In Bob We Trust? The Long Road into February…

When does a coach lose control of a team?
When does the team stop picking up what he is metaphorically putting down?
No matter how good a coach you have, if he cannot get a team on board. He has to go.

I remember the very moment that Marc Crawford lost control of his team. It was about five minutes after the Bertuzzi-Moore incident, which Crawford could have easily prevented from happening. Guys like Naslund and Linden. Both veterans, lost total respect for the coach, while physically still sitting on the bench.
Jacques Demers. You can only be everyone’s best friend for so long before the inmates start running the asylum.
Mike Keenan…pick an era.
Mario Trembley – 5 minutes after he was hired.
Kevin Constantine – The first time he sat Spezza.
Etc

Guy Carbonneau is on that precipice.
He is a fantastic student of the game. He has learned from the best and has developed his own style along the way. He is a good coach and he is a brilliant mind.
Having said that, after Saturday’s 5-2 lose to the lowly Leafs…. Something has got to give. He is no longer in charge of this team. Period. Kovalev is.

Price looked pissed off at his D the entire night and simply gave up trying in the third.

Bouliion used to bowl over guys twice his size. He is no longer effective in the strength department. He simply gets beat down low way too often and he missed a gaping wide net. It would have put the Habs up 1-0 and made for a brand new game.

Has anyone seen all-star Mike Komisarek block a shot in the last month or two? He used to lead that catagory. Yet, he is always the first one to proclaim to the media that everyone needs to be accountable. Guess what Mike… You are not an all-star until you get voted in legitimately. The NHL.com voting fiasco will not happen next year. Mark my words.

Higgins, Plekanec, Sergei / Andrei Kositsyn and Andrei Markov can not hit the side of a barn wall with the puck right now. They, collectively, must have missed the net 20 times on Friday and Saturday.

And… Alexei Kovalev. trade him, trade him, trade him! For a man who claims to be trying very hard to get his game back…. here is one suggestion… Alex, if you can’t score, try helping out your goalie once and a while. He will apreciate it and you might even create some turnovers. Kovy has become the 2009 version of Pavel Bure. Remember him? Circle around your own blue line while your goalie gets pelted and if it squirts out, you have a clear breakaway. Most importantly, he is not even remotely interested in what Mr. Carbonneau has to say.

Bob Gainey is the final culprit in this debate. He didn’t exactly send warm and fuzzy feelings through the dressing room when asked about the “impending” trade with Tampa for Vinny Lecavalier. He said to one reporter…
“We don’t really talk about trade rumors. If I don’t talk about them, our players don’t hear about them and that’s likely the best way to go about it. What happens in any of these situations, whether it’s Marian Gaborik or [Jay] Bouwmeester, those names come up for different reasons, and if we’re involved, we like to do it quietly and be able to announce when something happens, rather than talk about it endlessly.”
“At this time of year, we’re working with the team we have now,” Gainey continued. “We’re looking to maybe reinforce our team according to the analysis and information we get from our club. We’re always available. There’s a price for everything. And if we have a chance at an impact player, we would evaluate the cost and see what happened.”.
Not exactly a vote of confidence. Since this comment, the team has been horrific.
So, Bob your options have now changed. At this point he should either…
a) Give your goalie a vote of confidence (he needs it right now)
b) Give your coach a vote of confidence (This sends a strong message to any detracters on the team)
c) Make a trade. This team needs a shake-up. I am in favour of patience before turning into a Mike Milbury, but Bob… Are you still alive?

Reports out of Montreal through La Presse indicate that Guy Carbonneau is fed up. He booked a day-off practice in Brossard at their wonderful new faciity and bag skated them for 15 minutes today. He originally wanted to skate them hard for an hour, but was talked down by Bob and the rest of the training staff.

When the veterens stop listening to the coach, it is really hard to get through to guys like Pacioretty, D’Agostini and Jorges. Monkey see, Monkey do…

Here is what I think is going to happen…

Forget Vinny. He is too expensive in terms of picks and future players. He is playing well right now and Montreal’s players’ values are going down day by day.

Boumeester will be coveted by every team in the league. This leads to a bidding war. Montreal at this point hasn’t got the roster players to give up to allow Florida to continue a drive towards the playoffs. Anything less than the playoffs this year for Florida will be catastophic.

So… Here are the possible scenarios

1) They are going to go on this road trip and show some signs of hope. The players’ value goes up, thus a trade will be made. My guess coming out of Vancouver is Ohlund for Jorges and Ben Maxwell. They will get a long hard look at Ohlund on the current trip and Maxwell is from Vancouver.

2) They go out on this road trip and don’t show any signs that they are coming together as a group. Guy is met at the airport by Bob Gainey and George Gillett. Bob takes over coaching the team.
Kovalev is traded away for far less than he is worth as a player, but far more than he is worth as a teammate. My guess, Mason Raymond, Keith Tchachuk or Skippy the Wonder Clown. Plekanec is sent packing for someone who will actually stand in front of the net. Cole or Langenbrunner. Price sees some time in the AHL for (Conditioning) and Montreal squeaks into the playoffs.

Roster Guys you don’t trade -
Lapierre, Pacioretty, Latendresse, Halak (Price is a head case again) , Price (After seeing a shrink he should work out his Kovalev-induced anger management issues), Markov, Komisarek, Kostopolous & D’Agostini.

Roster Guys you do -
Kovalev, Higgins, Plekanec, Georges Laraque (I love this guy, but nobody will fight him), O’Byrne, Boulion, Sergei Kositsyn, Steve Begin (He is slowing down) & Dandenault.

Guys you bring up.
Chipchurra, Maxwell and Weber.

It all should become clear in the next coming weeks, but this cannot and will not continue.

C


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