Is it time to panic?
The Canadiens are
slowly steadily erasing their great start to the season piling on loss after loss to teams below them in the standings.
If this continues (and it appears to have no end in sight), the only possible outcome is the Canadiens dropping rank night after night until they find themselves out of the playoff picture.
The Penguins and Senators both passed the Canadiens last night. Granted, the numbers are very tight but the Canadiens were once WELL above both of these teams. Firmly planted in the upper echelon of the East. Remember the talk of challenging the Sabres? What happend?
The other disturbing trend is that it doesn’t seem to bother them. They are almost content to lose. There’s no passion, no effort, no guts. No guts no glory.
The Senators came out like a team who wanted the two points, who wanted the playoff spot. The Canadiens? They didn’t come out at all. Take away a lucky penalty shot and it’s a 4-0 beating.
Cristobal Huet looks exhausted. He is definitely not the goalie he was in the first half of the season. It shouldn’t come as that big of a surprise considering he has never played this many games in this short period of time. The All Star week may have further hurt his endurance.
He is not sharp and his focus is not there. Fatigue. The first goal of the game, given up by the Habs for the 7th straight game. A 40 foot slap shot, clearly seen, from Chris Phillips? Yes Chris Phillips with his career high 7th goal.
This is a time where goalies save their teams and drive them into the post season. Not give up brutal goals early in the game to pad the career stats of an offensively inept blue liner.
Did he even try on Spezza’s goal? He looked to be asleep in the crease.
You can’t blame it all on him, and certainly a bad game here and there is to be expected. So who can you blame?
Samsonov? Koivu? Kovalev? Ryder? Higgins?
Everyone is looking to point the finger.
Which Canadien is absolutely untouchable? Which Canadien HAS to go? Look down the roster and see if you see any star players, Hall of Famers or future Hall of Famers on this team. Then look at the standings and all the teams above the Canadiens. Do you see any stars? Any hall of Famers? How about Martin Brodeur in his 384th NHL season putting up the best numbers of his career.
The Canadiens don’t have that. They haven’t in a very long time. There is something missing.
Time is running out to shake up this team before they throw it all away. Can they do it? Will they?
Saku Koivu – you can’t criticize the Captain now right? Wrong. Koivu has been virtually invisible. Where is the leadership? You’re not putting points up, you’re not leading and motivating. What ARE you doing?
Michael Ryder – it’s a sad situation. The former Canadiens sniper, 30+ goal scorer looked to have a bright future. An untouchable for the Habs for many years. The thing with Ryder is he is a one dimensional player, a goal scorer and more specifically a power play scorer. If he isn’t scoring, what good is he? He doesn’t contribute to the team in any other way and he hasn’t scored. Is it time for him to go? For the best of both parties?
Samsonov – do we need more analysis on this? I don’t think so.
Kovalev – nothing’s new here.
Souray – Yeah we love the offense, but try stopping a goal when you’re on the ice instead of being on for every single goal against.
…..Now without listing every single player, who is expendable and who isn’t?
The only two names that come to mind are Christopher Higgins and Andrei Markov.
What do you think?
More importantly, what does Gainey think and can he do anything about it?