Habs Gone With The Wind

Call me crazy, but I thought the Canadiens would play like gangbusters in game six. I guess I’ve never been more wrong.

The team that had stormed back from being down three games to none to make it a 3-2 series played like lethargic bums on Tuesday night and are now forced to sit at the cottage and clubhouse all summer and dwell on how they fizzled out instead of fighting with all their might to carry on down the trail to Lord Stanley’s old mug.

A dismal 4-1 spanking at the hands of the Lightning. Not in it from the first minute to the last.  Checked into the ground, with absolutely no pressure on Ben Bishop who had plenty of time to scan the crowd for lovely ladies.

It’s difficult to understand. Maybe the Canadiens were just too spent. Out of gas as they scrambled to come back from a 3-0 series deficit. There’s a reason why most teams don’t come back. Because the hole’s a deep bastard.

But talk about going out with a whimper. A surprising display of ………not much at all. A measly 6 shots in the first, 7 in the second, 6 in the third, from a team fighting for their life. From a team that was supposed to have character, but ultimately didn’t have firepower, or a half-decent power play.

It’s never easy when the team bows out. We hope and expect and cheer heartily and then hope some more. But in the end, they were completely outmatched for some reason, and now we have to hope about next year instead.

I remain proud of my team.

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I’ll be off and on this site all summer if you feel like stopping by. Unlike previous summers when I posted every day throughout, I have serious things to attend to this time around, which will take much of my time. But I think a few hours here and there on the computer will be good for me.

I’ll be around. You and I have to figure out how to make the 2015-16 team better than this one.

And I suppose now’s as good a time as any to post my golf picture.

From my old scrapbook – The Rocket and Arnold Palmer shoot the breeze when they were in New York in 1961. The two legends were honored by the S. Rae Hickok Co. as Athletes of the Decade in their respective sports.

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84 thoughts on “Habs Gone With The Wind”

  1. Marjo, I had heard earlier in the season that Galchenyuk felt he wasn’t ready for centre and might never be. No, I haven’t been listening to talk radio etc. at all, but I’m not surprised that He’s is the big subject. We’re expecting a lot from him but it’s taking some time. And he seemed quite lost in the last few weeks. But it took Lafleur a few years too. The Canadiens need a flashy star forward and he’s the one we’re banking on.

  2. Dennis ……….Guy had 29 goals his first year and the whole Montreal pressure cooker was massive….you will recall that Dionne was the comparable to him in a way. He was tearing up the league wile Guy was doing okay statistically but not even approaching what the fans were expecting from him. He took off the 4 th season I believe with over 50 goals. Chucky will probably not be another ” “Flower” and we shouldn’t expect that. He does look very panicky out there but many of the Habs do the “slap the puck away thing “when they are pressured. I think the system is his enemy….he has a creative mindset and is now being cultivated to prevent goals at all costs or suffer consequences. Lafleur said in an interview and not gossip because I heard him say ” the coach can make you or break you ” . I am really concerned that MB and MT are from the same defensive tree. When you can pull out of your hopes and reflect some ( not yours but ours ) after watching this team I see many concerns going forward. Like you I will enjoy the wins and it may be too early to even suggest MB is too defensively locked….he may have forgotten that Chicago had very skilled players who could transition on the flip of a switch..come to think of it they still do. Anyhow my two cents and only that. I have been known to be right.

  3. The Habs are one of the top ten teams in the NHL. There is so much parity that it is really tough to break through into the final four. If Galchenyuk and/or Eller has a breakthrough year next season it could be a game-changer. Also, a few wise moves by Marc Bergevin could push the Habs closer to the cup. One thing is certain. Things cannot remain as they are. Changes must be made. If you stand still you fall behind really fast.

  4. Danno…agreed on the fast paced and correct decisions going forward. The window for the elite of our Habs may be only 3-5 years.

  5. Interesting comment by Mike Johnson last night when Chicago had Anaheim under constant pressure towards the end of the second period…..Anaheim kept clearing the puck out of their end and giving it back to Chicago …….. ” They can’t keep doing that and letting Chicago come right back at them ” Where have we seen that before ? This why our Habs can’t likely go much farther under MT or even MB. I will be really happy to be proven wrong.

  6. Cliff, the Ducks keep giving the puck back to Chicago but the Ducks won.

    As for us, MB and MT built a defense-minded team because that’s where the strength was. We don’t have the offense. Yet. I don’t think they had a choice. Given the players they had they did the best they could (minus the powerplay whichever MT’s fault). I’m not sure about all the hate on MT.

    As for the Habs giving the puck back at crucial times, that was mistakes made by forward players many times, too. That stuff happens as we’re seeing in both series left.

    The proof that you’re wrong is that despite all the above, the Canadiens took their season kind of far in to the playoffs for the last three years now despite MB’s declaration when he came on board that “it would take years to rebuild” and that the fans need to be patient.

    We’re never going to see the days like the 60’s and 70’s. All teams want a big, strong center man who can score. With 30 teams there’s just so many that can go around.

  7. Good observations Marjo, work with what you have at your disposal & excel. Have a great summer & tell the youngen to skate board to the ball hockey. 🙂 🙂 (Like that’s gonna happen right!)

  8. Hi Marjo..oh I don’t disagree with what you say so much as I just don’t care much for the way the team plays and worry that it is going to be permanent due to the old thinking and lack of creative planning. I believe the team is a couple of players away from being a serious contender. The success they have had under MT is no different or better that the J Martin era. The last season Martin was with the team they were still probably going to make the playoffs. I don’t think anyone hates anyone but if that is how you see it then that’ show you see it. My hopes is the team will become more interesting in the future to watch. It really can’t be much fun playing that grinding system. However again I respect all opinions regarding our once glorious Habs. I heard Mike Johnson talk about the Ducks just giving the puck back to Chicago and that it would get them in trouble. I still don’t think they did it as pronounced as our team. Anyhow that’ sports….we all see it in our own dimension.

  9. Cliff, a lot of people like yourself think we’re a couple of people or couple of Yeats away from a serious contender. I hope you’re right. I’m starting to get negative which is probably not good but I can’t help feeling that we won’t get a supertar/sniper, someone we really need.

    And I meant that a lot of people don’t like MT in general, not you specifically.

    I’ve just been one to mostly blame the players first before the coach unless the coac is blatantly bad.

  10. Marjo, for me, because I cling to eternal hope, I feel we’re only a couple of players away. But they have to be a couple of beauties who know how to rack up points. If they can sign Petry, I like our blueline. It’s more oomph up front I want.

  11. Dennis and Marjo…..I think we all want the same thing and after such a long spell of waiting……well it gets somewhat frustrating when the team reaches that ” almost there plateau ” as for the couple of players we need well in reflection 4 to 5 more goals in series can make the difference in advancing or being elimination. So maybe it takes a just some good fortune and I really do understand that it takes good luck also to go the distance in the playoffs. So let’s hope next year we have the combination of good health, a couple of difference maker players and MT gets a tiny bit more offensively creative and we solve our power play woes a tad. The last game we played was disappointing in that it looked like the team was just worn out or wasn’t in a desperation mode to win. I think it bothered many posters. So we look forward to next year with hope because that’s what sports fans do.

  12. No way, Cliff. Marjo’s a long time, solid Habs fan. I met her several times when we were living in Montreal. Terrific, lovely woman. She also thinks Lundqvist is handsome.

  13. Okay….good to know she is a lifer for our Habs. The Lundqvist thing is a head scratcher though…oh that was with his mask on though. Okay that seems reasonable to me now.

  14. This guy has some awesome creativity…if you allow yourself to drift you can smell the smoke off MT’s darts while reading the article.

    hockeyphilosopher

    May 29, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    AN OFFSEASON LUNCH MEETING in downtown Montrèal. It’s a warm and sunny afternoon. Michel and Marc sit at a patio table. Michel is wearing a bright orange and brown Hawaiian patterned shirt, with the top three buttons undone. A gold chain with the initials “DD” hangs around his neck. Immediately he tugs a pack of Du Maurier from his front shirt pocket and lights up a dart. Marc slides his hand through his think, although greying hair and signals for a beer. He orders a Samuel Adams dark ale, then chortles, “It’s about time I had something besides water! All year Geoff keep sending me free product.”

    The waitress nods at Marc then asks what Michel would like. Michel drags heavily on his dart, letting the ashes build till the curl down toward his chin. “I’ll have a diet coke, I’m watching my ‘ealth.” The two also order their lunch, Montrèal smoked meat sandwiches they agree should be enough for this quick lunch meeting.

    “Michel,” Marc breaks in as Michel lights another dart, “we need to make some decisions about a captain.” Michel nods through a plume of fresh smoke. Just then Max Pacioretty walks by, sees the coach and general manager, and stops.

    “Gentlemen! What a pleasure it is to see you on this fine afternoon. Comment ca va?” He says almost with a bow. His hair gleems in the sun, perfectly combed and held in place with pommade. His face is clean shaven and his dark brown eyes gleem with intensity in the afternoon sun.

    “Ah bien, ca va,” Michel replies. Max makes a quick jump over the patio fence and sits right next to Marc.

    “You gentlemen wouldn’t mind if I joined you? I’ll pick up the tab – it’s on me. Order whatever you like,” Max says as he thrusts his hand into Marc’s and shakes it firmly.

    “Michel and I already ordered, Max. We actually aren’t staying long and are ‘aving quick meeting here, so…”

    “Oh yes, I understand completement. I will leave you to enjoy vos dinêr, bon apetite!” Max leaps from the table as if exploding into the sky like a superhero.

    Michel tosses his finished butt to the ground and lights a fresh dart. “Eh, we got some dep’ on this team. I really like the way these guys are taking this summer – they show a lot of character.”

    “Michel, we have to pick a captain. Monsieur Lafluer, ‘e wants us to pick Gallagher.” The waitress arrives at this moment and delivers their sandwiches, right behind her is PK Subban wearing a full suit, and not a bead of sweat breaks from his brow.

    “Oh ho ho, you guys are eating here too – no way! This is great. Pourrais-je join you guys to manger aussi,” PK says with a beaming smile.

    “Non, non, we are just staying briefly, PK. You see, we are ‘aving a meeting an’ will be leaving shortly. You see…?” Marc replies, adjusting his thick framed glasses and looking over the top of them
    to emphasize his point.

    “C’est correct, I got a workout to do in the next few minutes anyway. I was just jogging by and saw you guys, so Je pense que je would just stop here to say salut! Ok, back to my jog. If you guys need me, I’ll be at the gym pressing weights, like, all day.” PK smiles brightly, then leaves for the sidewalk in full running stride, his suit pants stretching against his massive quads with each bound.

    By this time Michel had already finished his sandwhich, diet coke and another dart. Marc slaps his hand down on his sandwhich and turns red. “This is getting out of hand. Last night PK and Max were out front of my house at 7pm doing workout routines. You got PK doing pull-ups from a branch of my Maple and you got Max lifting the back end of a VW off the ground. I told them to go home and then suddenly my cell phone rings. You know who it is? Brendan. And you now what ‘e says? ‘E says, ‘Salut Marc, je just t’appeller par ce que je ne veux pas le poste captaine. Sorry my French is a little off, it’s been since grade three since I last gave it a whirl. Anyway, have a good night.’ What do I do, Michel?”

    Michel smiles widely as he rubs his fingers along his gold chain and tugs on the initials attached to it.

  15. I must be stupid, I don’t get it. He wants DD to be captain?

    Lundqvist is not that cute anymore. Apparently he’s friendly with MacEnroe, whom I don’t like and MacEnroe was watching one of the games (I think 2nd against TBL) and sitting next to Donald Trump, whom I don’t like even more.

    Patrick Sharp. Now THERE’S a man!!!!

  16. Marjo…..no you are not stupid. It has several elements of humor in I think. One is the perception of MB and MT eating at an outdoor restaurant with MT as the chain smoker….trying to watch his health by ordering a diet coke while chain smoking…..MB wanting to desperately solve the captain issue because Max/PK and BG is campaigning for it and becoming a nuisance…..additionally MT is wearing a DD clip on his tie and tugs on it when MB seems ready to scream on who should they choose as the next captain. Over all though if you consider all the praise and criticism heaped on MB and MT and try and picture that setting…well maybe it is me but I thought it very funny.

  17. Now with Tampa Bay in the finals, could it be the Habs were eliminated by the best team in the NHL? Stay tuned…

  18. Danno….that is what some die hard fans will take from these playoffs…whether Tampa wins the cup or not….this a complete copout though. We ( Habs ) were beaten by a much better team and even though there is no way to actually prove it better teams than the Habs are not playing now. Look I want as much as anyone to see us win but when you score less than 2 goals a game in the playoffs over 22 games well you are lucky to get to the second round. Now if losing in the second round is good enough than we are all set but I think Ottawa is going to get better so we had better get on with getting much better going forward. Hey I give you credit though for finding a ray of sunshine in a bleak sky. Just hope MB doesn’t buy it though. I’d be really be disappointed to try and watch another year of the most boring hockey I have ever witnessed.

  19. Good points Cliff, but the same could be said of the Capitals and even the Rangers – who had a tough time scoring in the playoffs and often relied on Lundqvist to steal games. The Caps averaged exactly two goals a game while the Rangers just slightly more at 2.37 goals per game. Surprisingly, Pittsburgh could only generate a 1.60 goal per game production before they were eliminated by the Isles. My point is that there is a new reality, which is that defence and goal tending are huge factors in the playoffs and scoring goals is really tough for just about everyone, not just the Habs.

    That being said, I agree you that the Habs need to be more productive and that making it to the second round is not good enough.

    An improve power play, a breakthrough year by Galchenyuk, or maybe some key acquisition by Marc Bergevin could bring them closer to the ultimate goal next year.

    Stay tuned…

    http://www.nhl.com/stats/team

  20. Good reply Danno…thanks for that. Of course you are correct defense and goal tending is supercritical to win the big prise. We are not far away in that area and I am sure we frightened Tampa just a little….for sure….maybe a couple of offensively skilled players. My objection is the way the team is being coached and that is the problem because with their record I have not a leg to stand on and I know it but the feeling persists that the coach needs to open up the system just us little. I think I have read somewhere that if you draft a Galchenyuk to turn him into a defense first forward wing/ center you have probably wasted your draft pick. Anyhow we all hope for the progress to continue going forward.

  21. The Habs need to be just a little bit more open and creative. Predictability is a killer in both hockey and warfare. I would love to see P.K. play as a forward in the power play.

  22. If & it’s a big if, the PP killed us all season & when you can’t capitalize in the play-offs you are doomed to fail! I think that’s the one huge area we need to solve for next season. Here comes the *if* we can find a backup coach who can ice a formidable PP we will be a team to fear. If we had one we just might still be playing, I mean Really we went 1 for 36, give me a friggin break!:(

  23. Mike I totally agree that with a power play that can exceed 20% we would be very dangerous to any team. Not sure why we can’ the that team but maybe it has to do with our team make up and skill level however we were good until the last half of the season before….2013-2014 some say when Gallant left it caved in but that was not accurate….they had hit the skids before his departure. They are predictable as a poster said before….maybe Petry if they can sign him will help improve our PP. All we can do is hope I guess. Doesn’t seem to be much help coming though. They need another slick point man with a canon shot. Shouldn’t be difficult eh ???

  24. I like this signing also. Petry plays consistent and fits in well. Let’s hope this sets in motion a trade to pick up at least an above average scorer and not the over the hill type like PAP and Briere were. Yes I know a difficult mission due to the fact every GM is looking also for that player. We probably have too many defenseman if Tinordi can make the jump. I have my fingers crossed on him. He is big and although not mean he is solid in the physical sense. Pateryn is really impressive in the simplicity he plays the game with and he probably will stay up now. I like it how he keeps the game simple and still is quite physical and effective.

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