Finally, Jacques Martin is gone as head coach of the Montreal Canadiens. The day has come. It took awhile, but yes, the target of so many of our complaints has been given his walking papers.
So long to Jacques, and I’m sorry to say I’m not feeling bad about this. I’m just surprised that it took the guys upstairs so long to do it?
Assistant coach Randy Cunneyworth picks up the slack. And hopefully picks up the slackers. Maybe now we’ll see some life injected into this sorry bunch.
The way the players played under Martin this year is inexcusable. Something had to change, and we all knew what it was. The guy had to go. Something had to be done to fix this mess, this sad-sack, middle-of-the-pack team riddled with underachievers. There seemed to be no life on the bench, often confusion on the ice, and all the while Mr. Martin studied his notes and played with line combinations.
More than any other beef about the team on this site has been about Martin. Even more than Scott Gomez. Across the board people said he had to go, and I always agreed. This is a big business, a gigantic business, and for ownership, making the playoffs and having a competitive team that makes the playoffs and brings in as many home games in the post season as possible is basically what it’s all about. With Martin at the helm, the team was going nowhere, and finally, and I stress the word “finally,” ownership and management came to their senses, got off their rear ends, and did what they should have done weeks or months ago.
But more than that, seeing the Montreal Canadiens, with their proud and glorious history and all they’ve stood for, looking lost and mediocre and pitiful, has been a horrific sight. Something no Habs fan can ever accept or sit still for. I personally have gone from bored to having my heart broken on far too many nights this year, and I’ve never been able to stomach seeing this team as only a shell of its former self.
Such a dismal display by this group under Martin. It’s been a boring and confused team, and I see and hear it all the time. With the lineup they have, with smallish guys with a history of being offensive guns – Plekanec, Cammalleri, Gionta, and yes, even Gomez, this should have been a tremendously exciting team, an offensive team swarming the ice and finishing with flair. Our great “next hope,” PK Subban has taken a step backward, and although the team has suffered bad luck injury-wise, we can’t expect Carey Price to save the day for us every night. What kind of hockey team is that?
Most have played almost half-dead, fans yawned and fidgeted in their Bell Centre seats, and us at home stared blankly at the screen as nothing happened almost all the time. Interest is down. We’re almost a laughing stock. And Gomez? Forget it. We’ve pretty well wiped our hands of this guy. He doesn’t deserve a place on this team, and he’s never deserved to wear the “A.”
This coach firing has made a lot of Habs fan happy. It’s what we’ve wanted, called out for, pleaded for. But by no means does this mean thing will change quickly, or even at all. It’s up to the players. These guys must shoulder much of the blame. I said in the beginning that if all, or at least most, were having good years on the ice, the Montreal Canadiens would be a force to be reckoned with.
But it’s only been a handful who have played well, while a huge handful should look in the mirror and tell themselves they haven’t been earning their big money, and they haven’t made the passionate, loyal Habs fans, the ones who pay the freight, happy at all. They’ve disappointed us to no end, and now, with Cunneyworth, it’s time for these underachieving so-called stars – Mike Cammalleri, Tomas Plekanec, Brian Gionta to name three – to pull up their socks and contribute way more than they have.
This news that I woke up to, Martin fired, is good news. Excellent news. It’s a start. But now it’s up to the players to change things around. It’s unacceptable to wear the uniform of the Montreal Canadiens and not give your all.