MasterHab - (Pat Quintin)Member since May 22, 2010
Habs fan since:
Favorite current player:
All-time favorite player:
- Comment on About last night … (2013-12-11 02:09:52)
The ONLY positive thing to be gained from this pathetic failure is that it will quiet the cheerleaders who gleefully pay top dollar for whatever management deigns to give them. But I am not of the newer generation of fan who is just happy to be there. I'm old enough to remember when this team had organizational standards that were significantly higher than merely squeaking into the playoffs so they can make the owner a couple million extra. The recent unbeaten streak was nice while it lasted but it was a deception. Of the 9 games that the Habs won 7 of them were by a margin of one goal. All that says to me is that when our goalies are on their game they can cover up for our chronic lack of scoring punch. We must also consider who these wins came against. Of the 9 victories, only 2 were against anything resembling "elite" competition: Boston and Pittsburgh. The rest were won against teams ranging from the gawd-awful to the merely mediocre. Toronto, Buffalo, New Jersey, Washington and Minnesota aren't going anywhere this year. Beating them (and only the Wild were beaten convincingly) is nothing to get too excited about. Tonight the Habs came up against a team that was in playoff hockey mode. No easy looks, no time and space and no pushing and shoving; just hitting. Is it any wonder the Habs seemed to vanish into thin air as soon as they were up against a motivated opponent that was willing to take them to the woodshed? That phoney-baloney unbeaten streak isn't fooling anyone in the NHL that matters. Everyone still knows that if you punch the Habs in the face they will cower. This team is not built to win when the games matter. It needs more than a tweak. It needs a major overhaul and they should start with Pacioretty, the so-called "power" forward who would rather hang around the high slot or the side boards than drive to the net. He isn't a power forward, folks. He's a streaky perimeter player. A Michael Ryder with a better work ethic.
- Comment on Habs’ Gallagher sidelined with concussion (2013-02-17 15:20:51)
Hi Markoni, Well I'm an ex-pat Montrealer who has lived in and around Vancouver for 20 years now. Only recently did I find a Habs-friendly watering hole. Not sure, but I suspect the owners are Habs fans because the bar, in addition to the "obligatory" Canucks crap, is also festooned with a few Habs banners. I was there a couple of weeks ago to watch the Habs game...on RDS with the sound ON! It's called The Sin Bin and it's just West of Main Street immediately south of False Creek (just below the downtown core) http://www.thesinbin.ca/2013/01/montreal-canadiens-116/ Enjoy. I may see you there.
- Comment on Hartley gets Flames job (2012-06-02 10:07:26)
If that's true then all I can say is that I wish Crawford had been behind the Habs' bench the night that Chara broke Pacioretty's neck, or at least the next game they played against the Bruins. The Bruins will continue to own us until someone wearing a CH on his jersey beats the living hell out of someone wearing a spoked B. That may ruffle people with delicate sensibilities but that is how the game works at the pro level. I am always reminded of what Steve Shutt once said about the dynasty of the late 70's. He pinpointed the beginning of it to a bench-clearing brawl against the then 2-time defending champs from Philly. The Habs proved in that game that they could beat the Flyers on the ice and, if need be, in the alley. According to Shutt "We won the Cup that night." And remember, he wasn't talking about the finals; he was referring to a pre-season game. They knew before that season even began that they were going to win because they had beaten the Flyers at the only aspect of the game that they did well. And they were able to do that because Scotty Bowman made sure that there were guys on his roster who could take care of business. So for me, any coach who does more than stand there like a zombie behind the bench will be an improvement.
- Comment on Rangers blank Senators; Bruins nip Capitals late (2012-04-17 10:57:32)
If only the game had been played at Olympic Stadium your wish might have had a chance of coming true.
- Comment on Habs icon Jean Béliveau hospitalized (2012-02-28 13:01:11)
Just when you thought the news this season couldn't get any worse, it gets worse.
- Comment on Blake Geoffrion to honour legendary family in No. 57 (2012-02-27 23:58:11)
Yes, #29 is retired, as is #16 for both Henri Richard and Elmer Lach. Error of omission, I guess.
- Comment on Hal Gill dealt to Nashville (updated with audio) (2012-02-17 21:16:20)
The French Quarter Pub doesn't do anything of a Habs nature that I've ever heard of. It's just a regular pub like all the others: wall-to-wall Canucks crap. I'd never heard of La Belle Patate. Too bad it didn't exist back when I lived in the West End although there was Roosters Quarters which had Montreal style BBQ chicken, poutine, and sugar pie. We finally have a Dunns in Vancouver (on Seymour near Robson)and a few blocks away is Frenchies (on Dunsmuir near Richards)which is owned and operated by a little guy from Shawinigan named Michel. He's got Habs banners hanging from the ceiling and several player photos. Trouble is the place shuts down at like 4pm.
- Comment on Canadiens gain point, fall farther behind (2012-02-16 12:56:56)
I'm not disappointed that the fans cheered when Chara got dinged. My only regret is that the blind hatred of the Bruins displayed by Habs fans doesn't extend to the Habs players. The biggest problem in pro sports today is that no one really hates anyone else. That's why you get such lackluster games. Back in the golden age, guys like Richard didn't just want to win; they wanted to kill you. But today every player has friends or former teammates on the other team, they're often represented by the same agents and they all play golf together in the summer. Without hate there's no intensity. Today, only the fans know how to work up a dislike for the other team.
- Comment on The hole gets deeper (2012-02-02 02:22:18)
First of all, not "everyone" at the start of the season was boasting about how the Habs were close to being an elite team other than perhaps the Habs' front office. Anyone who wasn't a total fanboy could have told you then that this was a thoroughly mediocre team that would live and die on the strength of its special teams. McGuire himself predicted that unless the Habs were a top 5 power-play team they wouldn't make the playoffs. He (again) was right. I'm not blaming PG for this mess alone. He's had plenty of help but he's the most responsible and he needs to go. He was a failure in Ottawa, a failure in Anaheim and he's been a failure in Montreal. The haters claim that McGuire has no credibility among hockey people. Wrong. It's Gauthier who they laugh at behind his back. You can't blame it all on injuries, either. The only players of significance who have been injured for long stretches are Markov, who's barely played at all for 2 years now, Gionta, who hasn't been a difference-maker in years, and Gomez. who was the punchline to a joke even before he was hurt. The "star players underperforming" angle won't wash either. First of all, they aren't "stars"; they are simply the least mediocre players on the roster and they are only underperforming if you consider them to be more than what they actually are. Given the reality of these players, I'd say they were performing pretty much as expected, at least by people who can take their bleu, blanc, rouge glasses off long enough to see. The powerplay power outage was predictable before the season began but PG didn't even attempt to address it until the season was basically lost and then, in a panic, he grossly overpaid for a guy who's contract will be a millstone around the team's neck for two more seasons. Kaberle may be better than Spacek but that isn't saying much. And as bad as Spacek is his contract was going to be off the books at the end of the season. Instead we have Kaberle for 2 more years. He may have lucked out in the Cammalleri deal but let's remember that the deal had nothing to do with how badly Cammy was playing. If he hadn't shot his mouth off, he'd have been left alone to suck just like Gomez. It was only after his comments painted the team in a bad light, only when the corporate image of the club was sullied, that PG decided he had to be traded. That speaks volumes about what is wrong with the front office. They are not proactive. They are reactive and panicky and they place too much importance on things that have nothing to do with the winning of championships. As I wrote, what needs to happen isn't a simple changing of the guard. We need more than regime change; we need a cultural change. McGuire offers the possibility of such change. The other candidates will only perpetuate the status quo. So in the end it comes down to this: how much more of this garbage are you prepared to endure before you decide you've had enough?
- Comment on The hole gets deeper (2012-02-01 22:00:08)
I don't know if McGuire is the BEST candidate for the GM job but I know this much: he is better than Pierre Gauthier (how could he not be?) and that's good enough for me. McGuire rubs a lot of people the wrong way, especially Habs fanboys who can't handle it when someone tells them the truth about their mediocre hockey team. Well all I can say to that is that the truth hurts but the truth also sets you free. The biggest problem with the current front office regime is self-delusion. Instead of accepting reality they seem bound and determined to blow their collective brains out trying to make the playoffs. And since they have no chance to actually do anything in the post-season other than get embarrassed in four straight, the only person who would benefit (in the short-term) by mortgaging the future for a shot at 8th place is Geoff Molson, who would pocket a few more millions in gate receipts. This type of delusional, short-term thinking got the Habs into the hole they're in today. McGuire doesn't mince words and I suspect that one of the reasons why he doesn't get hired is because teams know that they can't control him. The Habs, more than most corporate entities, are obsessed with controlling the message. If McGuire, as their GM, came to his bosses and told them that he needed x amount of dollars spent in order to achieve a goal and they cheaped out on him, he might not keep his mouth shut about it. The dirty little secret about the Habs is their inherent cheapness. Sure, they spend to the cap because they're a high-revenue team and spending under the cap would look bad. But the real reason why they spend to the cap is because the cap is a matter of public record. It is the visible tip of the iceberg, so to speak. But where the Habs pinch pennies is under the surface, in all the aspects of the organization that aren't open to the public. How many scouts do they have? How much are they paid? How many scouts to the Red Wings have? How much are they paid? The off-ice stuff that's so important to building a winning team is largely invisible to the public so if a team wants to cut corners this is where they'll get away with it. McGuire the GM would never stand for that, which would make him a problem for his bosses. Even McGuire, with his vast knowledge, has said publicly that he really has no idea how the Habs run their business. They are so secretive, especially under Gauthier. But he does know how the most successful clubs run their affairs and it obviously differs from how the Habs are doing it because the proof is in the end results. I personally don't care how the Habs do things; all I know is that whatever they are doing and however they're doing it does not work. People need to bear in mind that McGuire's on-air persona is just that: a persona that he invented for television. It is the reason why he is able to work for TSN, NBC, various radio outlets and Sports Illustrated all at once. In the media, especially TV, personality is all important. If you've ever tried to suffer through some of the analysts on the NHL Network you recognize this immediately. McGuire is encouraged to be bombastic on the air. That's what he gets paid to do. But don't expect him to be that over-the-top when the cameras are off and he's squirrelled away in his office on the 7th floor. Pierre knows the difference between being a TV personality and a team executive. Back when he worked for the Pens, Whalers, and Sens, you didn't know who he was. It was only when he became a media personality that people started having issues with him. And when he does his radio spots on 990 and other stations across the country, he is much more reserved than what you see on TV. So I would caution people to take the on-air persona with a grain of salt. To say that McGuire is a no-nothing blowhard just because you disagree with him is weak. He knows plenty and he's far more humble than some people currently employed as GM's around the league (yeah, I'm talking to you, Brian Burke) The bottom line for me is that I feel more is needed than a simple GM change. The Habs need a complete culture change and they won't accomplish that by hiring a guy like Loiselle or Brisebois. The term "thinking outside the box" is over-used but that's precisely what Geoff Molson needs to do here. Hiring McGuire will be a signal to the hockey world that the times are a-changing down on de la Gauchetiere Street. When I look at the list of plausible french-speaking candidates other than McGuire, the only thought that pops into my head is "come meet the new boss, same as the old boss". I really can't understand how some people can believe that hiring McGuire will make things worse. They can't get any worse than what they are right now. Getting rid of Gauthier and replacing him with just about anyone not named Milbury or Houle would represent an improvement. To those who say "if McGuire is so good why can't he get a job?" I would say simply that the job he has pays better and offers him more security. He isn't going to leave for just any job which is why suggesting that he take an assistant GM or scouting director job isn't going to fly. Assistant? Assistant to whom excatly? To Gauthier? A man who isn't fit to tie McGuire's shoes? Face it: the Habs need McGuire. Not only that, the Habs need McGuire more than McGuire needs the Habs. Sure, maybe on paper he should be setting his sights a little lower than the top job but the reality is that he doesn't have to. He can afford to pick and choose. Nobodies like Loiselle and Brisebois can't afford to turn down a job opportunity because it might be the last one they get. I don't want a guy in the GM's chair who's only thinking about how he can keep his job for one more day. I want someone who isn't afraid to do what needs to be done because he doesn't care if he gets fired or not. But guys with the kind of independence that McGuire has and with the kind of autonomy he'd demand, frighten the bejeezus out of corporate executives. They like people they can control. They like people who are beholden to them for their livlihood. Giving McGuire control means they have to give up a little control. I'm not sure they're up for it. But I do know this much: it needs to happen, and soon.