails from some over the past few years. I’m a bit of a renegade blogger and I’m not in the Inside/Out mainstream.

  6. Oh, no Danno. I actually thought later after I’d posted on HIO that maybe they were going to think that too. So I understand completely how you might have interpreted that. Don’t apologize, that’s for sure.

  7. I was reading what Gillis wrote about Plekanec playing well due to being a UFA next year. What the heck happened to all the UFA’s we had last year? Anyways that is a mute point since Plekanec is more than likely playing his last season as a Hab. Montreal will not be able to afford him next contract. He will be looking at over 4 per year. Carey Price will be a restricted free agent and do not be surprised if he does not command over 4 per as well.

    Considering that our first line alone is being paid almost 20 milliion per year alone, and both Markov, Hamerlik and Spacek takes another 15, and our buddy Andrei Kostitsyn at 3.25 mill, this adds up to 38 mill per year approximately for 6 players. I am estimating that Price will probably be in the 4 mill ballpark, adding to 42 millions for 7 players. If the cap is to stay at 56 plus change as expected, there is 14 millions left for 15 players. Of course, Gill is being paid over 2, Moen and Laraque totals approx 3 etc so I cannot expect Plekanec to be with the Habs next year.

    Looks like Maxwell will be our second line center next year.

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