Kukla's Korner

The Upper Canadien

The week that wasn’t

Not a good week for the Montreal Canadiens. But not one that should be forgotten. Many forget that adversity is what makes winners. It’s been proven time and time again. Rather than talk about individual performance, I’m going to digress a little bit and talk about the team. So, what can the Habs take away from this week that will stand them in good stead come playoff time?

Well, here’s a better question: are they going to make it?

Short answer: yes. Long answer, yes, but they may not like who they draw. Montreal had the opportunity to write their own story. To some extent, they still do; but this is no longer a “choose your own adventure” novel. This is now a “hold off New York and Buffalo” reality.

The Canadiens have not scored in over three games. Almost as dumbfounding, Carey Price has given up three goals in his past two home starts and won neither. Things are not going their way. The offence isn’t there. The defence, to some extent, isn’t there. The coaching staff? Jacques Martin continues to flog the “lack of execution” idea. Well, that’s great. But how about passion? 7-0 to Boston? Three shots on goal in the first period against Washington? I know Kirk Muller is the passion guy, but I want to see some emotion from M. Martin.

My view was, and still is, that different first round drawings could work out very favourably for Montreal. With Price hot, they could knock anyone off (a la Halak), but clearly some match-ups would be better than others. Philadelphia would be tough. Washington seems to have figured out how to play defence. Boston? Well, the Habs are 4-2 against them this year, but the 7-0 shellacking says otherwise. Now, Pittsburgh? That could be interesting. Tampa Bay? I’d take it. However, it’s looking more and more like Boston, Philadelphia, or Washington is the reality. And that may be a very bad story for Les Canadiens.

As Habs fans everywhere panic, with suggestions of PK Subban at forward, and Alex Auld in nets, logic suggests they will snap out of this. Logic also dictates it is much better for this to be happening now than in, say, three weeks, as they battle for playoff superiority. It’s been over 60 years since the Canadiens were shut out three times straight. I would humbly suggest it won’t happen a fourth time.

This week brings Atlanta, and then Carolina. Two games the Habs should be able to win - but also two games that currently look like mountains to a team that hasn’t scored in a week. They probably won’t score 8 again - but my money is on them scoring. And right now, that’s a pretty big deal.

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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