A West Coast Trip Makes Or Breaks A Team

Montreal Canadiens 3 San Jose Sharks 4 (SO)

Do The Players Want Martin Fired?

After coming off a lackluster display in a loss in Anaheim, the Montreal Canadiens put in a better effort.  They skated hard, they hit harder and overall they played a better game.  But in the end it was the same defensive mistakes that lead to another loss.

It was all going to plan with less than two minutes left in the game.  Goals from Michael Cammalleri, David Desharnais were countered by markers from Jamie McGinn and Logan Couture.  Both teams showed off a free flowing style of play making me wonder if the Habs would fit the Western conference better. 

It was nice to see a game with so much open ice and see the speed that the Habs could display every night if given the chance.  Erik Cole potted a third period goal giving the Habs another lead.  All the team had to do was hold on for twelve minutes.  They did, well almost did, but Ryane Clowe pushed the game into overtime scoring the tying goal with less than a minute and half remaining.

The overtime solved nothing and the game went into the shoot out.  Both teams had the chance to salt away the win but only until Joe Pavelski beat Price and P.K. Subban was stopped by Anti Niemi did the Sharks get maximum points.

Some would say a point in San Jose after losing to the Ducks the night before would be worthy of some comfort but not in light of how the Habs have been playing this season.  They are stuck out of the playoffs and seem to be sputtering. 

Raphael Diaz logged the most minutes out of any skater, yes Diaz.  Erik Cole again only got eighteen minutes and change of ice time.  Four D-men played over 22 minutes while Yannick Weber only logged less than twelve minutes.  Carey Price had to stop 41 shots.  The power play only had once chance to click but once again it was a mess as it has been for the past four weeks.  The players are trying, the players are skating and working hard.  It just doesn’t seem to be working.  Something has to change.

As you see teams around you in the standings making changes, big changes, you wonder what you should be doing.  You wonder what your team could do to make a difference in the dressing room, in the board room or on the ice.  Consensus says that the easiest change to make is to fire someone.  That someone is usually the coach. 

Three teams of done it in the past week.  The Anaheim Ducks did it right after the buzzer sounded Wednesday night.  So would firing Jacques Martin cure all the problems the team is having?  Of course it wouldn’t.  Would it help push the team in the right direction?  Of course it would.  The organization not only has to fire Martin but it has to clean house. 

The coach and the assistant coaches must be relieved of their duties and a new regime must be brought in now.  If you wait any longer, the goal of at least making the playoffs keeps getting farther away.  Am I being a little too rash?  Well, yes I am but so are 75% of Habs fans and so were fans of three other teams that made the same decision this past week. 

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Shahab Khan the Schoolboy


Jason Pietroniro's picture

I actually found their one attempt on the PP was somewhat convincing. They were shooting the puck at every chance and they were at least hitting the net or coming freakin close. I think if they had a few more times they would have gotten one in. But at the same time I found Niemi looked terrible. So who knows. Either way, I completely agree that this team needs to washed out. I mean it was a scramble to put them together after the Koivu/Kovalev era and it's simply not working out. Overhaul that shit, or tank. I;d be down with a new coach, new GM and top 4 overall pick at the end of the season.

George Prax's picture

What boggles me is some of the decision making. They played Budaj in Anaheim for what reason exactly? If they knew the travel was going to be brutal heading into SJ and they wouldn't get Markov for either game then it was a wash, and Anaheim was probably the easier game to win even though they played better in SJ. And that's obviously just the start but what's most glaring. There's no reason the Habs should be going into LA with no wins on this road trip. You at least try to win the first one. Then of course how EVERY ONE of their goals was met with an immediate goal from the Sharks moments later last night was ridiculous... Jesus.

Shahab Khan's picture

I agree with the bad decision on starting Budaj - and I hate who and when Martin changes lines and plays on those lines. He just seems to play players he likes - frustration is coming to a boil!

habbykins's picture

If we as fans and writers are so frustrated imagine how Geoff feels about it. Hoping for some changes indeed

George Prax's picture

I don't think anyone knows how Geoff feels. If he felt anything like the passionate fans, Gauthier and Martin would have been out a long time ago.

Jason Pietroniro's picture

Im pretty sure Geoff feels like this " ms, show me this weeks #s" " sick! , still rich as fuck and sold out every night for the next 10000000 years"

Jason Pietroniro's picture

BTW, whats with this Anaheim to San Jose travel problems? it's as far as Toronto from Montreal. I may be totally ignorant on this, but like, wtf. Weather problems? they're from MONTREAL!

George Prax's picture

Pierre was explaining it on the radio the last couple of days. Apparently despite the short distance it's a ridiculous trip because of the various noise laws in the county. I don't remember the specifics, but they have to travel out of Anaheim by bus, then take a plane from either LA or another nearby city, and even then they can't land in San Hose at the hour they would land. Like I said I don't remember the details but he made a pretty big deal about it. In other words they probably only got in to their hotel at 3-4AM.

Shahab Khan's picture

common sense says - play the game in Anaheim - go 45 minutes north - play the game in LA and then go up the coast to play the game in San Jose - common sense - i guess the league has money to burn

George Prax's picture

That and I guess they feel the marquee match-up is Habs vs. Kings. Which is is. But then, they could have just had the trip Thursday in Anaheim, Saturday in LA and Sunday in SJ or something.