Another season , another … ?
Where to Steve Begin …
In a season that commenced amid coach Therrien wandering the backyard on a supposed short leash, Les Canadiens de Montréal once again proved; more is less ( more or less ).
Goalie Carey Price ‘s absence last season gave the kindly old coach ( thanks Red Fisher ) a ‘get out of jail free’ card. A last minute pardon from the warden of the ‘most likely to celebrate the past ‘ franchise. General Manager Bergevin – seemingly Therrien’s only friend in a bunker void of ammunition.
Out of the gate , it was business as usual in Habsville. The team and Price grabbed the league lead quicker than an Oleg Petrov spinerama. What happened next is a familiar story in Montreal. A chain of events repetitive by nature with it’s origins rooted deep within the confines of Jacques Lemaire’s soul. Jacques Lemaire; the man who stole the Canadiens’ heart.
Ever since Jumpin’ Jacques ( the coach) decided to designate Guy Lafleur ( the player ) as a Selke nominee – the Canadiens have ditched their ‘flying Frenchmen’ label for a cozier stay-at-home defensive slipper. Long after Lemaire ditched a forthcoming media- induced ulcer and parted ways with his former team, Lemaire’s legacy haunts the Habs as the ghosts of The Forum enjoy popcorn down the street.
Sure there have been offensive moments that were non – offensive yet aside from Lafleur getting arrested and Mario Tremblay staring down Patrick Roy; excitement has been held to a minimum as the torch stays rigid and unlit save for the pomp and ceremony ( aka trying to set five year old kids on fire).
Ironically, the recipient of ‘ the best defensive forward’ four times running – Guy Carbonneau; the only coach in recent Canadiens’ history to have the team scoring more often than Mickey Mantle on a road trip. The Selke Trophy winner’s reward? The ‘filler’ for a missing player at the Habs’ annual golf match. The Chevy Chase to Rodney Dangerfield aka Therrien.
Someone in Habs management is obviously not sharing the good drugs.
Bob Gainey, Guy Carbonneau, Mario Tremblay, Guy Cournoyer, Steve Shutt, Serge Savard ( recently) , J.J. Daigneault, Kirk Muller and Ken Dryden. Just a few of the cogs in past championship Canadiens’ teams brought in to ‘save the franchise ‘. Reflecting the marketing brilliance of all the pregame ceremonies intent on selling merchandise, tickets and ‘ the #1 brand’ in hockey .
If one Stanley Cup banner could replace one box of left over Centennial mugs in the basement of Le Centre Bell – the arena would need to be enlarged.
Forget the past even though the fans cannot. Pretend for a second – the Habs are a new team intent on winning a championship.
To build a winner , certain requirements are … er … required.
Let’s start at the top. The GM.
Marc Bergevin is a new General Manager. His resume includes ‘ stay at home defenceman’ with a ‘good sense of humor ‘. It also includes ‘ director of hockey operations or something like that with The Chicago Blackhawks. Assuming that title included more responsibilities than getting Patrick Kane out of jail , Bergevin ( a Quebecer ) is fit for the job of the Habs GM because he speaks French.
So far , the new franchise is looking good.
Second on the list are the coaches.
Head coach Claude Julien.
Julien is a former Stanley Cup winning coach with The Boston Bruins. Clod is also a coach who was fired from the New Jersey Devil organization moments before the playoffs started even though his team had a winning record. Julien is also a former coach of The Habs.
Claude Julien is fit for the job of the Habs’ coach because he speaks French.
So far ? The franchise looks amazing !
Jean – Jacques Daigneault is the new franchise’s defensive coach. His qualifications include being a member of the last Canadiens’ team to win a Stanley Cup. His winning attitude and defensive savvy poignant for a future Championship in Montreal.
J. J. Daigneault is fit to be a coach because he speaks French.
The franchise is looking like a sure bet to be a contender.
Kirk ( is work ) Muller.
The handsome Muller was a fan favorite in Montreal as a player as he helped lead the squad to a banner in 1993. A two way forward from Kingston, Ontario – Muller is an anglophone chosen to deflect criticism from former coach Therrien.
Muller is unfit to be a coach because he does not speak French. The new franchise just took three steps back.
Every hockey team outside of a graveyard requires living breathing entities to defend , score and set plays on a frozen surface called ice.
Our new franchise , the Habs – have these type of people ..
Carey Price aka The Franchise
A goaltender must have nerves of steel and blood like knives. An unflinching type fellow not bothered by criticism, groupies, drugs, alcohol, pucks and game day sex. The sort of guy who does not let goals against ruin his Big Mac at the drive -thru. Price fits the bill during the regular season.
The playoffs are a different beast. A goaltender who leads teams to championships must steal games and / or series. Step up his focus and performance to ban vulcanized rubber from his twine. Playoffs are tighter than Chuck Berry’s wallet and often one goal is the difference between success and suicidal tendancies.
Price is unfit to be goalie for the franchise because he does not speak French.
The new franchise just took an additional three steps back …
Stay tuned for part two !