Last season, the Montreal Canadiens were a team
known for their hard work, even though the high-end talent may not have been
there. This year, however, it is the exact opposite – the talent is there,
but far too often, the effort is not. Thursday night’s debacle in Boston
was only the most recent example of the Habs’ continual failure to show up on a
We’ve seen two distinctly different teams this season – one that can dominate
teams at will (like Tuesday’s strong victory over Ottawa), but also one that
made the basement dwelling New York Islanders look like a juggernaut…at least
for 40 minutes. The team has also recently struggled against Columbus and
Toronto, but played well against Minnesota and Carolina. See a pattern?
The Habs show up for games against strong teams, but not for weaker ones – save
for Thursday’s embarrassment in Boston.
This, to me, is a direct reflection on the coaching staff, for failing to
properly prepare the team for each and every game. The teams that they’re
struggling against all have strong reputable coaches who get their team prepared
for each game. Yet, for some reason, we don’t see this from the Habs.
To a man, we hear after every game from everyone, "We have the talent, but…"
and quite frankly, it makes me sick. You can have all the talent in the
world, but if you don’t work, you won’t succeed. Heck, the Habs have the
best individual example in the league in Alexei Kovalev who when he works, he is
a dynamic player in the league. When he doesn’t, he’s the second coming of
Sergei Samsonov. Last year, the Stanley Cup Champion Red Wings had tons of
talent, something many, including yours truly, think this year’s edition of the
Canadiens have. But, they also worked, and were prepared for each and
every game, and played a style different then "This is our team and this is the
way we play," which is what the Habs seem to be in the midst of. As the
old saying (and song) goes, Two outta three ain’t bad. Not in this case,
as the two has been and will continue to hold back this team from reaching their
goals until this gets corrected.
Don’t get me wrong, I like the coaching staff for the most part, and I’m not
advocating change, but their inexperience and lack of attention to detail are
appallingly lacking. Something needs to be done, and the sooner the