The Upper Canadien
by The Upper Canadien on 10/20/11 at 11:27 PM ET
How bad were the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night? I didn’t even notice them before the third period.
How bad have they been this season?
The only team they have beaten through six games is the Thrashers.
That’s pretty bad.
What are the reasons for the badness? Well, the power play is a big one, but I’ve beaten that like a lumpy pillow. Another big one, which I suspect will become more talked about should Montreal lose Saturday to Toronto, is that coach Jacques Martin lost his deputy, Kirk Muller, and Muller was clearly the players guy. He helped run special teams. He communicated between the coaching staff and the team. He was a key cog in the wheel, and they’re missing him right now. Is Martin on the verge of being fired? Not at 1-4-1. But if they go 1-8-1, this is a subject we’ll revisit.
Am I worried? I still say no. I’m seeing some good things. The team is battling through an early injury bug. Carey Price has looked fairly sharp, all things considered. But one thing that hasn’t sorted itself out, and I’m starting to think it won’t, is the play of Scott Gomez.
When did Gomez last score an NHL regular season goal? February. How many games? 45 folks. That’s a looooong time to go without scoring for anyone, let alone a first line centre. He’s on pace for less than 20 points. He’s generating little to no offence. And he’s no Bob Gainey in his own zone.
Scott Gomez has become an issue. I feel for him, somewhat, because I do think he’s trying. He’s shooting more, he’s moving his feet, but he isn’t creating chances. Sure, Tomas Plekanec has been largely silent, PK Subban seems mistake-prone, and Erik Cole makes his debut Saturday night. But Gomez is the one making 7+ million dollars. Gomez is the supposed first line centre. Gomez is supposed to be a leader on this team.
Gomez needs to lead. Martin needs to coach. And this team needs to play. If the Leafs thus far have been any testament, then Saturday could be a very long night for Habs fans.
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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.
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