About last night …

OK, so the Canadiens bundle Scott Gomez, Alex Auld, Alexandre Picard, Jaro Spacek, Danny Kristo and a third-round draft choice in 2015 and trade them for …?

The deadline is Monday afternoon at 3.

Based on what we saw in that nailbiting win over Carolina, here’s what I think Pierre Gauthier will do:

Toward the end of Jacques Martin’s postgame press conference, Barry Morgan of CJAD noted the Feb. 28 deadline and asked the kindly old coach “what areas of improvement have to be improved in your view?”

Martin grinned, secure in the knowledge this one would be easy to duck.

“Last time I checked that was the GM’s responsibility,” Martin said. “We know our team well. If Pierre (Gauthier) can improve the team, he will. If he can’t, we’re happy with the players we have.

“You have to look at the sitation. What is the cost to get certain players. You gotta think what’s long-term for the organization?”

Gauthier knows his team well. So does Martin.

And 63 games into the season, most of us know the Montreal Canadiens pretty well.

The D is long on bodies but, minus three regulars, short on talent.

Roman Hamrlik is heroic (especially when he plays 17:30, with no exhausting PK shifts), P.K. Subban is a future superstar, Hal Gill is a wily vet, Yannick Weber shows promise, James Wisniewski is a PP asset who has problems on the back end and Brent Sopel is, as advertised, a depth defenceman whose PK abilities enhance Hamrlik’s chances of making it through the season alive. 

The forwards … don’t get me started.

After getting home from the Bell Centre, I tuned in the end of the Boston-Vancouver game. Based on what I saw, here’s a news flash:

The Bruins are good.

They’re really good; and barring an epic collapse, they’re going to win the Northeast Division.

General manager Peter Chiarelli has fine-tuned his club for a deep playoff run. The addition of Tomas Kaberle shores up the Boston D, and Chris Kelly adds speed up front.

Karberle played 20 minutes, including 2:57 on the power play. Kelly’s 22 shifts included 2:45 on the PK.

Playing in his hometown, Milan Lucic scored the winning goal and added two assists. The bruiser who derailed Mike Komisarek’s career has 27 goals this season.

Could the Canadiens use a beast like Lucic, who was drafted one spot behind Ben Maxwell in 2006?

Mos’ def.

Is there a power forward who can score out there, waiting to be fleeced out of some GM by the wily Gauthier?

One two more questions:

Would a Dustin Penner, for example, make the Canadiens better than Boston? And what would be cost?

Gomez, Auld and Picard?

Done.

But what if Edmonton general manager Steve Tambellini wanted P.K. Subban or Max Pacioretty?

No way.

What if he asked for a package that included Lars Eller?

Look, I hate to ruin everyone’s Sunday. But based on what I saw at the Bell Centre and on HNIC at home last night, your Montreal Canadiens would have a very tough time winning four of seven games against Boston.

They play the Bruins at the Bell Centre March 8 and in Boston on the 24th – two chances to prove me wrong … again.

But I’ve watched this team play 62 games this season, and I haven’t seen a Cup contender.

Maybe Carey Price can pull a Jaro 2.0 in the playoffs. He certainly has the talent.

Maybe Andrei Kostitsyn can continue to flourish, freed of the shackles that playing with Scott Gomez imposes. He has the talent.

Tomas Plekanec, who was brilliant last night, has the talent. So do Mike Cammalleri and Brian Gionta.

Then it thins out.

I thought Gomez played a decent game last night, but maybe that’s because my expactations have sunk so low. He played 15:29 (to Pleks’s 22:22) and won a couple faceoffs during the Canadiens’ only power-play.

But the Bell Centre crowd is on the edge of turning Gomez into their newest bête noire. Had the Canadiens lost last night, the $8 million man would have been serenaded with a full-breezer chorus.

Benoit Pouliot is maddeningly inconsistent. Chosen one spot ahead of Carey Price in the 2005 draft, Benny  played all of eight minutes in a crucial late-season four-pointer.

Linemate David Desharnais played 11 minutes and took two penalties of the pussy-ass variety in which this team specializes. But the diminutive one was 7-3 on draws, and DD was on the PP unit that produced the winning goal.

Along with Pacioretty and Eller, Desharnais is part of the Canadiens’ future. Plekanec and Mike Cammalleri are just hitting their prime, and Brian Gionta has some miles left in the engine.

But then you get into spare parts: Jeff Halpern, Travis Moen, Tom Pyatt/Ryan White.

Again, I hate to spoil anyone’s Oscar night, but this is not a lineup that strikes fear into the hearts of the Bruins or Flyers. 

Nor, I fear, will it become one, no matter what Pierre Gauthier does tomorrow.

I’m not giving up on the season. And I reserve the right to reverse myself and fire up the bandwagon as soon as the Canadiens string a few Ws together (which they haven’t done since the beginning of the month).

But this ain’t my first rodeo.

The Canadiens just don’t have the horses … and I wouldn’t sacrifice any of the colts.

 

 

 

 

129 Comments

  1. kempie says:

    trade his hunched over baggy ass to Russia”

    Funny.

  2. EricInStL says:

    We ex parkexians must stick together somehow.

    “A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject”–Winston Churchill

  3. DLHABSNUT65 says:

    I agree with Boone, and I wouldn’t sacrifice the Colts. Many people are saying ‘ Stand Pat’, however, we don’t even know what Gautier could get for a Gomez, a Kostitsyn or et al!! I say make a move if it makes the team better! I’d love to see Markov and Wis together on the PP, or Gorges and PK together for a period of time. That isn’t likely this year however. This team has it’s share of bad luck that’s for sure. Maybe we should have a ceremony and invite the ghosts from the old Forum into the Bell centre!! Just saying!!

  4. Shiloh says:

    I read down-thread that we have to get over the ones we missed at draft time. True enough, but we have to accept what we have, at least until Monday at 3:00 pm.

    We have a good young goalie – like a lot of teams. OK, he’s big, you can build a team around him and he has the potential to be with us for a while. But – if he is still with us and playing well five years down the road we will be paying him at least Gomez dollars. We have some good young kids, some, like Subban, with the potential to be game changers. Five years down the road he will command huge dollars.

    Long term, we are looking at a team built around Price and Subban – but can that team challenge for a Stanley Cup before we lose Cammalleri, Gionta and Plekanec? That’s the only question.

    I believe to do that, Gomez must be gone – as in traded for nothing if necessary. As a player with barely the talent of a 4th-liner, he eats up too much of the team’s salary to allow us to put the pieces together for a Cup run. If he’s allowed to play out the $8 million dollar string here we’ll have a brief window, three or four years from now, to assemble a Cup-winning team, at which time Gionta, Pleks and Cammy will be 3 or 4 years older. If we can’t do it then, maybe we’ll need another 5-year rebuild – and then Price and PK may be on their last legs.

  5. jimhasbeen says:

    we play the southeast division 8 times in march.

    thats the key to the season, conquer the southeast—capture the northeast

  6. Shiloh says:

    I don’t understand why some believe that Gomez is movable. Sather hit the jackpot when Gainey bit on this guy – it won’t happen again.

  7. Ian Cobb says:

    Gorges, next year! maybe.!

  8. andrewberkshire says:

    Correction Boone: DD took one pussy ass penalty, the other one saved a sure goal and was an excellent play.


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