Say it with me now folks, "Who cares?"
At this point, most fans don't. The players? Well, watching last night it was pretty clear that many, if not most, have checked out already. Disinterested in what happens on the ice, eying an early tee-time in a few weeks and possibly a beach vacation, most were content to go through the motions.
But can you really blame them?
This is a year in which everyone in management has been fired. Everyone. The coach, the GM, the special advisor to the president. Everyone.
So, with the team floundering in last place in the East, most probably realize that there will likely be on-ice personnel changes this summer too. So will they even be around come September?
With four, merciless, games left to play, the Habs are in 28th overall in the league. They currently have a top-three pick locked up, however the Leafs level of suck-a-tude is rivaling Montreal. As such, there is a chance they could dislodge the Habs from the bottom-three if they keep sliding.
Still, there is a silver lining.
And that is that the Habs will pick, at a minimum in the top-5 and possibly as high as first overall. Plus, there will be a new management team running this team come draft time in June, and probably sooner.
There is one last word I'd like to say about the outgoing management team, that was highlighted by the Rangers 4-1 drubbing of Montreal last night. The trade for Scott Gomez in the summer of 2009, is what sent both teams on their respective courses to their current positions.
The Rangers? First overall in the East, first overall in the league and a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.
The Habs? 15th and last in the East, everyone in management fired, the lustre on the CH never being less sparkly, and a major effort required to get everything back on the rails.
Ya, I think it's fair to say that the Gomez deal scuttled the Habs the same way the Patrick Roy trade did in 1995.
Is there any wonder this team hasn't had a sniff of the Cup for the last 19 years?
That aside, this is a time for optimism because, so far, Geoff Molson is doing and saying the right things.
So if you're watching the remaining games, just take them for what they are but keep in mind that things will be different come September.
As for me, well, I've been out of the loop for the last month or so and am headed on vacation tomorrow. I'll be back just in time for the Habs season to have already ended. But that's when the real fun starts, with the GM search likely in full swing, the draft not too far away and the prospect of better things next season on the horizon.
Enjoy the remaining games, folks, I'll catch you all on the flip side!
Kamal is a freelance writer, Senior Writer/Editor-in-Chief of HabsAddict.com, Montreal Canadiens Blogger on Hockeybuzz.com and featured columnist on PowerScoutHockey.com. Kamal is also a regular contributor to the Sunday Shinny segment of The Franchise weekend morning show, on TSN Radio 990 (AM 990) every Sunday from 9 - 10 AM. Listen live at http://www.tsn.ca/montreal/
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(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)