Sunday Blues

Maybe there really is something to what was first reported a month ago, on Jan. 11th. in the Gazette, when Erik Cole said he might be retiring sooner than expected Cole Says This Could Be his Last.

And although, as Montreal radio host Mitch Melnick has pointed out in a recent piece, Cole is a notoriously slow starter (see below), he indeed seems to be showing a serious lack of interest as he patrols his wing. There seems to be no joy in Coleville. The high-fiving a referee seems almost unimaginable now. He reminds me of me when I’m at work.

Cole has played 12 seasons in the NHL, and for many people in many jobs, about ten years doing the same thing is more than enough. It’s always been that way for me. Restless feet. But if Cole retires before he’s 35, what’s he supposed to do after he’s taken the garbage out, drove the kids to school, walked the dog, and and played some Keno at the local mall?

It made me feel good to see these numbers that show Cole’s slow starts. Maybe there’s still hope for the old man, who now stands at two goals, two assists, all for a measly six million this year. That’s a lot of Keno games.

•2011-2012: In his first 15 games Cole scored 3 goals.
•2010-2011: In his first 13 games Cole scored 3 goals.
•2009-2010: In his first 17 games Cole scored 3 goals.
•2008-2009: In his first 18 games Cole scored 3 goals.
•2007-2008: In his first 21 games Cole scored 4 goals.
•2006-2007: In his fist 11 games Cole scored 1 goal.
•2005-2006: In his first 11 games Cole scored 4 goals.

I’m a little confused about the Andrei Markov situation. It was only about a week ago that he was The Man, the quarterback, that guy who gave the team a true power play. Now, three losses later and getting outskated on a Leafs goal, Markov, in the eyes of many, is a bum who can’t play in the big league anymore.

I say hold your horses. He can still skate (he’s a defenceman, not a speedy forward), he hasn’t lost his shot after a week, and his hockey I.Q. hasn’t taken a downward spiral overnight. He’s the guy who makes those short, crisp passes to move the puck out, who mentors young D-men, and now a couple of mediocre games from him and several horrible games from his team, and the guy’s a bum? I’m not ready to concede this just yet. Ten points in eleven games to lead his team. Isn’t that okay?

I’ve also heard the theory that Montreal’s woes have coincided with the return of P.K. Subban. Gawddam. The guy hadn’t played in eleven months and people are expecting him to save the world. And how many parties have you been at with P.K. to see how no one likes him?

I think the same can be said for Markov. He played just 20 games over the past two seasons with Montreal, and now he’s expected to run the show every night, eleven games in. Markov’s personality is the exact opposite of Subban’s. He’s serious, quiet, and downright sullen. Subban is outgoing, happy,and loving life. Is one personality worse than the other? Players get used to all types.

Then I see that many feel things would’ve been different last night against the Leafs if Ryan White would’ve been in the lineup because the Leafs were thugs. Ryan White likes to scrap, but he’s not great at it. He’s too small to take on heavyweights like Colton Orr. And if you want to talk about how things would’ve been different, yes, they probably would have been if White hadn’t played against Ottawa and Buffalo, when he lost his mind.

Maybe we should be wondering about someone like Colby Armstrong, who has zero points so far. Or what to do with Tomas Kaberle and guys like Travis Moen, Yannick Weber, and even David Desharnais. What about Louis Leblanc? Where does he fit in? And our captain. Two goals in eleven games. Is he leading by example? And he took that silly penalty the other night by going for a ride on someone’s back, not because he’s feisty, but because he’s too small and couldn’t move the guy properly.

I’m as concerned as anyone. Imagine if they fall apart in Florida. Imagine if this new-look, exciting version of the Montreal Canadiens ends up looking as sad-sack as last year’s version.

But then imagine that they turn things around and start to win again.






12 thoughts on “Sunday Blues”

  1. I’ll admit I want White again The kid will learn to pick his spots. Can we give Kaberle yo someone, can Cole put a smile on his face or is he hurt? Can Thornbush juggle the lines to getfolk to their comfortable positions– I’m told some are not–can the media get off the P.K. garbage–he’s not the P.K. who got folks on their feet previous years–sorry I forgot, we can’t be ourselves anymore, we gotta be robots Thornbush is on the bench holding his chin– does THAT contribute to out-coaching the opposition. Never been on a team so don’t know much but most is it necesary to direct 99 % of pucks to goalies gut WITH NO ONE BLOCKING HIS VIEW!!! Price would have 10 shutouts by now. Better go now before I start to rant. Appreciate your balanced article Dennis

  2. All I know is a losing streak in this short season is a lot more damaging than when it’s an 82-game schedule. A three-game losing streak equals six if it was a regular schedule. There is no time to waste. I hope Marc Bergevin can make some smart moves and address some of our problems soon. Losing really has a way of exposing weaknesses.

  3. Danno, that is exactly why Therrien shouldn’t go with Budaj every five or six games. The season is too short.

  4. I’m wondering if Price might have been playing hurt last night. God help us if he ever does get sidelined.

  5. Danno, if Price goes down and Budaj becomes the number one guy, it’s time for Bergevin to spring into action and make a big deal quickly. I don’t know if there are many teams who would be willing to part with a quality deal. Is there a goalie to be had out there, at the right price? Remember, Price took an Eller shot in the nuts recently and that could’ve been a disaster.

  6. Trade ’em then; screw Cole. If he lost his passion he should quit. He makes $6M compared to DD’s 700,000 and everyone’s shitting on DD.

  7. The thing with Armstrong is that he doesn’t have to score. He’s a fourth liner. The problem is he’s not doing anything. If he was banging bodies and not scoring, that would be find. If he was an agitator, that’s great. If he was hitting people, winning key faceoffs, being great defensively, and not scoring, that would be awesome.

    The problem is that Armstrong is none of those things. He doesn’t do anything.

  8. He’s done nothing, Tom. You’re so right. I remember in past years with different teams like Pittsburgh, he made a bit of name for himself as an effective guy. Not anymore, it seems. But even as a fourth liner, we should expect more than no points.

  9. re Tom

    The reason Armstrong is not doing anything is because he cannot…With the Leafs he was so banged up with multiple injuries his effectiveness when he returned to the Leaf line up was negligible…

    He peeked in 2007-2009 as a top agitator with some scoring ability but the Leafs got him on his career downside as my Leafs tend to do…I am afraid he is another Maple Leaf useless Kaberle type retread…Try to get a 4th rounder for him

  10. DK, I think you nailed it regarding the Eller shot to the nether region. I saw a couple of close ups of Price and he showed signs of not being very comfortable after making a stretching pad save. Lets hope all is well with our main man, besides him & the two rookies no one else showed up!

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