It’s been a busy day for Habs fans. After a report from Mitch Melnick of the Team 990 stated that Bob Gainey was to be holding an afternoon Press Conference, everyone and their dog jumped in anticipation, thinking that perhaps a trade was in order. And, while Bob Gainey did call that Conference, it was solely used to inform the many members of the Montreal media on the team thus far, as they head down the playoffs stretch.
While much anticipation was exploding this way and that, there has been no trade, shooting down any rumors of Mike Eastwood heading to Montreal, or, at least for the time being. Regardless, with Melnick failing to mention the reason for the meeting, many fans began to believe that perhaps something larger was about to come to down. And, while all is quiet, by no means should we write anything off, especially since Jan Bulis will be joining Sheldon Souray on the sidelines for a good deal of time.
Below are some of Gainey’s comments from the press conference :
When asked about about the Canadiens recent play Gainey responded, “We’ve surprised teams all season long , thats why we’re getting stronger competition , because teams are not taking us lightly anymore”.
Questioned about Saku Koivu’s importance to the team, Gainey replied with, “He’s the captain of the team, he’s a great player, and when he plays great he adds something to the team, like all players. If we’re going to play great we need all players to play great , not just one player”.
We need to be somewhere between 87 and 92 points to make the playoffs, in his opinion.
He wasn’t in attendance for the Koivu-Ribeiro fight, but noted that occasionally players get put in ‘competitive situations’ in pratice, and he believes that the competitive spirits of Koivu and Ribeiro caused the two to go at it. He, however, also mentioned that the current losing streak added to the frustration, but the whole incident was not a big deal.
It’s difficult to bring a new player on to the team so late in the season, because he may have difficulty being integrated into the system and getting used to his teammates. While he did not rule the possibility out, saying that it could happen, he mentioned that Owen Nolan is a much better player for the Toronto Maple Leafs now than he was when during his time with Leafs last season, referring to Nolan being more comfortable in his new situation. These comments lead to speculation that perhaps an off-season deal would be more likely, assuming all is well on the CBA-front.
The Habs GM also made it clear that he has no financial restrictions, as he has been given the green-light from the organization to spend if need be.
No one player will take charge and lead the team every single night, so we have to have many players taking turns and standing up tall when need be.