The West is the test

And your Montreal Canadiens are flunking.


  1. Captain aHab says:

    Gomez playing hurt is total conjecture on your part. Maybe AK is playing hurt?

    But if whatever you try with Gomez requires waiting 20+ games for him to get it, then why not give AK 20+ games to see if he can get out of his funk? He was playing faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar better than Gomez at the beginning of the year and I would argue that JM may have killed the Pleks line momentum by kowtowing to Gomez’ needs. Now AK pays for the momentum loss.

  2. MathMan says:

    I have no issue with not benching Gomez. He was not actually playing much differently than he is now, but he could not buy a goal for him or his linemates. Just like AKost, his slump was the result of bad luck.

    And benching AK now is a mistake for much the same reasons as benching Gomez then would have been. They both help the team win even when not scoring, and getting out of their slump was only a matter of time and sticking with it.

  3. Hockey Socks says:

    To be fair, Gomez’s backchecking is rarely, if ever, in question. He’s almost always a defensively responsible player – which is why he earns PK time too.

  4. MathMan says:

    See, I don’t feel AK has been subpar except in the last game, and I don’t particularly trust JM’s judgement of him (last year’s “he must shoot more” episode when AK led the team in shots was a pretty telling start).

    So benching AK for a guy who gives off the appearance of hard work but isn’t as effective sends the wrong message — the message that you care more about your messages than about winning. I can’t imagine the team is too pleased with that decision, and I am not sure last year gave Martin a whole lot of credibility to play with (in fact I suspect his players were already getting exasperated).

    And one more thing: Martin did not coach the team to the ECF. That he happened to be behind the bench when the team got there was, not coincidence, but less than that: the team got there in spite of him, on the back of a very hot shooting streak, unbelievable goaltending, and a big load of luck. All that despite a genuinely atrocious play style that meant the Habs gave up ridiculous numbers of high-quality chances and got much fewer in return. The team’s overall level of play in the playoffs was outright appalling, and they realistically had no business getting past 5 games against a team that dominated them to the extent the Caps did. Martin’s brilliant coaching involved crossing his finger and hope Halak stood on his head.

    If the team played this season like they did in the playoffs, they would be in the cellar now. They were that bad. Thankfully, they empathically did not, something I had been crediting Martin for. I’m starting to revise that opinion now however.

  5. punkster says:

    Haha if only it were that easy, eh?


  6. Captain aHab says:

    The early season Gomez point system:

    Get to the rink: earn 1500 points

    Get to the rink on time: earn 2000 points

    Miss the net with a shot: deduct 10 points from your wingers

    Don’t backcheck: deduct 10 points from the d-men

  7. nick says:

    Couldn’t agree with you more.

    If you want consistent players, you need consistent coaching. Making an example by benching one, and letting another get away with bloody murder for 2 months isn’t quite what I call consistent.

  8. Captain aHab says:

    Score one goal and earn a point


    Miss the net and lose 563 points and eat hot dogs in the rafters.


    This is what the scoring system is like now.

  9. Captain aHab says:

    That’s great and all but if it works for AK, why was it not applied to Gomez when he was sucking badly for 20+ games and not trying hard at all?

  10. Chuck says:

    Coaching 101: you CAN NOT treat all players the same. You have to figure out how to push their buttons, and treat the player accordingly. With some players a closed-door session with the coach will do the trick. With others it takes a benching to get their attention.

    Plus, it would appear as though Gomez was playing hurt. My guess is that Martin “benched” Gomez by forcing him to take a couple of games off to rest. He wasn’t getting the job done, so he didn’t play.

    The 2010 Montreal Canadians Christmas Card

  11. SPATS says:

    So easy to fix AK. This is a step in the right direction, however, he should be rewarded and punished based on his performance like a business owner is rewarded or punished for performance and decision making. At this point, we can’t reward or punish him financially, however, being a contract year, we can punish him by making his ice time and pairings equal financial gains or losses. Hire a f*****g translator to make it simple for him.

    Hit somebody, earn a point

    Cause a turnover, earn a point

    Wrister on goal earn a point

    Score with said wrister 3 bonus points

    Create a turnover, lose 2 points

    Get your pocket picked lose 2 points

    Add em up and reward / punish accordingly

    Make transgressions hurt more and get his attention. Explain to him that he controls his destiny and everybody’s watching

    Finish on the plus side? Next game with Pleks

    Minus side? Moen and Pyatt or worse upstairs



  12. MathMan says:

    The problem is that if you’re benching a player who’s been playing pretty well (but been unlukcy), and in doing so really hurt your team’s chances just before a game they really need to win, it sends a different message to both the player and the team: the message that you don’t particularly care about fairness or winning, and care more about sending your messages than about the two points. And if the team feels your message doesn’t need to be sent, you lose credibility.

    And given the mess the team was last year, I’m not sure Martin built enough credibility last year to start making harmful decisions to pass dubious messages.

    But when you don’t coach to win and instead coach to send messages, that’s the risk you take.

  13. Natrous says:

    I don’t think Nagy is Hungarian, pretty sure he’s Latvian or Slovakian.. if only there was a way to find out for sure..

  14. Chuck says:

    Here’s why benching a player that you want more consistency from (AK46, for example) is the right move:


    What does EVERY player in the league want? More ice time during the game. So if you want to send a message to AK, then you have to take away his ice time. Nothing else will work. Bag skating him between games? It might drill it into his head that you’re upset with his performance, but it won’t work as an individual punishment because you’re not denying him of the one thing that he really wants: to play. 

    As long as he still gets his ice time, nothing will change. Ever watch the program Intervention? It’s about getting junkies to kick their habit by taking away the one thing that they really need: an environment that allows them to continue their habit.

    You can send AK–or any player, for that matter–all of the messages you want before, after and in between games, but it’ll continue to fall on deaf ears if in the end he gets his ice time, and doesn’t have to face the consequences for his play. 

    The 2010 Montreal Canadians Christmas Card

  15. SeriousFan09 says:

    I sometimes wonder if his medication doesn’t throw him off, seems to display such great skills in one stretch than the next, all his timing has disappeared. Unfortunate but it might be possible.


    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

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