Size Matters

One thing’s for sure. Almost as sure as death and taxes. If Montreal doesn’t win Wednesday night at the Bell Centre, they can start polishing off their putters because there’s no way they’ll be able to come back from being down three games to one. Not against Washington. Not against a team with big-time snipers and a bench full of big bodies.

We’ve seen that it takes every Hab playing their best hockey just to win a period, and even winning a period doesn’t mean winning the game. If it’s not one thing it’s another that has led the Canadiens to fall behind in this series: questionable penalties, deserved penalties, occasional, less-than-stellar goaltending, erratic passing, bad-luck bounces, big chances that miss the net, getting scored on with the man advantage, and not scoring at even strength. And worst of all, they’re unable to hold a late-game lead, something which has dogged them throughout the entire year.

If the scorers are scoring, the plumbers aren’t, and as the regular season drew to a close, it was the plumbers scoring and the scorers not. And the Habs are being knocked off the puck by the bigger Caps, which makes me wonder why Bob Gainey brought in so many small, albeit skilled players, from elsewhere. Gainey’s fought the playoff wars, he knows what it takes, and small guys usually don’t beat big guys. It’s the law of physics. He was in the post-season 22 times – 16 as a player and 6 as coach and he’d be the first to tell you how important bigger players are. 

So again, I ask: Why did Gainey stock his lineup with small players? It’s the one nagging question I have for the man I admire and respect so much.

But having said all that, if the Montreal Canadiens can get it done on Wednesday night and even this difficult series, then who knows. And if they can somehow take out the Caps completely and continue on, maybe Bob Gainey was right after all.

Here’s hoping the Canadiens, and Habs fans everywhere, sport huge smiles when the final siren sounds on Wednesday night.

6 thoughts on “Size Matters”

  1. There’s a big guy on the ice who’s supposed to be playing tomorrow. His name is Carey Price, and he can win faceoffs with his goalie stick. Unfortunately the ref won’t let him take the faceoffs.

    There’s another big guy who’s been stuck scratched. His name is Ryan O’Byrne and he can squish people good.

    Also time for Moen, Lapierre, and AK46 to do a little bit more… What’s that hockey song? “Hit Somebody!”

  2. 31, Is Price playing? Maybe it’s time. O’Byrne’s had a rough time of it lately but you’re right, he should be in because they need to do some bumping and he can. And Moen and Lapierre really need to get their noses dirty.

  3. This won’t help much up front, but big guy, seems like a perfect role for O’Byrne. I don’t understand how he’s worse defensively than Bergeron. Similarly I don’t see how playing Bergeron as forward hurts especially since Darche barely got 2 minutes of ice time last game.

  4. Some of our small guys can handle it, but I agree that having a few more tough guys with more size would have helped so much. Tom Kostopoulos may not have been as much of an asset to the team during the regular season as some of our other guys were, but by the end of last season, and the season before, he was still going strong and playing physically when a lot of his teammates were injured and not firing on all cylinders. I wouldn’t trade a guy like Gionta for the world, but having an iron man on the team to do some dirty work would go a long way.

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