Kukla's Korner

The Upper Canadien

Cold days in Montreal

It’s getting cold in Montreal, but winter will be much, much worse. Les Canadiens are flatlining. And it’s December.

A terrible performance last night against Columbus in front of their home crowd, who have seen just four wins thus far, sealed it for me. This team just doesn’t have it - and it goes a lot farther than Scott Gomez. Sure, injuries are a large part of it, and there are bright lights, such as Louis Leblanc, Max Pacioretty, Erik Cole, and Alex “Drago” Emelin, but something isn’t right.

Are changes coming? I’d have to think so, if things continue on this path. However, the Habs never seem to do much of, well, anything (I guess no one does, that’s the CBA for you), so I’m anxious to see if owner Geoff Molson steps in and demands some changes.

Until then, a great article on the state of the Canadiens by SI’s Michael Farber, one of my favourite sports pundits and a level-headed voice on everything hockey-related. Enjoy:

Montreal seeks homegrown spark

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I’m curious, UC, as to how Habs fans perceive themselves and their team right now. In the Northeast, we have:
Boston - This team and its fans are not confused about anything.
Buffalo - I think the fans sort of see the team as one that`s definitely not elite, but should be competitive. Maybe finish in the second tier of the conference and get into the playoffs as a 5 seed or so.
Toronto - Should be starting to hit their stride in the rebuild. And they are. Missing the playoffs this season would be unacceptable.
Ottawa - Not as far along as Toronto in the rebuild. Making the playoffs this year would be gravy. Management has a lot of slack from the public right now.

Where do you see the Habs and those fans among those teams?

Posted by dzuunmod on 12/08/11 at 12:46 AM ET

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Dzuunmod: that’s a very good question. I think your read on Boston, Buffalo and Toronto fans are bang on. Ottawa’s fan base feels much the way you’ve outlined, although I think the expectation there is for playoffs this year. I believe there’s less slack, on the management and fan side, than people realize.

As for the Habs, the base is split. Many fans believe this team can and should be competing with the big boys, based on playoff performances the past two years. However, there’s a large group that believes a rebuild is necessary and should be underway. Is a true rebuild in Montreal possible? I’m not sure. But right now it’s very much split down the middle. Which is quite humourous, actually, as there’s no one in the middle. It’s ring and yang.

That would be my read on the situation. Once again, great question. Not sure I’ve seen or heard it thrown out there before.

Posted by The Upper Canadien from Toronto on 12/08/11 at 09:34 AM ET

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About The Upper Canadien

The Upper Canadien is your one stop shop for all things Montreal Canadiens. Since the summer of 2010, I've been providing Habs related news, notes, and most importantly, opinions. As a blogger, I don't believe it's my job to report the news, it's my privilege to comment on it. You may disagree with what I suggest. In fact, you most likely will. But that's the great part about blogging: it spurs opinion, comment and engages all involved. I've really enjoyed all the debate and commentary from readers thus far and I encourage everyone to respond with ideas on lineups, trades, logos, sweaters, mascots, whatever. The Upper Canadien is a conversation for all hockey fanatics.

I've come to Kukla's Korner with four years of campus radio and three years of sportswriting from my time at Mount Allison University on Canada's East coast. Not only do I not have any professional journalistic training, after five years in the corporate world, I've spent much of the past two years completing an MBA. Business by day, hockey by night, I'm a Canadiens fan through and through. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I do writing.

Questions or comments? theuppercanadien@kuklaskorner.com