Kukla's Korner

The Upper Canadien

Habs hard done by with 3 to go

What to say about Montreal? 45 games into this season, they're tied for 2nd in the East - yet they've lost 4 of 5, given up a slew of goals, and the fanbase is in crisis. But, haven't we seen this before? Sure, the Canadiens have a history of performing strong after backing into the playoffs, be it in 1986, 1993, or more recently in 2010, but shouldn't we be considered that the hitters aren't hitting, the scorers aren't scoring, and Carey Price has forgotten how to stop the puck?

Cool your Jets, Habs fans (and you literally will on Thursday). The Canadiens have 3 games left - New Jersey, Winnipeg and Toronto. That's 3 games to get their act in gear. Every team has a tough stretch. Every one. Montreal, to date this year, really hasn't had one. Good teams overcome adversity, and after all, would you rather they lose now, or, say, 3 weeks from now?

I say no reason to panic. Yet. The biggest issue, clearly, is defence, as the absence of Alex Emelin has proven to be more impactful than expected. My solution? Try Jarred Tinordi with Andrei Markov. Tinordi is big, tough, hits, and can chip in on offence from time to time. He was called up from Hamilton today, but likely won't arrive until the weekend. Sure, it may be a long shot, but I think Tinordi could be just what the Habs defence needs.

Otherwise, status quo. Throw the lines back together as they were before this mini-crisis, let Galchenyuk and Gallagher play with Prust, let Pacioretty and Desharnais work through their funk, and things will come together. It's been a great year for Montreal. It can get much better. It's just going to take some hard work, and a little bit of luck.

Hopefully, that starts on Tuesday in New Jersey.

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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