In Hindsight … Martin should have Stayed – as Coach


Believe it or not – Rick Keene is wrong on occasion.

Not often , yet often enough to sleep on the porch on a cold and rainy night periodically. What … ? How can that be …? You ask as concern replaces a grin.

Let me explain …

Les Canadiens de Montreal possessed a record of 13 – 12 – 7. One game and a hiccup above the tidewater mark of a sporting team’s success. A man named Jacques , conceived by Mr. and Mrs. Martin , led the team as their coach.

Myself , along with throngs of G.M ‘s everywhere in la Belle Province – cried for Martin’s head to be placed on a platter of purgatory. ‘Surely – les Canadiens , an equipe that sailed to newer heights in recent years , were better than this . Martin must be the villain in la ville de Montreal …’

We cried from Gatineau to Gauthier’s house. Martin’s stifling and boring defensive system was caging the team’s offensive stars. Enough we cried ! And we cried , and we cried , and we cried until tears were enough to dispatch the former Peterborough Petes‘ coach from behind the bench.

Well , guess what ?

The Montreal team’s offensive stars were meant to be caged. If not , their release may have caused death by boredom. ‘Death to Smoochy‘ as the kids in the city stayed awake to watch the Habs while their parents slept – the elders unable to replace the Flyin’ Frenchmen of old. Young men and women unaware of the visions of Brian Gionta that jumped fences in the minds of their parents as Smurfs replaced sheep in Mom and Dad‘s worst nightmares.

As Randy Cunneyworth discovered , a team such as this required Martin’s logic – Martin’s lethargy. Jumpin’ Jacques was not a fool with his foot – long rush mentality. All along , Martin kept the team in transition to hide the truth and dispel the myth of the Montreal Canadiens. A myth that the team may score.

If the not-so-mighty Habs retained Martin as coach , the team would have carried on boringly as a game over .500 hockey club. If so – their record today would stand somewhere around forty – two wins and another twenty – odd overtime or shoot- out losses. Do the math . Ninety points placed the Capitals in the playoffs. Under coach Martin ; ninety – three or four points were possible .

Hello Subban – bye , bye Semin ! ‘ Ovie ‘ would not have a chance to titillate Thomas. Instead , a Habs – Bruins repeat of last season could have been an Hors d ‘ oeuvre to a Stanley Cup – a cup sautéed just right for the palates of the people from Pierrefonds.

A first – round match with Gorges , Pacioretty and Markov in the line – up against the Bruins. A championship team that ‘ squeaked by ‘ nos Canadiens last year. Bobby Orr‘s alma mater would have been exactly what Pacioretty ‘s doctors ordered for the Habs. A confidence builder, a chance of redemption – a payback filled with pride.

Gill , Kostitsyn and Cammalleri may have remained with the club if Martin remained. Almost the same team that went to the Eastern Conference finals two years ago. Better than this season …?

Believe it or not …
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3 Comments

  1. Ron

     /  April 9, 2012

    I remember plants in High School as a part of a controlled experiment. It was supposed to grow under a sun lamp in liquid only. My lamp died and I used sunshine and soil. The plant died of damp rot..So you could either say that the plant died from damp rot or because I didn’t follow the instructions, either way I couldn’t smoke my own weed (whoops, did I forget to mention that? I thought it was inferred) This Martin-chicken or egg-thing reminds me of the high school planting experiment. If I had followed the rules, the plant would have survived and I would be smiling; that is, if I used all the ingredients at hand the proper way. Jacques Martin used Eric Cole sparingly, at the start of the season-when we went on a horrible losing streak. Twelve games that have haunted us to the last day. He stymied offence at the benefit of the defence, which would be fine if we weren’t carrying around a “wet behind the ears staff.” If Jacques Martin gave equal consideration to offence and defence, I think that the result would have been slightly better, maybe playoff bound Montreal Candiens, but Mr Martin stuck to his guns and didn’t follow the instructions that all good coaches have to follow; that a good team must balance offence and defence in a proper manner, neither can win without the other. I agree, firing him was a mistake because there is nothing for anybody to pick up..but lets face it, the light at the end of the tunnel is in the draft, and the changes that upper management is forced to make, and should have made at the very start. After all, damp rot affects more than plants, as we have learned the hard way, and sometimes you just have to throw out the plants and start all over again…or fire the person in charge of growing and nurturing them. But hell, what do I know; I’m just a gardener…

    Reply
  2. All goo points – hit and miss really . Martin is a better coach than Cunneyworth but Cunneyworth will get there one day ;)

    Reply
  1. A Fly on the Wall … « Rick Keene ' s Le Forum de Montreal

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