Oh, it’s going to be a fun week in Montreal.
The Canadiens are idle for five days. They return to action Saturday at the Bell Centre against Winnipeg.
Of course, a case can be made that the Canadiens have been idle for most of 2017 … and the latter days of 2016.
Their 4-0 loss Sunday night in Boston was the latest in what has become a succession of disappointing performances.
In most of the recent losses – six in their last seven games – the Canadiens have been a one-line team.
Against Boston, they were a no-line team.
And the defence – from the goaltender out – sucked as well.
Boston is not one of the NHL’s offensive juggernauts.
The Canadiens’ ineptitude, however, made the Bs look like the 1985 Oilers.
On the Adam McQuaid goal that opened the scoring, all five Canadiens were out of position. And it got worse as the game continued.
Rather than quote L’Antichambre’s telecast of Michel Therrien’s postgame press conference, Hockey Inside/Out has obtained an exclusive English translation of the coach’s remarks:
OK, that was a younger Therrien (with more hair), 11 years ago in Pittsburgh.
The Penguins ended up firing him, and the rest is history.
Many Canadiens fans would like to see Therrien sacked, particularly in view of the team’s recent craptastic performances.
I don’t think it’s going to happen, unless Geoff Molson cleans house by firing Therrien and Marc Bergevin … a massacre that the cautious owner would be loath to engineer.
And notwithstanding what we’ll be hearing on sports talk radio all week long, I’m not convinced the coach is the Canadiens’ problem.
Could Toe Blake turn Andrew Shaw into a Top 6 forward?
Could Scotty Bowman make Nathan Beaulieu a Top 4 defenceman?
A cold-eyed appraisal of the roster and the “talent” in St. John’s suggests this is not a Cup-contending hockey team.
The Canadiens just don’t have the horses.
And their one thoroughbred is playing like an also-ran claimer.
Could a committee composed of Jacques Plante, Ken Dryden and Patrick Roy figure out why Carey Price is playing like Red Light Racicot?
In a Sportsnet interview after the first period, Boston’s David Backes said: “We need these two points more than they do.”
Their 13 early-season wins, against only two losses, catapulted the Canadiens to the top of the Atlantic Division, and they’ve been there ever since.
But Ottawa and Toronto are getting closer.
And coming out of the break, the Canadiens had better start playing with the desperation backed was talking about … because tumbling out of a playoff position is not inconceivable.
Have a nice week.
• • •
Alex Galchenyuk turned 23 on Sunday.
The Canadiens forward shares his birthday with Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln.
Can Galchenyuk’s game evolve?
Or will the gifted-but-stifled-under-Therrien player seek emancipation from the Canadiens?
• • •
Comment on the Liveblog by Habnormal:
This loss is a test of where MB wants this team to be. They have, for the 2nd straight season been one of the worst teams from December to February. For decades this once glorious franchise would not put up with even a fraction of that ineptitude. Have some self respect and get a new coach already or else let’s get a new GM!