About last night … with audio

Price
What do you think Randy Cunneyworth will do during his summer vacation?
a) Bring the Stanley Cup to his hometown of Etobicoke
b) Learn to speak French
c) Look for a job

It comes down to probability: If a), then b).

But my money is on c)

And I hope the Canadiens’ new coach gets his CV to the Xerox copier before the general manager uses up all the paper on his resumé.

Now before the glass-half-full/never-say-die/thank God Jacques Martin is gone/Happy Days are here again segment of the Commentariat accuses me of throwing Cunneyworth under the bus after one loss, let me pre-empt their anguished bleats by acknowledging that Ken Hitchcock lost his first game behind the bench before turning the St. Louis Blues around.

And the jury is out on the other debut-droppers: John Stevens in L.A., Bruce Boudreau in Anaheim, Dale Hunter in Washington and Kirk Muller, who walked on water from Milwaukee to Carolina.

The calm postgame analysis you hear in the audio indicates Cunneyworth is a smart, articulate guy. He waited a long time to get his shot behind an NHL bench, and Cunneyworth will work his bag off to get the most out of your Montreal Canadiens.

I just don’t think there’s much to be got.

And I don’t think it was a coincidence that the loss to New Jersey was a carbon copy of what happened against Philadelphia: 3-3 tie heading into the third period, early goal by the visitors, balloon deflated, fans booing their beloved Canadiens off the Bell Centre ice.

Some of those fans and a few pundits, including my great and good friends Mitch Melnick and Tony Marinaro, had been calling for Jacques Martin’s scalp since September. Melnick’s antipathy stretches back farther, just about to the beginning of Martin’s tenure in September, 2009.

My response to them has echoed that of my greater and better friend, Pat Hickey: Coaching was not the problem.

Scotty Bowman could not squeeze more out of this edition of the Montreal Canadiens than Martin did. Neither could Toe Blake or Dick Irvin.

Martin was not blessed with the talent-laden rosters of the aforementioned legendary Canadiens coaches.

You could make a case this team is not as good as the one Guy Carbonneau coached to first-place in the Eastern Conference … before everything turned to loose-stooled effluent.

Jacques Martin had to concoct wins with a very good goaltender, a defence corps that includes two sophomores and two rookies, a few young forwards who may become good players, a pleasant UFA surprise, some underachieving veterans and spare parts that would not play for the Boston Bruins, the New York Rangers, the Philadelphia Flyers … well, I could go on, but you get the point.

And you can fill in the names.

Before Cunneyworth made his debut, I got an e-mail from Steve Kerley, who posts as 24 Cups:

Jacques Martin coached the Habs for 222 games including the playoffs.  During that time span, Andrei Markov suited up for just 60 games.  He has missed the past 115 games that Martin has been behind the Montreal bench.

You can say all you want about Martin’s firing but this factor has to be near the top of the list when it comes to reasons for Martin’s dismissal.

Here’s a ‘what if’ for you.  If the Habs had of won four of their seven OT losses, they would be 17-12-3 which is good for 37 points.  That would put them in 6th place, one point back of Pittsburgh and the Rangers.
It’s a fine line between chaos and creation.

It’s a more substantial line between acceptance of reality and the delusion – allegedly subscribed to by by Geoff Molson – that the Montreal Canadiens, as currently constituted, can contend for the Cup.
Maybe I’m wrong.
The team might win in Boston Monday night. Maybe they’ll win again in Chicago on Wednesday,  and there will be a stampede to clamber back aboard the bandwagon before the Thursday visit to Winnipeg.
There was a Perry Pearn bump, a Tomas Kaberle bump and maybe there will be a Randy Cunneyworth bump that yields a couple Ws.
There was a players-only meeting after the game, and a fly-on-the-wall probably would have heard Josh Gorges and Hal Gill exhorting their teammates to suck it up and play better, if not for Cunneyworth then for the guys in the locker beside them and for the 21,273 who pack the Bell Centre  and, this season, go home disappointed most nights.
Maybe the combination of a new coach and veteran leadership will inspire this team to play better than it has through the first 33 games.
Include me among the skeptics.
•  •  •
And while I’m annoying y’all with the pessimistic view that this ain’t the 1976 Montreal Canadiens, let me weigh in on the language issue:
I think the coach should be able to speak French.
I’ll not bore everyone with a history lesson, but trust me on this:
Much has changed in Quebec since Al MacNeil coached the Canadiens to their 17th Cup.
I wouldn’t expect anyone who doesn’t live here to understand the importance of respect for the language spoken by an overwhelming majority of the team’s fans.
Many Montrealers – including some of my best friends – don’t get it.
Yes, you can hire the best candidate for the job in 29 NHL cities.
It’s different here.
There are important political, cultural and historical issues at play.
That’s just the way it is … and that’s the way it will be, unless Gary Bettman moves the Canadiens to Las Vegas.


250 Comments

  1. andykirstein says:

    Darche!!!!
    2 points in 30 games. Double digit minutes per game.
    Need I say more.
    Isn’t that enough to satisfy the Francophone fans and media?
    Maybe we outta bring Pierre Dagenais out of retirement for the shootouts.
    If we do, maybe we can hire a coach and GM that speak “Winner” in any language.
    This franchise has become irrelevant around the league.
    This game has evolved and we have missed the boat!
    Clean house and put the right people in place once and for all.

    This has become a joke !

    • foghorn11 says:

      i concur what is going on rite now is totally unacceptable and it really doesnt matter if cunneyworth can speak frenc gautier and martin can where did it get them bring on patty roy boycot molson products until accceptable changes are made let molsons know that hab fans will not accept mediocrity

      t lett

  2. Hammer says:

    So the Habs need a French speaking coach, hmm… Is this to make sure ALL the Francophone players understand the coach , or is to appease the media. Love the media in Montreal, who wanted JM fired but then demand a coach that is bilingual and can walk on water. What candidates exist? Probably fewer than the number of goals Gomez and Cammy have scored over the past six months . Good luck, maybe they can bring back Bergeron, or Hartley to appease the masses, then once they are sick of then, they can assemble in both official languages and ask for his head.
    JM may have had flaws, but he did his best with a small sized, injury prone team that needs CP to stand on his head in order to win.

  3. MasterHab says:

    All I can say to what Mr. Boone wrote at the end of his column is that if it’s true that the Habs “must” have a French-speaking coach and GM we may as well start following NASCAR because following this team simply won’t be worth our time, effort and money.

    The way to be the best is to hire the best people. Now it’s not that I believe that the two factors (best for the job; French-speaking) are mutually exclusive, but when you limit yourself like that you will most likely NOT wind up with the best guy for the job. What you will get for the most part, is simply the next available Francophone. You might not even get the best-available one. Jacques Martin speaks French, but I’m not even so sure he’s the best Francophone coach in the league. So if the Habs can’t hire the best coach because he (whoever he is) probably doesn’t speak French, and they can’t even be trusted to hire the best French coach, we’re doomed before the puck even drops.

    Simply put, if what Boone says about political and cultural “imperatives” as they exist in Quebec are true, then Quebec really hasn’t changed all that much since Al MacNeil was around. They’re still as myopic, small-minded and xenophobic as ever. The only difference between then and now is that back in the day, the people running the Habs didn’t allow those factors to dictate their hiring, drafting or trading choices. They did what was right instead of simply what was popular. And history proves that they got it right more often than the current regime that is always looking to see which way the wind is blowing.

    But in any case, if they aren’t prepared to defy the linguistic zealots (otherwise known as disgruntled ex-Nordiques fans) and hire the best people regardless of language, then we are all wasting our time watching their crappy team fake its way through another lost season.

    The Habs didn’t gain their legions of fans all across the world simply by being a French team; they got where they are by being the best team.

  4. cotes says:

    Well when the people of quebec stop being the whiny racists that they are maybe language wont be an issue. Oh no some reporter cant talk to coach in french! Revolt! its the end of the world!

    If this exact situation happened else where in canada and we tried to complain you would all be up in arms. Personally I couldnt care less about Quebec. Separate just leave us the habs as that is the only good thing to come out of that province. Thank christ my parents moved our of Nazi Quebec when I was young!

  5. D Mex says:

    I don’t see Cunneyworth as a longer-term solution behind the bench for this franchise, and it has zip to do with language altho I do happen to believe that anyone associated with the Habs whose job description includes facing the media should be able to do it in both languages.

    It’s simpler than that : Cunneyworth isn’t a bonafide longer-term option here. He would have been better off left in Hamilton where he would probably have drawn offers as Boucher did. In a back-handed way, it’s too bad for Cunneyworth that he happened to be handy and available – oh, and affordable.

    The only thing this swaperoo does for right now is save Gauthier’s backside, and even that is short-term. It’s almost certain his weeks are numbered as well at this point and, when he goes, it seems likely Trevor Timmins won’t be far behind. Clean house / fresh slate yadda yadda : my 2 bits worth …

    ALWAYS Habs –
    D Mex

  6. andykirstein says:

    Question?
    If Jag-off Gauthier let’s Martin go yesterday, why didn’t his brain kick in 2 weeks ago and grab Muller before Carolina did?

    2nd question?
    How hard is it to build an energetic tough 4th line?
    Weber-Nokolainen-Darche
    Not even minor level!!!!!!!!!!

  7. sc says:

    Why would ur post b deleted?

  8. Does anyone know of any other team in sports that reduces the pool of potential coaches, or players for that matter, based on language or anything really?

    http://www.puckbandits.com

  9. sc says:

    Campoli. Weak signing. Don’t need him. Pp still blows. 5 on 5 is worse. Cammalleri. At the very slim chance that you’d see this post. UR PAID TO SHOOT AND SCORE. SO GET THOSE FUCKING WRISTS, SHOULDERS AND FOREARMS WORKING. DONT THINK. DON’T EVER THINK. JUST SHOOT. SHOOT. UR GETTING 6 MILLION TO SHOOT THE PUCK, IF YOU HAVENT REALIZED. YOU CAN’T DO ANYTHING ELSE

  10. sc says:

    Ya Ace… U know what ur talking about man. Good posts

  11. sc says:

    To the dude that wrote the Habs are what they are because of the language…uh.. I don’t think so bud.

  12. sc says:

    Poor randy, don’t hate on him. Hate on the idiots that let guy Boucher go

    • Ace says:

      Right on, Boucher, Muller and eve Boudreau. Cunnyworth didn’t ask to be in this position and should be given a chance by everyone. Seriously, our success depends on his success at this point!

  13. sc says:

    To everyone mentioning the communication for the fans. I say go to hell fans. You stupid losers. The coach should care about you. It’s the communication between him and the players that matters. Canada is bilingual. Therefore so is Montreal. Remember, we arent in Quebec city…

  14. sc says:

    Ya. Not that it really matters, because in the ends I think the guy that wins should be coach. I mean would French Canadians be so upset if an anglophone brought them a cup? And vice versa? I highly doubt anyone would even think about it. French or English. Whoever wins games and respect from players is what matters. Not what ignorant French canadians think. The writer on rds should be ashamed of himself. How can a person like that be allowed to publish such an unintelligent article. Focus on what matters you fool. And oh ya for the record, just to prove a point… Best Habs coaches/winners include: toe Blake, dick irving, scotty bowman.. I don’t think anyone was complaining while they brought cups to Montreal… What maybe because we had French Canadian players so that was the representation?? Fans: not Montreals fault that no French Canadian players come to mtl! They don’t want the pressure/ they lose half of their salary because of the corrupt provincial government (. Which is dominated by who again –and I’m being sarcastic….?). So wake up. Educate yourselves because you sound like utter fools.

  15. habsfan0 says:

    ” Much has changed in Quebec since Al MacNeil coached the Canadiens to their 17th Cup.” Yes..Much has changed in Quebec since May 18,1971…2 referendums..losing the Montreal Expos..an exodus of people(not all anglophone) out of the province..pot holed infested roads which would probably make driving on the surface of the moon a pleasure in comparison..crumbling infrastructure which has cost several people their lives..and of course corruption at all levels of government which arguably has increased since that day at Chicago Stadium when Henri Richard scored the tying and Cup winning goals against Tony Esposito.

    But the more things change..the more they remain the same…plus ca change..if someone can show me that there is a correlation between the language a coach speaks and the results obtained on the field of play..I’d like to see this study. As long as the coach’s players understand him..and respond to him by winning championships…NOTHING is more important than that in professional sports.

    Soccer teams in Europe and elsewhere regularly hire coaches who cannot speak the language of the majority in that particular country because the ONLY criteria that is judged to be important in hiring these individuals is :”Can this person produce on the soccer pitch?” The language spoken by him or her isn’t even on the radar screen.

    The most revered coach in the NFL was Vince Lombardi, who will have the trophy named after him competed for every year at the Super Bowl.
    Lombardi coined the well known phrase about the importance of winning:

    “Winning isn’t everything.
    It’s the ONLY thing.”

    I wonder if history would have judged him differently if he had said:

    “Winning isn’t everything.
    Speaking Italian is.”

  16. HabsFansince49 says:

    Please give RC a chance. Getting rid of Martin was a move in the right direction.

  17. keepthefaith says:

    One word. Translator.

  18. JERM says:

    Boone,
    Get off you high horse and cut out the crap about people living outside of Quebec not expected to understand the importance and respect for the language. I don’t live in Quebec, but I have a very deep appreciation and respect for the culture of Montreal and the province of Quebec. I fully understand how the language is a big part of that. I live in Toronto and one of the reasons I follow this team (and not the Leafs) with a passion is that I love the atmosphere, the history, and the tradition that defines this organization. The Montreal Canadiens are what they are because of the Language, because of the people of Montreal, and because of the culture. I don’t need to live there to understand that. Having said that, YOU CAN HIRE THE BEST CANDIDATE even one that does not speak French. You know why? because in our modern times, the organization can make it a point to include in his contract that he MUST LEARN TO SPEAK FRENCH. If they refuse to then they are not hired, period. At the end of the day, I want to see this team employ the best individuals that give them a chance to win or seriously compete for the cup every year. The greatest respect they can show ALL their fans, Quebecois or not, is that they are serious about keeping the legacy and tradition of this team alive and to strive to achieve greatness all the time. That does not mean that the language has to be sacrificed, what it may mean is that the media have to be a little patient while the coach learns the language.

  19. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    The Montreal Canadiens, like every team in the NHL, are a hockey entertainment franchise. They are a business, run to make money for their owners. When we buy merchandise and pay for tickets, we are supporting a hockey team on the ice, but we are also supporting ownership and shareholders who may not even care about the blessed game.
    If the coach, a strategist, motivator and entertainer, is unable to provide adequate sound bites for the huge majority of those who spend to support the franchise, then he is a business liability. The team should win because that entertains fans and sells products. So you need a coach who can get the most out of his players.
    There’s little entertainment value in rolling out a coach who can’t directly appeal to the French speaking fan base of the team. Press conferences, after game scrums etc are a big part of selling the product. Anglophone Montreal is a crappy little town the size of Ottawa. The big city speaks French.
    If you can’t speak French, you can only do part of the job.

    • Ace says:

      And if you can’t coach worth a damn but are fluent in French you can do even less of the job. Explain to me why the fans and media are not in an uproar over an American born Captain who speaks no french? Or the fact that currently 3 of the 22 player roster are French Canadians??? I have to believe French fans and media would be happy with a skilled winning coach even if he spoke Swahili!!!

  20. Ace says:

    Yep, absolutely critical to have a French speaking coach. I mean with a team who has a whopping THREE French Canadian players on the roster (2 who are a blink away from Hamilton IMO). Let’s remember the 18 Stanley Cups that were won by those great French Canadian coaches Irvin, Blake & Bowman. I was born and grew up in Montreal and the West Island and I for one find this language BS well past boring. PICK THE BEST COACH FOR THE JOB! Pick a guy who gets the most out of the players and inspires them to win. Or pick a guy solely on his ability to give the looney French media sound clips and suck up another 4 decades of mediocrity.

  21. habitual says:

    24Cups is correct about the absence of Markov making a difference this year, but follow the logic: how did the team do so well in the two previous years without him?

    It’s never one thing. The gain we got from emerging forwards like MaxPac and DD, and the acquisition of Cole, has been offset by the collective collapse of Gionta, Cammalleri, You Know Who, and Pleks. Our best paid players are not our best players. And it shows up on the PP, so it shows up in the standings.

    Hold on to hope, but envelop it in reality: we aren’t going to make the playoffs this year.

    • Strummer says:

      How’d the team do so well the 2 previous seasons sans Markov?

      Halak, Hammer, Sopel, Halpern, Moore, Gill with less mileage, Cammy and Gio before they took too much pounding, Pleks before Gio/Cammy dragged him down to their level, 1/2 of a Gomez, ______________________________________________________

  22. ont fan says:

    The coach will be hired by the new GM. The new GM will recreate this team. It won’t be this season. They will be french speaking The new GM won’t be Jim Nill. To bad

  23. ZepFan2 says:

    “Yes, you can hire the best candidate for the job in 29 NHL cities.
    It’s different here.”

    Bye-bye Stanley cup. It was nice knowing you all those years ago.

    ———————————————————————-
    Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Headshot League.

    • habitual says:

      Does anyone think that any of the other Canadian NHL franchises would hire a coach who couldn’t speak English?

      So, this is a topic of discussion because?

      • mdp2011 says:

        That’s has to be the dumbest argument that I keep hearing, it’s not the same. The reason why the other Canadian teams would not hire a French, russian, spanish only speaking coach, is because the coach needs to be able communicate with the players, kinda hard if the coach doesn’t speak English don’t you think?

      • ZepFan2 says:

        All I’m saying is, you/me would like to see the Habs win the Stanley cup, no?

        If you can hire the BEST you should. Like the Als did with Marc Trestman.

        This is sports. Politics should be left out of it.
        ———————————————————————-
        Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Headshot League.

        • habitual says:

          Of course I want to see the Habs win. But the reality about language is what it is.

          And mdp2011, the point is not the communication with the players, it is with the fans of the Habs in their own province, most of whom speak French first. I thought that would have been obvious …

          • ZepFan2 says:

            “the point is not the communication with the players, it is with the fans of the Habs in their own province”

            That’s weird. The Als hired an Anglo and won. I didn’t really hear too much whining about language then.

            Until they (the fans) are willing to accept the best coach/GM, regardless of their language, forget about winning the cup. Every other team has leverage against us when it comes to hiring the BEST!

            Politics should be left out of sports!
            ———————————————————————-
            Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Headshot League.

  24. Led says:

    I think criticisms of the defense are unwarranted. This team is 5th in the least amount of shots against per game. By comparison Boston is 25th. It’s rarely a “fire drill” in our end. Unfortunately, it seems that every mistake we do make ends up in our net.

    So I’ll state the obvious and say that our problem is a lack of scoring. A great starting point would be for Mike Cammaleri to start hitting the net. He’s probably pressing himself to beat the goalie everytime when in fact we could be better served by cashing in on some rebounds.

    100% of the shots that miss the net won’t go in.

    I thought last nights game was pretty entertaining until the 3rd period. There seemed to be an increased effort to forecheck and score. Unfortuntely New Jersey played brilliantly with the lead and they shut us down. Sometimes you gotta give credit where it’s due.

  25. Strummer says:

    A lot of whinging caused by 1 game.

    Lets look at the NJ’s final 3 goals:

    3rd goal by Clarkson- bad line change- not part of the plan

    4th goal- Campoli Ice Follies- not part of the plan

    5th goal- bad line change.

    2 of these goals were caused by fixable bench/communication errors
    Campoli’s- he thought he was Bobby Orr for split second- he’ll learn as per RC
    ______________________________________________________

  26. alestar says:

    Can’t say I expected a different result, Coach Cunneyworth will need some time to put his stamp on the team.

    Martin’s theory that the losses are the result of young players making errors? Campoli looked BRUTAL on that give-away that led to the GWG…he’s supposed to be one of our veterans.

    I hope RC sits Cammy down and reminds him of what is expected of him, he looks completely dis-interested on the ice…its bordering on embarrassing.

    Things will either turn around in the new year or we will be sellers at the trade dead-line…

    XXIV…and counting

  27. athanor says:

    Fine, Mike, the head coach should be able to speak French.

    But does he have to be able to speak it from Day One? All I would ask for is that he be willing to start taking lessons and show some ability after a month or two to string a couple of thoughts together, if only poorly. If a previous commenter’s take is accurate, that would satisfy a large number, if not most, of the fans.

    That piece yesterday by Philippe Cantin was insanely bigoted. An insult to francophone fans, indeed! It was also astonishingly provincial. Perhaps a more astute PR move would have been to have Cunneyworth say a canned apology for not speaking French yet, but to take that lack as an affront is laughably sensitive.

  28. LafleurFan says:

    Feelings are almost as low as they were in October after the 1-5-1 start. I recall thinking that a way for a passionate Habs fan to enjoy this season would be in the “small” sucesses such as the continue rise in CP’s skills, along with those of PK, Max Pac, and I wish it was accurate to include Lars, but he’s in a lower category.

    Enough winning, especially against the loathesome Bruins, or the Broadstreet Bullies, was and will be enjoyable. But to delude oneself into thinking this can be a championship team is to set oneself up for major disappointment and the anger that many of you feel.

    Cole’s play and productivity makes him the sweetest FA (joke) signing of all the highest paid on the team. I thought he received only a lukewarm welcome. Gionta tries like crazy. Camalleri is in a funk. Gomez is Gomez.

    A major trade such as the one’s that brought Pierre Larouche, or Pierre Turgeon, or Vincent Damphousse would be uplifting, so here’s hoping.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  29. HankHardball says:

    Many people seem to want Geoff Molson to replace Gauthier also. But GM’s don’t usually get replaced before being allowed to pick their own coach. Even though people tie Martin to Gauthier, Martin was actually a Gainey choice.

    Whether it’s Cunneyworth or someone else, Gauthier will get the chance to name his own coach who will get at least 2 or 3 years to try to do something with the team. So I think Gauthier remains for at least 2 more years.

  30. HankHardball says:

    Regardless of any evaluation of the talent Cunneyworth has to work with, I think it’s safe to say they have the potential to achieve significantly better results than what they’ve shown so far this season. Considering what they achieved last year and the fact that, on paper, they should be a better team this year. So that should be a good thing for a new coach.

    Obviously Cunneyworth’s job security isn’t dependant on him bringing the Cup home to Etobicoke this season. But if he can get beyond the 1st round, I think Gauthier will have no choice but to remove the term “interim” from his job title. Needless to say, that’s a major mountain to climb. But I think anything less won’t be good enough for Cunneyworth not to be replaced at the end of this season.

  31. DorvalTony says:

    The St. Jean Baptiste Society doesn’t own the Canadiens, the Molsons do. They owned them before. Remember Frank Selke, Toe Blake, Sam Pollack, Scotty Bowman? You’d rather have Jean Perron and Michel Therien? Ignore the mild din from the separatists. The average fan (of all backgrounds) just wants to win.

    ——————————–
    ‎”Bill 101 is garbage.” – Ted Tilden

  32. Indiansrugby says:

    Folks. Nice to see you. Long time reader, first time commenter. I’m with Melnick. But my beef is with the language issue, and don’t give me this you gotta live here to understand stuff. First off, it’s an old paradigm. Paradigms do and must shift. And the Canadiens are in need of a serious shift. Excellence can not be hamstrung by arbitrary and nebulous qualifiers like “culture” and “history.” Honouring and respecting French is a no-brainer and language must be treated as a critical component of how the Canadiens do their business. Nothing says, however, that it must be the head coach – especially if it opens the door to the best coaches in the league. As long as the coaching staff is accountable to the French media, with Cunneyworth providing answers, and his staff translating, that is a strong service standard. Now, is Cunneyworth the answer? I don’t know. But I do know the organization won’t go anywhere if held to a dated standard whose merits are dubious at best, and can only be considered detrimental based on the past generation of results.

  33. Led says:

    Not too long ago this group was repeatedly praised for their hard work and compete levels. Now they’re a bunch of stiffs who even the best coach of all time couldn’t get more out of.

    Which is it?

    No wonder this place is so bi-polar.

    How about giving the new guy at least a few games before we start asking for his replacement.

  34. Habsbill24 says:

    I understand the whole French speaking coach thing but I do want to point out that in soccer, arguably the most popular sport in the world, it is common for 1st division club teams and even national teams to hire a coach who cannot speak the native language of the team in question. They staple a translator to his side and move on. There they obviously value winning more than language. They would rather have a translator explaining a win rather than a native speaker apologizing for a loss. Isn’t it time for the Habs to move on with this issue?

  35. geo_habsgo says:

    To suggest that this game was almost identical to the Philly game based on the score is comparing apples to oranges. The Philly game was ours to lose. We had a lead that we sat on and we let them back into the game to steal the rug from under our feet.

    In last nights game there was very much a North-South feel to the game where at least for the first two periods it looked to be anyones game. We lost a lead but it was never a comfortable lead and we lost the lead while CONTINUING to skate and trying keep the pressure up. During the Philly game we lost because we stopped trying to apply pressure.

    Lets give Cunneyworth some time to gel with his new team. Did anyone expect something better from last nights game? There were so many positives aka the play of Eller, Leblanc getting healthy time for a green rookie, and the team looking engaged in all zones. This was a team that was transformed in 4 hours and will need to get used to their new coach, a new system and rediscover their swag. All is not lost.

    Mr. Boone, last season your “Quick Hits” and “About Last Nights” were insightful, asked good questions, and gave a humorous look into the previous nights action. This season, it is almost always reactionary, dramatic and seemingly designed to pander to the commentariot’s insecurities if only to get more traffic. Why? You’re better than that and you’ve proven it over the last few years through this site.

    • athanor says:

      You’re right. It was disappointing to fall apart in the third, but there was actually a fair amount to be happy about.

    • jmsheehy19 says:

      Completely agree. I came here years ago and used to love Boone’s About Last Night’s, but they seem as reactionary as some of the commentators here who post the same doom and gloom post slightly reworded 20 times a day. Boone is better than that, and I’m hoping for a return to form.


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