The Upper Canadien
by The Upper Canadien on 03/05/12 at 11:57 PM ET
What a terrible season it has been. Honestly. The Canadiens skate into Calgary tomorrow with a scant 60 points. How is former Flame Rene Bourque doing as a Hab? 6 points. 6. In 22 games. 4 goals. Oh, and 22 hits. That’s one hit a game. Sure, Mike Cammalleri hasn’t lit it up for the Flames, but he’s got 11 points in 21 games, and has scored some key goals. Bottom line: Bourque has been a bust. Hard to forget as the Habs head into the Saddledome.
And that sums it up. Genuinely. The Habs are awful. They are on the verge of, potentially, their worst season since expansion, although one has to figure they get at least 10 points over the final month of the season. However, if they don’t, they’ll fail to match the magic of the 2000-2001 season, which featured a leading scorer with 21 goals. Craig Darby was the 7th highest scorer on that team. If that doesn’t say enough, Trevor Linden was 6th.
So are this season’s Habs that bad? I don’t think so. However, you know what they say: the numbers don’t lie, and the numbers aren’t pretty. If the Oilers win a few games down the stretch, the Blue Jackets will be the only team worse than the Canadiens. That’s remarkable really, because Columbus are very, very bad. The Canadiens of 2012 just seem to have a knack for blowing leads and losing one goal games.
Where to from here? One has to believe that with a showing this bad, Pierre Gauthier is gone. Randy Cunneyworth was as good as gone the day Gauthier apologized publicly for hiring him.
A bright light on the horizon? Well, not really a bright light, but Andrei Markov may be back sometime soon. He was wearing a contact jersey today, which suggests he’s close to a return. Do we call it a return? Let’s refer to it as a debut - it’s been long enough. Bright lights for 2013? Many impressive youngsters, such as Alex Emelin, David Desharnais, Raphael Diaz, and the ever-improving Max Pacioretty. Oh, and let’s not forget the wildcard: what should be a very early first round draft pick (though, knowing how the team has been operated for the past year, they’ll undoubtedly shag this up as well).
However, that seems years away. There are still over a dozen games to slog through, and each of them is as painful as the last. At least tomorrow we get to see a slightly more exciting team in the Flames, though it will be a sorry reminder of a transaction that looks like a write-off today: Cammalleri for Bourque. A final-four team to second last place in two seasons. It’s not long now, Habs fans. The Hockey Gods have turned, and the end is almost near.
Et tu, Brute?
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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.
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