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Monday, May 6, 2013

Habs' Veteran Leadership Non-Existant

In three playoff games so far this year, the Montreal Canadiens have blown hot and cold. Their Game 1 loss
at the hands of the Ottawa Senators was a testament to the fact that shot output means nothing. The quality of them matters more.

The "quality" came in Game 2, when the Habs peppered Senators' goaltender Craig Anderson, going to high percentage scoring areas, providing screens and driving the net.

Last night, the Canadiens were outclassed on every part of the ice, oftentimes looking like a team already defeated after the first period. After the initial ten minute barrage of truculence on the part of the Senators, the Habs played scared. That part troubles me more than anything else I've seen so far this playoff season.

And it all begins with the team's veterans. Injured or not, they are the ones that should be providing the example to the Canadiens' youngsters, and not vise-versa. Other than Rene Bourque and P.K. Subban, not one else has stepped up to the plate.

David Desharnais: The Habs Equivalent to "Chinese Water Torture"

I think everyone can agree that Desharnais has been the biggest disappointment this season for the Montreal Canadiens. While his rise to the NHL earned him much respect in the hockey community, his standards of play have all but disappeared since he signed a four-year extension with the Canadiens on March 15th, 2013.

His greatest strengths were his ability to fend off bigger players along the boards, get possession of the puck and distribute it to his wingers for quality scoring chances. Needless to say, DD has done nothing of the sort, not having registered a single shot in three playoff games and constantly being pushed off the puck like a rag doll.

And can someone please explain why he keeps getting chances on the Canadiens' power play when he has been so ineffective for such a longer period of time? Unless we have a two-man advantage, it's still four-on-four to me when Desharnais take the ice for special teams' duty.

Pacioretty: "Wolverine" needs to sharpen his claws.


That bring us to Hab's power forward Max Pacioretty. Pacioretty once described Desharnais as "the best centre he's ever played with." Well, that's not saying much.

And with that though in mind, where did Patches' game go? Last season, he was being praised for his net drive and his fearless positioning in front of opposing goaltenders. Now, he's resorted to playing like Scott Gomez, refusing to engage the mid-ice lane, and taking useless shots from low percentage areas along the perimeter.

Granted, the quick healing winger has been dealing with different injuries for the better part of the season, but this is playoff hockey!! If you know you can't be beneficial to your team's fortunes, take a breather, and let someone else carry the load. Patches took the game off in Game 2, and it didn't go so badly for Michel Therrien's team.

Ryder: Lost In Space


Michael Ryder is one of those players (being a coach myself) I'd like to take aside and beat some sense into him. A perennial 30 goal scorer for the better part of his career, Ryder seems to play regular season games like they mean more than the playoffs. Granted, NHL players don't get anything in the playoffs unless they win the Stanley Cup, but still...

Skating like he's stuck in quicksand, and defensive liability, Ryder provides nothing of substance to the Canadiens' playoff roster. While he played well in the Boston Bruins' Stanley Cup run of a few years ago, his career playoff stats are a joke.

Plekanec: Girl's NOT Wild


Tomas Plekanec is anothere one of those players who needs to find their game. Gone are the caroussel of wingers and free-flowing excuses. The Habs' #14 has done nothing to disspell his "I played like a girl" quote from a few years ago. That comment too was in reference to another useless playoff performance.

With a minus-13 rating in 50 career playoff games, Plekanec's defensive play seems to dwindle when the chips are on the table. Other than his 2005-2006 rookie campaign, where Plek was plus-2 in 6 games, he has not had ANY success in the playoffs.

Granted, Tomas does do the "little things" right more often than not, but those same things will not help lead the Canadiens to playoff success.

Markov: Gimpiddy Doo-Da


Canadiens' veteran blue liner Andrei Markov has not come back to the lineup...yet.

Markov has a distinct inability to pivot to his right to defend the mid-ice lane. That much was clear evidence last night, when Markov decided it was easier to follow Chris Neal than keep Jean-Gabriel Pageau from streaking up the middle. On that play alone, he left both P.K. Subban and Carey Price out to dry.

The Russian-born defenseman still has the brains to play at this level, but his legs just aren't there. He skates up the ice without the vivacity we have growing accustomed to in previous season, and has become a defensive liability on the left side.

If Markov's season has any hope of being salvaged, perhaps taking him away from P.K. Subban as a partner (who himself showed obvious frustration last night), and pairing him up on the right of Josh Gorges or Francis Bouillon.

Veterans need to lead by example, and if this is the example these players will continue to afford their teammates....FORE!!!

13 comments:

The dissension on the Montreal Canadiens is palpable.

The team does not like PK Subban (because he is a self-centred, selfish jackass) and doesn't trust Carey Price (because they have worked so hard this season and he is terribly inconsistent, with 9 wins and 16 losses in the playoffs).

The problem is, PK Subban and Carey Price are close friends. They think they are better than everybody else.

After Price played SO MISERABLY in game 1 of the series, Max Pacioretty (our leading scorer) and Brian Gionta (our second leading scorer) may very well have approached management and said, "If you play Price in the second game, we're sitting."

Understandably, management could not have players standing up to them like this. Like Gomez and Camillari had in the past. So Michel Therrien sat them.

The team rallied in game 2 and inconsistent Price played well (though he didn't face all that much rubber in game 2, he did make 4 big saves).

Now, Gionta and Pacioretty would have to make a decision, play or not play in game 3? Therrien welcomed them back. Subban and Price were not pleased.

Carey Price is simply not the goalie he thinks he is. 9 and 16 in playoff hockey. Budaj had a better record than him all season. (Price lost to Ottawa earlier this season by a score of 5-1, he lost 6-0 to Toronto). Budaj beat Boston twice this season. In one of the games, Price was pulled and, down by 2 goals, Budaj held the fort, allowing Montreal to storm back and win. We all remember Price being pulled against Toronto. 3 goals in 4 shots. We all remember Budaj winning against Toronto in the last game of the season.

Gionta (the team captain) and Pacioretty (the team's leading scorer) know, the team is going nowhere with Price in net.

They stood up to management.

Subban, the selfish, self-centred elitist, is the only player on the team who supports Price.

The team is divided.

Mr. Therrien is handcuffed. Price, like Luongo and Fleury, is all hype. They all have great, hard working teams in front of them, that make them look good.

But the players have had enough of Price's poor play. The two top goal scorers on the team stood up to management. PK, the grandstanding, immature, self-important, egomaniac, sided with his friend.

Now what?

Play Budaj or lose.

Even if it means sitting Subban. Remember, Montreal was winning at the beginning of the season without him.

Sit Price. He simply is not a playoff goalie.

That's my two cents. None of this may be completely accurate but, given the way Subban and Pacioretty were yelling at each other on the bench... I think I'm right.

But, again, this is all just a theory.

What do you prefer: Markov in the line-up "as he is" or in the injury list "as he was"?

In the lineup, but on the right side, where being beat to his right would be less dangerous.

Subban has fought with teamates in every league he has played. He gets the norris look out he will be unstoppable,it will be crazy the crap that he will pull.

If were Subban and Pacioretty threw me a suicide pass because he was too lazy to skate, then comes to the bench to tell me to get off faster after having my bell rung, I`d put my stick up his hind parts...BLADE FIRST!!!

Fraz, Subban has done nothing but play a sound, mature game this season. He hasn`t drawn any attention to himself, other than through his stellar play.

Basing your comment on a single moment in a game is unfair to a player who has tried his best to conform to the new company line.

You people must all work for the CBC- all out to lunch

all is wrong is dd an patches signed a contract that all players play for these days nothing more the dont play for cups it has no meaning to its players any more an the ones it does have meaning for are the ones who win it its all money an whiners

Remember Halak and his ability to play and win the big games, he often did and how was he thanked by the Montreal Brass, when in reality it was him they should have kept and dumped Price, but they didn't and now suffer the consequence. Looks good on the Canadians.

wolverine looked like he was hurting last game and he should sit until he's better. No use having a player like him out on the ice making poor plays. It's a liability to the whole team.

Subban had the right to be upset but what i didn't approve of was how he expressed it. He's still young and can mature.

as for Price, I think he's having relationship issues and it's impacting him. But that's a hypothesis.

Halak is long gone, so get over it. He can't even win his groin issue right now. If we had kept Halak, our backup, whoever that might have been, would see more game action.

As for Subban's reaction, in a heated matchup things are said between players, including teammates. Pacioretty should worry about his own game, and not how long it takes PK to get to the bench.

I just can't wait for this summer, Bergevin should be busy...I hope!

I'm sure he will be. A proactive GM will look at the season, and address the holes he sees in his lineup.

Only time will tell, though.

im not sure if the people commenting here really whatched all three of the habs playoff gams or most of the season if i were gm onlay gallagher, galchinuk, prust and yes the onlay real superstar on the team subban would stay the rest must go there small weak and have very little hart or ability

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