About last night … with audio

HabsBench
You look at the final score: 3-2 against one of the hottest teams in the NHL.
You look at the shots: 35-31 against the aforementioned juggernaut, right in their own barn.
A loss is a loss, but maybe the Canadiens and their fans should take solace from those numbers.
Ah, maybe not …

AUDIO: Tomas Plekanec I and II | Carey Price | David Desharnais | P.K. Subban

Randy Cunneyworth said his team lost because of “individual mistakes at the wrong times.”

The coach declined to name names, but the screw-ups were so egregious they were obvious to anyone watching the game.

In case you missed it, Travis Moen turned the puck over at the Canadiens blue line with his team trailing 2-1 in the third period. Patrice Bergeron pounced on it, and with all the Canadiens heading up ice, Brad Marchand was able to scoot in alone on Carey Price for the goal that proved to be the winner.

But let’s cut Moen a bit of slack here. He’s a fourth-line forward who had to play as a Top Six against the Bruins. The guy works his ass off and doesn’t make many mistakes.

But the player whose screw-ups produced the first two Boston goals? He’s another story.

I’ve defended P.K. Subban in previous editions of ALN. Under Jacques Martin, a 22-year-old sophomore defenceman was playing more minutes, in all situations, than anyone else on the team.

But I’ve come around to the opinion of P.K.’s critics – including former Canadiens coach Michel Therrien, who was on L’Antichambre after the game.

Subban is not maturing, Therrien said. His concentration is off. He’s making too many mistakes.

To illustrate, Gaston Therrien had video of the first two Boston goals:

• On the first, P.K. made a bad pass that Michael Blunden couldn’t handle. The ensuing mess forced the Canadiens to ice the puck.

With a tired fourth line forced to stay on, Claude Julien came back with Rich Peverley, who won the faceoff, skipped past Petteri Nokelainen and fed Benoit Pouliot looking at a wide-open net.

• The second Boston gaol was worse. P.K., under no pressure behind the Canadiens’ net, attempted a backhand pass so fancy he had to lift his skate to do it. Andrew Ference pinched past Louis Labelanc, pounced on the loose puck and ticked one in off David Krejci.

Subban’s pass, Therrien said, was “not a play you make in the National Hockey League.”

P.K.’s lackadaisical play forced Cunneyworth to juggle his defence pairings: Raphael Diaz joined Josh Gorges on the top unit, with Subban dropping down to join Hal Gill.

Was the loss all on Subban, then?

Of course not. But his struggles are symptomatic of the ills that afflict too many members of the team.

Despite the heroism of Carey Price – it would have been 6-2 without him in Boston – mistakes tend to end up in back of the Canadiens’net.

It’s demoralizing. And a team that has trouble scoring can’t afford to give up gift goals.

Positive signs?

• A good third-period, highlighted by a late goal and pressure in the dying seconds

• Only two minor penalties – and an impressive long kill by the PK unit – in a game that scarecely resembled the usual Canadiens-Bruins wars. maybe it’s because Milan Lucic wasn’t playing.

• Signs of life from the Tomas Plekanec line. But it’s been this kind of season for the Canadiens: David Desharnais was 2-13 on faceoffs and his line had an off-night. It seems impossible for this team to have six top forwards all playing well for 60 minutes.

• The fourth line was probably the Canadiens’ best. What does that tell you?

It tells you the team is in trouble.

And while it seems he’s been able to light a fire under Michael Blunden, I don’t know if Randy Cunneyworth can turn things around.

Cunneyworth is a good man and a good coach, universally respected by everyone in hockey.

But Geoff Molson’s statement on Monday – issued 48 hours after the change, as the owner attempted to stamp out a language forest fire – seems to pin a lame duck’s wings on his head coach.

Since being appointed on Saturday, Cunneyworth has had two morning skates to work with his players.

That isn’t much time to put in a new system … even if Cunneyworth were inclined to do so.

He was Jacques Martin’s assistant. Cunneyworth was responsible for the power play, which was 0-for-2 and is 28th in the NHL.

On Wednesday, the Canadiens will be in Chicago, playing a Blackhawks team on the second night of a back-to-back.

That should be an advantage … and it better be, against a team that leads the Western Conference and, like Boston, has scored 111 goals this season.

That’s 24 more than your 12th-place Montreal Canadiens.

At the end of L’Antichambre, they were looking past this season.

François Gagnon was nominating Vincent Damphousse as the Canadiens’ next general manager and wishing him luck in dealing with coach Patrick Roy.

We’ll hear a lot of  that over the next 48 games, and the only thing that might quell rampant speculation is a hot Canadiens team embarking on a winning streak that propels them northward in the Eastern Conference standings.

Anyone foresee that happening?

258 Comments

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  2. filmnoir2012 says:

    Why don’t they play Alexei Emelin at least the Bruins will be punished if they go to his side of the ice (he should be playing the left side so move Kaberle to the right).

  3. foghorn11 says:

    bring back chris nilaqn to take care of business

    t lett

  4. 42 says:

    This whole language fiasco is thoroughly embarrassing, and a grave insult to Cunneyworth. I was optimistic that Montreal had turned the tide and had once again become a desirable destination for free agents with their recent signings and the good public endorsements they provided, but alas, this insanely neurotic behaviour will cause the Habs, and all of its fans, lots of misery. Good luck attracting, and keeping, free agents. The Québec media and its politicians should hang their heads in shame for embarrassing the whole province like this.

    I say this as a French Canadian.

    Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. ~ Carl Sagan

    • SPATS says:

      I too am disappointed for guys like Gio, Cammy and Cole. They haven’t experienced this nasty side until now. I’ll bet they’re having second thoughts too.

      OOH AAH – HABS ON THE WARPATH!

    • foghorn11 says:

      paddy roy will breing enthusiasim and intensity behind the bench last nite who in a haqbs uniform played with intensity on two shifts during the third period the bruins with some of there actions were making a mockery of the habs this is totally unacceptable and they took it i just dont understand and it is time for pk to sit a few games and adjust his thinking he is not paul coffey he is pk suban and should start playing like pk suban

      t lett

  5. Macnab says:

    Wow the rest of the hockey world must be screwed up, other countries would jump at the chance to get a Canadian coach, they use translators, there are Canadian coaches in Japan, Germany, but in Quebec, no, they have to speak French, World football (soccer) top teams use coaches from other countries and yes they have media scrums with translators. I have been a Habs fan for 54 years, I dont care who scores the goals, I want a winning hockey team, I don’t care if the coach spoke mandarin, give the fans a winning team. Toe Blake, what would he do, trop mauvais, c’est à prendre ou laisser.

    • Cookies says:

      I haven’t really researched that, but I hope you’re right. And if so, it just goes to show that the language barrier is more of a personal affair rather than a sportsmanship one.

      Notre langue ne va pas disparaître. Au contraire, cela grandirait et deviendra de plus en plus apprécié, respecté et renommé si elle projetait l’ouverture d’esprit à des possibilités hors de nos frontières.

  6. The HonestFan says:

    Sad!!!!! Nothing else to say . We get our toys stolen and
    We don’t support our coach..

  7. ont fan says:

    when Marc Crawford was hired by the Nordique was there this much trouble

  8. parkex says:

    Forget about a Quebec City team. Just bring back the Montreal Maroons & hire the Best Available Coach, Period.
    Then the rivalry will truly be renewed.

  9. parkex says:

    Thank God Greece was not so insecure when they hired Otto Rehhagel, a unilingual German, as coach of the National Team & they went on to win Euro 2004. Hope new Portuguese coach does as well next summer.

  10. ricklamothe says:

    Ill tell you all the reason we lost last night!!

    Matt Darche had more ice time than Cole, Eller and Kostitsyn. That is just retrarded on so many levels.

    And i dont wanna hear that they were our best line, look at who they have to outskate, shanw thornon and hamill.

    Until they start playing there best players then they wont win, bottom line. Pk and Jorges should eat 25 minutes a night with that rag tag defence and Emilin shoulod be in with Campoli in the press box.

  11. pottymonster says:

    They talk about needing a french coach to communicate with the fans as if all the fans are french. its insulting to me as an anglophone fan in montreal to be told that someone english can’t coach the canadiens. i should take it up with a human rights commission since that’s what everybody is about these days.

    i mean, if the coach was black, would people be having this debate? the majority of fans are white, so the coach should be white? sounds kinda racist to me. but then again, we here in quebec are all about institutionalized bigotry.

    as for cunneyworth, no i don’t think he’s the best person for the job. i’m not gonna argue with anybody and say we should take him on full time. this is a pretty standard practice around the nhl throughout the years: fire the coach, replace him with his assistant. The assistants already knows the players and staff and can provide continuity. this is a move until the end of the season when yes, the positions should be re-evaluted.

    i figure there’s gonna be a house cleaning this summer, if there isn’t then theres something wrong. it’s clearly time for a new start, so come april when we miss the playoffs, out with the old and in with the new. GM, coach, staff… replaced. the ones we have now didn’t get us there, so you replace them.

    it’s kinda disappointing though, i think we have better team then is showing.

  12. sc says:

    Ya dick ad Danny. Let’s see if these ignorant francophones know just how many of our 24 cups were brought in by those names you mention. Idiots. They should do some homework

  13. wall2bay says:

    Geoff Molson and the Habs need to understand that they are bigger than any political party and/or separatist movement!

    Give all those separatist people the finger because the MOST important thing that the majority of fans care about is WINNING….period! It solves all your problems!!!

    Those folks who have a problem with not having a french coach will get over it and quiet down sooner or later as they have done with having an American owner, a non-franco speaking captain and team without a franco superstar!

    Al Davis said it best…..”Just Win, Baby”!

  14. zak says:

    Hockey is a sport, therfore a game, Leave the politics out of the sport. If you want to play political games join a political party.

    Hire the best regardless of language

  15. sulham44 says:

    Time for some reality. This team was never going to win a Cup and we’ve been middling in mediocrity purgatory for years now. As an organization the Habs have been woefully short sighted measuring success as an 8th seed playoff birth typically a point away from an early summer. The Kaberle trade being a perfect example. That is not a cup contender’s move. It is a desperate ownership move. Have some vision folks! There is serious talent coming our way in 2-3 years as evidenced by the junior rosters and there is some young talent on the current NHL roster that must be kept. We can’t continue to hamstring our future for limited success in the present. Let’s target success in 2-3 years by supplementing our current young talent with one or two top 5 picks in the next two drafts. Unload the cap hits. In the cap era just ridding your team of salary burdens is enough of a return. I would much rather watch/look for success on the horizon with developing youth then continue to view the inevitable mediocrity year in and year out which comes with the current stop gap strategy.

  16. Arrow77 says:

    P.K. shouldn’t have played this game. He was sick and is having an off-year.

  17. Lafrich says:

    Language debate aside, anyone else notice that the Bruins’ second goal, y’know the one PK blew big time, was OFF SIDE!

    • HotHabs says:

      no it wasn’t

      • Lafrich says:

        Ha. Would you like to put down a bet for any amount you choose? Do you think I am just ranting? I watched the replay, and paused it when Tyler Seguin had both skates fully in the offensive zone before he gained control of the puck that was clearly following him over the line. It was a clear miss by the officials. The offside rush didn’t directly result in the goal, but it resulted in them gaining the blueline.

  18. ont fan says:

    Mattyleg has a point. The rest of the country doesn’t care what the coach and GM say in their press conferences. We are surprised Quebecers do. When any teams management speaks or even the players do, most people think it’s hot air. I understand how you must have been treated since my parents were immigrants when they came to Ontario. That was part of being a Canadiens fan. Now as a second generation Canadian I have moved on where my parents had a hard time doing. You must see where your hard line puts the rest of the Habs fans in a sad place.

    • Chris says:

      The rest of the country doesn’t care what the coach and GM say in their English press conferences.

      Is it really such a radical leap to ask whether Quebecers care that much more what is said by the coach and GM in their French press conferences?

      Do people actually listen to “well, we worked hard out there but our special teams didn’t come through tonight” or “Well, we worked hard out there and were lucky to have our special teams come through tonight”?

      I’m just curious as to how many people actually listen to interviews or press conferences. If that number is pitifully low, isn’t this whole exercise just self-flagellation about something that ranks quite low for the vast majority of the French- or English-speaking populations?

    • bleedhabs81 says:

      +1 to the statement about putting habs fans in a sad place. This is how I feel. I want the best for the team and do not care what language the “best” is (be it player, coach, gm).

      However, the Canadiens are more than a hockey team to the province of Quebec…. so much so, I do not fully understand.

  19. bleedhabs81 says:

    Yesterday I posted that I didn’t care if the coach spoke yiddish, english, french, or gibberish.

    I went home and reflected on this while blasting my pectorials and watching the hockey game (at the same time). Maybe I was wrong. Maybe it is not about winning. I think it should be, but then again, I am not a francophone. I am english, born near Toronto, and the only reason I like the Canadiens is because I saw them kick the leafs ass when I four (pretty die hard ever since).

    I am not sensitive to the issues of francophones. I am curious about the sovereignty debate and why it exists. Personally I think Quebec is better in Canada (Those who disagree should really look at the implications when it comes to financial and social implications. For one thing, Alberta will not be handing over equalization money to a sovereign nation)… however, this is an entirely different debate

    Times have changed, or so I think. However, that does not mean I am right in saying the coach can speak whatever as long as the team wins. This team has more history and backstory for everyone who grew up in Quebec than I can possibly understand from my vantage point in English Canada.

    I wish there was not a language issue and I truely feel it doesn’t matter, but I don’t feel oppressed or threatened when it comes to my native language.

    I see Mattyleg has attempted to explain the rational. I think I will spend some time reading his posts in order to better educate myself.

  20. DorvalTony says:

    Geoff Molson’s running scared, he’s cut off Cunneyworth’s legs and killed the season. He’s become part of the problem. I always thought he should have cleaned house when he assumed ownership instead he’s been a go-slow ultra conservative Gainey-coddling owner. Last off season he again had the opportunity to start fresh but refused. Then the Pearn and Martin firings, now impending bedlam with Gainey and Gauthier still at the helm. Very disappointing. Now the French Fear Factor. Pierre Boivin squatted and left a plum in the elevator that is stinking up the whole building. I don’t believe the average French Canadian would rather lose in French than win in English but the separatist French press does. Craziness. If Geoff Molson has Ted Tilden’s balls…but no.

  21. PrimeTime says:

    @Mattyleg. I have read your posts here for awhile and you are one of the few who’s opinions I have respected. But when it comes to Les habitants or Les Canadiens I still, and will always, view the Club as The Montreal Canadiens….yes that is with an ‘e’. I accept that hockey is part of Canada’s “culture”…..not Quebec’s. That’s the difference.

    • sevenman says:

      The building is full and the fans haven’t kept away as the team has gradually over the years moved to only three francophone players. If the fans don’t really care that the vast majority of players are non-french, they certainly won’t care about the coaching staff. Winning, if or when it starts to happen is enough to keep most people happy.

  22. Old Bald Bird says:

    Am I the only one who sees irony in holding the Habs up as a French cultural icon, as if no other fan has merit, on an English site?

  23. Chris says:

    Out of curiousity, how many people here actually watched Jacques Martin’s press conferences? I haven’t clicked on a single interview link in 2 or 3 years because I quite frankly don’t care to hear the same questions with the same answers.

    This isn’t a shot at the media. There are pretty well-prescribed things to ask sports coaches. And the coaches have pretty canned answers. So the whole exercise is pointless.

    I don’t know how many of you actually watch these interviews, but it might be a telling statistic. If the people on this website, as rabid of hockey fans as you will ever find, can’t be bothered to watch the coach’s press conferences, than who the heck is doing so aside from the media? And if the media can translate the answers in their reports, what is the big hullabaloo about?

    French, English, Russian, Swedish, male, female…I honestly couldn’t care less. Two factors need to be in play; can the coach communicate with the players effectively and can the coach be innovative enough to implement a system that fits the players he or she has at their disposal.

    Think outside the box. If Cunneyworth is a good coach (and all reports suggest he is…the young players loved him in Hamilton, and he was a coach of the year with Rochester in 2004-05), then stick with him. If not, then consider EVERYBODY. Look at the French-speaking coaches and look at the English-speaking coaches. Look at some of the Russian coaches…I personally believe that Igor Larionov would make an absolutely brilliant hockey coach given how intelligently he played the game of hockey. But perhaps not. Regardless, the Russian system is full of excellent hockey coaches, as are the Swedish, Czech and Finnish systems.

    This bilingual requirement is silly and self-defeating if it requires that we overlook better candidates for somebody who is bilingual. We’re not talking a public servant, somebody working in an essential service that should serve the right of the public to unambiguous communication with the federal or provincial government that serves them. We’re talking about a freaking hockey coach, and this whole debate is beyond silly, and yet people will ask why players might not want any part of Montreal. Hmm, I wonder…

    • The Cat says:

      Here is my impression of JM in the press conference. I think hes said this paragraph a million times…”Je suis désappointé pour les joueurs. On a bien competionné mais au bout la ligne, ce sont les unités speciales qui on fait la difference.”

      [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  24. habfan53 says:

    I really hope that Pheonix or the Islanders get to Quebec City FAST. The Montreal can get back to winning THE CUP again.
    When Quebec had the Nordiques they were the team of the People a french coach, french players (with a smattering of Czechs ). And Montreal had a winner .
    Yes the last two cups were won be “FRENCH” coaches(Perron and Demers) but the 20 previous ones were won by Engligh coaches with English General Managers .

    Bowman was not bilingual when he got here from St-Louis he spoke some having grown up in Verdun but more importantly
    he was TRAINED in the Canadiens system.

    I understand that Gauthier wants to save his job but he did himsel no favours by promoting Cunnyworth, arguably the best coach out there right now is Randy Carlisle OOOPPPS another ANGLOPHONE
    In my opinion the best coach for Montreal who does speak french is Denis Savard.
    to paraphrase Nixon: If the Bruins do it, it is not illegal

  25. Mattyleg says:

    Reading this forum, I have to wonder why certain people support this team that they understand so very little about.

    It makes me think of Canadians who ‘support’ NFL teams. Just pick a team, and support them, without understanding the city, the background of the team, the history, the place in the culture of where they are from…

    Unfortunately, a lot of the stupid things that people have been saying on here reflect very poorly on Canadian Anglophones. I understand that not everyone thinks this way, but sitting back and saying “What is important to you is not important to me, and therefore should not be important to anyone,” and ridiculing and deriding people who disagree in tones of thinly veiled intolerance does not show them in a very good light.

    This is also a disappointing reflection of the ‘me’ culture that is so prevalent today, in which people’s own interests and opinions (regardless of how half-baked they might be) take complete precedence over everything else, and especially over considerations of others.

    Sad sad sad.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • PrimeTime says:

      Excellent post! Now insert “Francophone” where you have “Anglophone” and it’s the same message from the other point of view.. Which is why language should be a non issue in selecting a coach.

      PS – Many Hab fans, such as myself, grewup in MTL and are well aware of the history. I didn’t learn it from “The Rocket” like so many Patrick Roy era fans.

      • Mattyleg says:

        You don’t get it.
        Or perhaps you don’t want to get it.
        Equally disappointing, and from a Montreal Anglophone, even moreso.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • PrimeTime says:

          It would be an interesting discussion but in the end we would agree to disagree. I respect peoples cultures but it has no place in Sports. The French do not have “cultural dips” on the Habs….they belong to all fans!

          • Mattyleg says:

            Rgh.
            It’s frustrating that you can’t see cultural significance in sports. Look at how countries (like Brazil) base much of their national culture around sports. There are many many other examples…

            Francophones do kind of have ‘cultural dibs’ on the Habs. They are ‘Les Habitants’ after all, and Les Canadiens (not Canadians).

            As long as the respect for other peoples’ cultures come across in your posts, that’s fine.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Mike Boone says:

      I agree with Mattyleg. And I urge the HIO Commentariat to read Henry Aubin’s column in The Gazette: http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Aubin+Anglo+coach+gesture+contempt/5884550/story.html

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger
      Gazette City columnist
      mboone@montrealgazette.com

      • Chris says:

        I read it, and quite frankly couldn’t disagree more.

        People around the world have been making do very well without having to worry about such things. This is a Quebec issue, an insecurity that I had hoped we would eventually overcome.

        My family is Danish. How in the heavens did a country of 5.5 million people manage to preserve a rich cultural identity and unique language while sitting on top of Germany, the country with the largest economy and population in Europe? How did they manage to preserve their language and ability to produce art, music and literature when the languages of business in Europe are French, English and German?

        The Danish national soccer team is every bit the cultural icon in Denmark that the Montreal Canadiens are in Quebec. Yet the Danes were comfortable enough to hire a German (Sepp Piontek) to coach their national team for 11 years, a time that produced a team that most Danes and Danish expats still cherish to this day (the “Danish Dynamite” team of the mid 1980’s). In the mid- to late-1990’s, the Danish team was coached by a Swede.

        Now, the difference might be that pretty much every Dane is fluent in English, German and Danish by the time they reach their teenage years (funny that they can preserve their language while still teaching their children the languages that might be perceived as the biggest threats to Danish…). Instead of asking why the Montreal Canadiens might hire an anglophone coach once in a while, maybe the question is why there are STILL people growing up in Canada as unilingual. If the Quebec government wants to fight a cultural battle, that might be a more useful engagement point that useless navel-gazing over the coach of a professional sports team, whether it be culturally important or not.

        Like my Danish ancestors, the people of Quebec have a long and storied history. I don’t think the presence of an anglophone hockey coach for the 2-5 year average liftetime of an NHL coach is going to unduly damage something that has centuries of foundation. If it could, then I am afraid that I have to question whether something so insecure is worth the trouble of protecting, because there are far greater pressures out there than an anglophone hockey coach.

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          I also find the recent uproar unseemly, but I disagree that the Danish soccer team is the equivalent of the Canadiens.

          Peter Schmeichel and Michael Laudrup are not to the Danes what Patrick Roy and Maurice Richard are to Quebeckers. And Denmark does not have a soccer tradition the way Brazil, Italy and England have (and note the uproar the first time England appointed a non-Englishman).

          Also, Europe is different. Denmark maintained its identity over the centuries by having almost no immigration. And now that it has immigration it has a rightwing party that is openly anti-immigrant getting double digit percentage of the vote.

          • Chris says:

            Regarding the comment about soccer tradition in Denmark, I have to disagree. The sole reason we don’t equate the soccer traditions of a country like Denmark to those of Germany, England, Spain, Brazil or Italy is population. Nonetheless, it is very improbable that a country with a population that is less than the largest city in each of the countries you mention could field a team that would consistently compete with those countries on the international stage (Denmark was as high as 3rd in the world in 1997) if they didn’t have a strong soccer tradition. Soccer is pretty much the only professional team sport in Denmark, unlike Quebec where the population’s loyalties are unequally split between hockey, soccer, football, baseball and basketball.

            I also think you are overstating the cultural import of Patrick Roy. He was a great hockey player who captured the imagination of
            Quebec fans because of his personality and ability to win. That he played so much of his career in Quebec gave him a leg up over guys like Schmeichel (Manchester United) or Laudrup (Juventus, Barcelona, Real Madrid) who achieved their club stardom in foreign countries. Nonetheless, Peter Schmeichel was a superstar in Denmark following their suprise win in the 1992 Euros, while Laudrup’s long-time stardom for the Danish national team alongside his brother and Morten Olsen cemented his legacy. In some respects, I think that those guys might have been more beloved than Roy; while Roy’s stardom was based on his time with the Montreal Canadiens, he certainly was a villain in the eyes of the Quebec Nordiques fans in Quebec, but the stardom of Laudrup and Schmeichel was based on excellence for the national team, which tended to supercede club rivalries.

            Maurice Richard is obviously a very special case as he is one of the precious few athletes (along with Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali and some others) who transcended the sports world and became political symbols, in some cases unwillingly. I will never, ever question Richard’s importance in the cultural history of Quebec, but I will also never even dream of equating Richard with Roy in that regard.

            Patrick Roy was from a different generation, one that never grew up during the Quiet Revolution in Quebec. Roy was a superstar based on his sporting talent, in the same way that athletes like Michael Jordan, Roger Federer or Cal Ripken Jr. were beloved stars in their sports. There were no political overtones to their celebrity and while they all broke through into popular culture to varying degrees (with Jordan being the most ubiquitous), I still struggle to see them as anything but athletes.

            Maurice Richard was more, even if he himself never wanted to be.

        • PrimeTime says:

          WOW! Great post.

      • PrimeTime says:

        Sorry Mike, but that doesn’t play with Hab fans outside of Quebec. Many will agree that the team is an iconic symbol of Montreal but the Packers are the same in Green Bay, Yankees in New York, Leafs in Toronto. Fans only care about winning….in any language. Quebecers will get their way and a bilingual coach will be hired. Obviously the candidates are fewer so it takes a little more time than other teams…..I think we will all agree that JM needed to be replaced. Promoting the assistant until that search is complete is not unreasonable or a slap in the face of Quebecers. The media will exploit the opportunity and that is sad……a professional trade mark of short vision.

      • DickandDanny says:

        Dick Irvine. Danny Gallivan. Scotty Bowman. Dick Irvin Sr. Larry Robinson. Sam Pollock. Pat Burns. Do I need to go on. Some of them may have spoken some french, but they all came from english heritage. Your francophone argument does not hold water. If this is what is holding this team back, as a 50 year Hab fan I am disgusted by the selfishness displayed by these certain fans. Shame on all of you who think that speaking a certain language is more important than being the best coach, player, GM, president, owner. I want my team to win. Regardless of what ancestory they have. There are probably MORE english speaking Habs fans in this country than there are french. I watch every game on RDS and understand about 50% of what is broadcast, but at least I try to listen and learn, but more importantly I am a Habs fan and will watch them in any language they are shown. Don’t think becuase you are french speaking you are any better, more in tuned, or more fanatical a habs fan than I am, or any other english speaking hockey fan. Because you are sorely mistaken. An english speaking coach is the least of this teams worries.

        \”A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur\”

    • Chris says:

      As a rabid hockey fan, one who takes the time out of pretty much every day to post on this website, how many of Jacques Martin’s press conferences have you watched over the last year? I’m curious.

  26. LafleurFan says:

    More disappointment but there were positives. This team doesn’t give up. The fourth liners should not be mocked as being AHLers. They are lowly-paid NHLers.

    When emotions run high, it is easy to transfer those emotions between issues. If JM had been let go this past summer, the debate about the requirement that les Canadiens’ head coach speak French would have supporters on both sides, but with less vehemence. The emotions that have recently been displayed reminds me of Vancouver’s reaction to their Stanley Cup finals loss.

    Reason over passion, as a great man once said.

    But there is passion, and my guts are agonizing! My heart though will always be with this loveable team.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  27. The Cat says:

    To me Cunneyworth is my new Jaroslav Halak. I wish RC all the success just so he can put the politicians and media in their place like Jaro did with the Montreal brass.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  28. athanor says:

    Chicago does have a weakness: While they score a lot of goals, they also give up a lot.

    They have the same number of goals as Boston, but the Bruins are +48, while the Hawks are +13.

    Let’s hope the Habs can take advantage of that.

  29. Ton says:

    when your part of the brass all your doing is trying to quiet the language issue. in the end you need a respected man in the GM spot (bi lingual) that foremost speaks the players language (english bottom line). gauthier is a phoney and on his way out. tweaking a team and having it go from out of the playoffs to a top contender is not an insurmountable task! ie. chicago, boston, philly, vancouver, etc. this team needs character players and 4 lines. i just hope this downward spiral (political and all) does not drive our core players away. in the end players want to play hockey and get paid well, they do not want the bull crap that comes with politics, ex. most francophone players do not want to play in montreal. its been a trend now for 15 years!!!

  30. remi_10069 says:

    Too many players on the team just don’t give a &^%$. There is no anger at all. I’d like to see someone do something / anything to show some heart, even if it means taking someone out with a dirty hit. Sitting Emelin vs the Bruins is a total bonehead move. Only guy on the Habs who the other team has to pay attention to. As for PK..I’ve been selling since 2010 when RIM was at $60. It’s now at $12, just like PKs stock. Would have been very risky to trade him but imagine what we could have gotten in return during the summer of 2010.

    pipes

  31. PrimeTime says:

    The Canadiens have become national news because of the language issue. It stinks Anglo Hab fans outside of Quebec have to defend their support for the team despite the “victim” attitudes of some Francophones. Losing is one thing…all teams suffer bad times but being painted with the same brush as the whiners in Quebec is another matter. Why do the loudest voices always come from the minority?? (Francophones are a Canadian minority). If I’m Geoff Molson, I would symbolically raise my middle finger and do what is best for the team and not pander into the “cultural responsibilities” of my team. He may have tried to do some damage control yesterday but it only added fuel to the fire by acknowledging and accepting the complaint. There are many other ways to appease the Frano-whiners. The majority of fans want to to win in any language!!

    • Mattyleg says:

      Hope the mods delete this spewing of idiotic intolerance.

      Do your research, or go support a team that you truly understand.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • sillywalk says:

        Because Quebec is the land of tolerance? Can you honestly type that without laughing? The fact that there’s a debate at all shows how completely intolerant the population of this province is, unless they get their way. It’s more intolerant that letters typed in my language have to for some reason be bigger than those typed in another. What, are all francos blind that they need the visual clue that what they’re reading ISN’T in their language?

        How about this; the day the Canadiens are a completely francophone team is the day the coach must be French. Let’s see what kind of minor-league team is iced for that lovely scenario.

    • Milandar says:

      First I have to say that I disagree with the french only approach when choosing a coach.

      The problem with the whole issue is when people make comments like yours, calling people in Quebec whiners and a minority that should be ignored is exactly why most people in Quebec get on board with the “protect the language” debate.

      I agree that politic has no place in sports but the fact of the matter is that contrary to what you were saying the MAJORITY of the Montreal Canadiens’ fan are francophone, they are the one filling the Bell Centre at every game, they are the one paying for this team. Most fans outside Quebec just watch games on TV and never (or rarely) contribute to the financial stability (viability) of the team. So even though I disagree, I empathize with them. For most Quebecers the Habs is a religion, they want to be able to hear from their coach in their language. I guess it would be like trying to talk to your priest and he speaks only Russian. Not acceptable.

  32. tony d says:

    I had to agree with the anti chambre sentiment re: PK’s lacklustre performance. He seems detached and unfocused. Also I guess he knows he won’t get benched for costly moves so he continues to be reckless. I’d love to see him sit out a few shifts. I haven’t seen him mature as a player yet and the only thing that seems to be growing is his ego.

    Wanted, bilingual coach, experience not necessary, will train.
    Contact: wingnprayer@canadiens.com

  33. Moose says:

    Glory days well they’ve pass us by
    Glory days when the Hab won won won
    Glory days, glory days

    The Montreal Canadiens to me are like a drug, an addiction. I can’t get enough even though it is not good for me to be upset & peeved all the time. If I had a dollar for every time that I have said that I would stop watching the Habs I would have enough cash to buy out Cammy & Gomez.


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