The Habs will be in tough tonight as they face one of the league’s hottest teams in the Vancouver Canucks who have won their last 7 games. They go up against the Sedin twins who some believe came within 24 hours of potentially suiting up for the Habs this year. In itself, that is bad news. Worse however, is the news that the team’s leading goalscorer (by a huge whopping prairie mile) Michael Cammalleri will be sidelined with a knee injury for 6-8 weeks. For the NHL’s worst 5 on 5 team that is about as bad a break as it gets.
One of the things I remember talking about during the 07/08 season when the Habs finished the regular season in first place was how important it was that the team had remained in relative good health for most of the season. It can’t be understated how important that is to a team. Its why a team like Detroit can go from Stanley Cup contender to bubble playoff team in one season. In San Jose almost all of the top players have played 50+ games with Heatley, Marleau, Thornton, and Clowe playing all 55. They got on a roll, and have stayed on a roll without interuption, just like in 07/08 when Kovy, Plex, and Kostitsyn were firing on all cylanders (only way better).
While many will correctly counter with the idea that injuries are no excuse, they are an effect. This team is not resilient or deep enough to withstand the constant injuries that they have dealt with to top players. This is a team that still needed pieces with a full (or close to it) lineup on the ice. 09/10 has been a year in which this team has been consistently cut down just as things started to come together. It has been a year with no momentum (other than a few short bursts).
With huge changes taking place around the league, and disaster looming around every bend in Montreal, it will be interesting to see how the rest of this season plays out. There have been rumours that Montreal may have been close to a deal that may have been tied to the NY-CAL trade. There have been whispers of deals almost all season for that matter. With the upcoming Olympic break preceeding the trade deadline, there is all kinds of wild speculation as to the possibilities of what could happen.
As for tonight’s game. All I can say is I want a win. Just one win. Lets start with that and go from there. I want to see a team that cares go out and play a full 60 minutes and show themselves most importantly that they can fight through adversity and win. As bad as things have been (or could get), everybody likes a win. And in the East… everybody NEEDS a win. We’ve lost 7 of our last 11 games. Boston has lost 11 of their last 13 games. NYR have lost 8 of their last 11. The Islanders have dropped 6 0f 7. Until, the mess we’re in clears itself (for better or worse) we’re destined to remain in an uncomfortable limbo. I’d prefer to clear the picture ourselves with a W.