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» 2006 » January

  • Gainey seeks #1 Defenseman

    After the Canadiens most recent loss in which they were nothing short of mocked by Senators goaltender Dominik Hasek, the normally tight-lipped Bob Gainey announced he’s on the market for a reliable top tier NHL defenseman.

    There’s been rampant trade speculation over the past couple months but this is the first time Gainey announced he is in fact looking and what he’s specifically seeking. The most popular rumor involves Adrian Aucoin of Chicago coming to Montreal. Of course it is all speculation and it could just as easily be Mattias Ohlund, Sami Salo or Patrice Brisebois. Ok maybe not Breezer. Maybe the Canadiens should call up Dave Manson or Igor Ulanov again. I heard Eric Weinrich and his yellow visor are available at a bargain deal.

    If the Canadiens do make a change you can bet Bob Gainey won’t repeat those mistakes with those type of players. If it happens it will be for an impact player and will most certainly involve one or more of our ‘top’ players. It’s safe to say that no one is safe anymore. That includes Saku Koivu, Jose Theodore and everyone else.

    Where is Koivu’s leadership? A Captain is supposed to do something in situations like this and it’s fair to say he hasn’t. Koivu’s contract is up at the end of this season and his market value is still decent.

    It’d be a shame to give up Michael Ryder as he is the one bright spot in the roster – he’d be the one player off limits. Andrei Markov’s not going anywhere either. Sheldon Souray is on the borderline, I think Gainey believes in him and in a #2 or #3 defenseman’s role he could be very good. Swapping Souray for another D wouldn’t make much sense unless it was a straight 1-1 deal. That leaves Komisarek as potential trade bait.

    Which team will show up? A hungry team frustrated and ready to leap frog over the Leafs with a win or the lazy bunch of floaters. Huet or Theo? If Theo is part of a trade package he’s gonna have to get some ice time first. Theo’s a terrible goalie at the Air Canada Centre, Huet would be the better choice considering the importance of the game.

    After tonight the Canadiens will find themselves back in the playoffs or slumping worse than ever.


  • Canadiens run out of gas

    The Canadiens playing their 5th road game in 8 nights fell 3-0 to the Senators in a dismal performance. The Canadiens tied a franchise low record of 12 shots in a game.

    After coming back to beat the Flyers the previous night the Habs were simply out of gas and it was very evident. Cristobal Huet was peppered with 40 shots and did very well to keep the scoring to a minimum. Sheldon Souray may have came back too early as he appeared to be in discomfort and was quite ineffective. The Habs really had no chance against the powerhouse Sens and the loss brings their road trip record to 1-4 with 1 game remaining in Toronto. Far from the .500 winning percentage they were striving for.

    The good news is the Thrashers, Devils and the Leafs all lost last night. The Maple Leafs are on a 7 game losing streak which is the worst run they’ve been on since 1997. The Canadiens go to Toronto where they traditionally don’t play well to take on a frustrated and hungry Leafs team. Probably the most important game of the road trip as they are virutally tied in the standings which adds some heat to the normal intensity of Habs/Leafs matchups. The smart move would be to continue with Huet between the pipes but that remains to be seen.

    The bad news is the Habs are tied with the Bruins who are getting back in the win column and creeping back into the picture. The Canadiens fate is in their own hands as they still hold games in hand and can claim 6th, 7th or 8th spot if they put some wins together.