Look, it’s all part of the master plan.
The Canadiens wanted James Wisniewski to feel at home.
So they played like the Islanders.
OK, that wasn’t funny.
Your Montreal Canadiens played like what they have become:
• a fragile team, easily undone by adversity
• a team incapable of playing 60 minutes (unless you count their aggregate total for this road trip)
• a brain-dead team that incapable of simple line changes
• a team tumbling out of playoff contention and facing a January schedule that includes games against Atlanta, the Rangers, Boston, Philadelphia and TWO against Pittsburgh
What to do?
Fire Jacques Martin, paying off 2 1/2 seasons plus a penalty clause? Then they can dip into the pool of unemployed French-speakiches to hire Bob Hartley, who’ll come ind scraem at everyone.
Call up David Desharnais and Ryan White, hoping they’ll spark a team that can’t score (nine goals in the six games on the road) and won’t hit (penalties on top of penalties … and none that hurt anybody)?
Give up on Habs hockey, watch the NFL playoffs and check back in for a lottery draft pick in June?
No ideas here.
I’m too busy trying to figure out the Habs Inside/Out server issues.
On L’Antichambre, Mario Tremblay offered his ideal Canadiens lineup:
The defence pairings:
Roman Hamrlik and P.K. Subban
Jaro Spacek – Josh Gorges
Hal Gill – James Wisniewski
Mario’s frward lines:
Mike Cammalleri – Tomas Plekanec – Maxim Lapierre
Max Pacioretty – David Desharnais – Andrei Kostitsyn
Mathieu Darche – Scott Gomez – Brian Gionta
Lars Eller – Jeff Halpern – Travis Moen
Notice who’s missing?
Benoit Pouliot. Tremblay coached him in Minnesota, and like others who have followed the former first-round draft choice’s career, including Pierre McGuire, he’d happily trade Benny for a dog .. and shoot the dog.
I thought Pouliot was a great acquisition. But maybe my friend McGuire was right when he characterized the deal that sent Guillaume Latendresse to Minnesota as “poop for poop”.
Pouliot has size, speed, hands, a great shot.
He’s a star from the neck down … if you don’t consider the muscle allegedly beating inside his chest cavity.
But the Canadiens aren’t losing because of Benoit Pouliot.
There are troublesome issues in every aspect of their game.
• The power play, after a promising beginning with Wiz firing shots on goal, had another 0-for night. The PP has no patience, rarely settles into its set-up and DESPERATELY misses Andrei Markov.
• The team takes too many penalties (and, as stated above, they’re of the lazy, pussy-ass variety). This has a ripple effect: it prevents Martin from rolling his line and getting some flow and rhythm going, and, worse, has the team’s best forward, Tomas Plekanec, expending too much energy on the PK.
• Carey Price is mentally fatigued, and the team’s ineptitude is getting to him. The Canadiens have ridden their goaltender too hard, and they’re paying for Price’s league-leading starts and ToI
• Three of Tampa Bay’s first-overall draft choices played last night: Steven Stamkos (2008), Vincent Lecavalier (1998) and Roman Hamrlik (1846).
Hammer took three minors last night. He’s out of gas, peeps … and it’s still 2010.
On the plus side, Hamrlik played less than 20 minutes, as did Spatch.
Wisniewski played 21:48. And P.K. Subban led the team in ToI at 23:27.
Yannick Weber was Wiz’s partner. He played 19:10 and was plus-1 – a compelling argument for the case that plus/minus is a horsecrap stat.
Weber is not an NHL defenceman.
Maybe we’ll find out if David Desharnais, who padded his AHL-leading point total with three assists last night, is an NHL centre.
More tomorrow … if I’m not too depressed.