Time for Molson to take action

Alright, folks: Let’s see the hopeless homers of the press box find a way to put a positive spin on this:

Seven games into the season, Jacques Martin’s Canadiens are 29th in the NHL and dead last in the Eastern Conference. They are seven points behind the Leafs and the sum total of their accomplishments so far this season comes down to this: They spoiled the return of the Jets to Winnipeg.


That was two weeks ago. Their accomplishments since then? Diddley and squat.

Seven games in, the Habs have four points, and two of those points you can chalk up to the NHL’s ridiculous pointfor-a-loss system, designed to make teams look better than they are.

So what do the Canadiens do now? Fire the coach? Fire the GM? Fire the team? Fire the 21,273 suckers who buy overpriced tickets for this nonsense game after game?

If this goes on much longer, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Martin walk the plank. He is the league’s least innovative coach, he has the charisma of a boiled turnip, and his constantly ballyhooed “system” seems tailored to the NHL circa 1997, when Jacques Lemaire’s trapping Devils ruled the roost.

Sooner or later, Pierre Gauthier will fire Martin to save his own skin, because that’s what GMs do.

http://www.faceoff.com/hockey/teams/montreal-canadiens/Time+Molson+take+action/5595819/story.html


41 Responses to Time for Molson to take action

  1. alpalstewart says:

    who is the marquee guy in montreal?

    Plekanec?
    cammalleri?
    gionta?
    price?
    most teams have that one guy to build around but i dont really see one in montreal. those are some big names i wrote up there and maybe subban should go on that list but it just seems to me that these guys are to small. 
  2. reinjosh says:

    I'm sort of surprised that no one has jumped on the "Habs trying to win through Free Agency" boat. For years the Leafs were harassed and burned for doing that yet Montreal has doen the exact same thing for the past few years (albeit with some more homegrown talent than the Leafs) and yet have escaped criticism. 

    This team is very likely going to enter a period similar to the period the Leafs went through post-lockout. They will be an aging team that will be just good enough to be close to making the playoffs or just get in but not good enough to get any farther. 
    They have some decent pieces though. Subban is the future for the defense. Price is obviously the future for the goaltending. Pacioretty, Plekanec and Eller are all nice pieces that are young enough to fit long term. 
    The thing is the other pieces just don't fit. Gomez isn't doing anything for them but taking up cap space, Cammy is quickly becoming injury prone and an overpaid sniper who can only put up 20 goals, Gionta is aging (albeit doing something decent), Markov is constantly injured. Their prospect pool is lacking top end depth and outside LeBlanc, Tinordi and Beaulieu, it's lacking anything nice. 
    This team desperately needs to start a new era. Unfortunately large contracts and an ineffective GM are going to prevent this. 
  3. mapleleafsfan says:

    Don't let lafleur hear you… The Habs have the deepest prospect anyone's ever seen apparently.

  4. mapleleafsfan says:

    prospect pool*

  5. JoelLeafs says:

    The catholic church has the deepest prospects.

  6. JoelLeafs says:

    I dunno, Josh, I think the situation you describe is still a year or two away. I think this is all a bit of an over-reaction: they've lost a handful of games, usually by one goal, in the first few weeks of the season. I think they could easily turn it around and get back to their usual 5-9th range.

    I think one of their biggest problems is the small, over-paid, and over-relied (i use the term loosely) upon forwards. The 'big' (again, loose) forwards with the much bigger contracts arent playing significantly better than the other lines. When Gomez, Gionta, and – to a slightly lesser extent, IMO – Cammaleri are treated like top liners without performing like top liners, they whole team suffers significantly. It just seems like they coach the players based on salary instead of performance and reality.

    Furthermore, the Subban and Price issues. They both seem like they play best when they're happy. The pressure doesn't help, but unless they can get that tripple low five going again (by that I mean winning), I doubt they're going to give it their all. The media and Habs fans have over-hyped Subban. He's very talented, but without Gill to baby sit him, and without a winning team in front of him, he's not going to maintain the point collecting pace of most of last season. Not trying to be a hater here, but Subs is not yet a top NHL defender. He plays a good specialty game, and is a great addition the rush, but he can't be counted on for significant offense… or at least not this early in his career (or even season, if you want to be optimistic… which I am).

    Price will get his game going, he just needs time. Not that I generally get behind them, but I was hoping Budaj would get the win and calm things down in net a bit. But, the pressure remains on, and if image is indicative of the habs this year it was P.K.'s frustrated slap shout around the boards to a chorus of boos in the dying second of the game last night.

    Oh, and Go-Leafs-Go!

  7. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Apparently, Ryan Johansen could potentially be had for a young defencemen…Burke should jump on this:

    I would so do:

    Toronto:

    -Clarke MacArthur
    -Jonas Gustavsson
    -Cody Franson or possibly another young defencemen
    -Conditional first 2011 (contingent on the leafs making the playoffs or not, if not, second rounder)

    Columbus:

    -Ryan Johansen
    -Kristian Huselius

    Why TO would do it?

    -Johansen will be their rugged, big, top-line center

    Why Columbus might do it?

    -They can get a highly rated defencemen in Franson who I still like
    -Clarke MacArthur would be a really good playmaking winger with Nash and Carter, better then Huselius, short and cheap contract
    -Jonas Gustavsson has moments of greatness,but he needs a new start and is a legitimate threat to Mason
    -1st rounder to compensate the loss if Leafs make playoffs
    – They lose paying Huselius a lot of money for being injured

    What do you guys thing? I like it with Kadri emerging.

  8. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Would also offer Grabovski if they want. he might be a better wing player then Center

  9. JoelLeafs says:

    Well, Price is key in net – though he's been mush less than spectacular. I think Plekanec I a good player to build around – he plays a (a cliche I'm beginning to hate) 200-foot game (ugh), and has size and talent. Subban, obviously is the big up-and-commer on D, but still needs a few seasons to baste in the league.

    The problems with this team is that they can't blow it up and build from the ground up using their young kids, picks, and prospects. They won't be able to move the big contracts. Gionta, Gomez, Plekanec, Cole, and Cammaleri, the habs have over 83.5 million tied up for the next 3 years alone. Out of that group they could likely only move Pleks, which would be a bad idea.

    It's not future they should worry about, but rather their haunted past.

    For anyone living in MTL, for Halloween go as the scariest thing, Montreal's recent contract signings!!

  10. JoelLeafs says:

    You would trade Grabo for that? Seriously? I mean, take what's available, but Grabo brings so much to the team.

    I think Grabo, Kulemin, and Kessel (among forwards, anyways) are untouchable. Unless a super star is coming back the other way, these guys aren't going anywhere.

  11. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Also, wasn't Johansen the center for the future TO Brad Marchand in Brad Ross???

    Make something happen Burke.

  12. TheLeafNation91 says:

    I adore Grabovski…But I don't think he will be the C of the future. He will possibly be the winger, which he might excel at more.

    Also, to get Johansen…I would offer quite a bit. He would be a great fit with Kessel.

  13. mapleleafsfan says:

    I would in a second, don't think they would though. They have no use for Gus, if anything they want a starter. Macarthur is ok but hasn't done anything so far this year. Not a top line player, not really a big skill upgrade on huselius. Fransons a nice piece but not worth Johansen. 

    The first evens it up but I don't think they would take the gamble on us making the playoffs.. Maybe a guaranteed first and they might? 
  14. mojo19 says:

    Grabovski has more value then that though, come on give me a break.

    Johanssen has a ton of potential but its unproven. I would take a shot at him but I wouldn't sacrifice a player like Grabovski to get it done. SMH

  15. mojo19 says:

    The Habs were a well below average team last season, who had a goalie playing well over his head. The result was that they snuck into the playoffs. If Price doesn't play lights out this team will be hard pressed to win many games. The only difference btwn this year and last is that Price did play amazing last year, and this year he's come back down to earth.

    Like honestly, their best D are Gill and Subban with Markov being hurt, and that would be a solid 2nd pair on a contending team. If they had more depth they would be an adequate top pair on a pretending team. But they have no depth, the rest of their blueline is brutal.

    They have decent enough forwards, but just too many holes everywhere, especially on the back end. This team is going NOWHERE. Rangers are in a similar situation except that Lunqvist has proven to be an MVP calibre goalie year in, year out, so they'll always be in the playoff mix.

  16. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Just remember…Optimists vs Realists. Ironic since this time last season you guys hated Grabovski and I was the only one who saw his talent level.

    Grabovski and Kulemin are also both UFA's. If you had to choose one…Which do you choose? Even though I'm mad at him currently…I'm picking Kulemin.

    Also, I adore Grabovski. But I know he cannot be the top-line center for this team if their goal is to win the Stanley Cup. I think he can be a top-line winger on this team or others, but he does not have the Center prowess I want.

    That is why i would dump MacArthur…Who I want them to shop because he has decnet valure right now, and is a decent player but I want that to-line C were missing and desperate to do about a lot of things.

    Even Schenn.

  17. dumbassdoorman says:

    I would do the 1st guaranteed with no problem, I think Johansen is a better player then anyone we could get at where we may end up picking. It would be essentially like we were able to draft him.

  18. JoelLeafs says:

    Really, you were the only one that liked grabo this time last season? No one around this site or anywhere else recognized his passion and flashy abilities? No one saw his talent level? Sure… I'll just leave that one alone.

    Kulemin is an RFA.

    Grabo is one of the best, hardest working centers in the league. What gives you such conviction about his ability on the wing? With the point totals he put up last year, having a better campaign would mean super star numbers (40+ goals, 90+ points), is he going to simply manage that by jumping to the wing?

    Talking about 'dumping' mac gives me the impression that you really don't think he is a capable top 6-guy. I'm not exactly his biggest fan, but he really brings something to that line. Just look at how much they struggled without him in the per-season and during his suspension and 1 game injury.

    Trading Schenn right now would be moronic. He's signed at a decent rate for the next 5 years (I think) but has dropped off in play this season. I'm sure he'll find his stride, but you don't trade away a core young player you just signed long-term, especially when he's in a bit of a down period.

    Silly, Silly, Silly.

  19. dumbassdoorman says:

    Agreed amazing how much a goalie on top of his game hides teams flaws

  20. reinjosh says:

    I'm more using this start as a jumping point. I know mojo's said it before, but the Habs get overrated because of the year Halak carried them to the final. They won't be terrible, but they aren't going to be good. The best they can hope for right now, is a first round exit. I don't think they have what it takes to get any farther. 

    Price is only going to trick management into thinking they have a better team than they do. It's a shame since they have probably a top 5 goalie in this league and he's going to be wasted on the team. 
    Subban I feel is going to go through a similar time to Phaneuf. He's got the whole ego, the hits, and the offense that were there in Phaneuf in his first few years. Hopefully Subban can realize a whole lot sooner that he has to develop his game. 
    I'm not confident in this team. The top line is overpaid for what it does, the defense is brutal, and the depth is severely lacking (which is a product of hte overpaid front line). 
    A change needs to happen. Maybe my Leaf analogy was off. This team is more like the Flames post lockout. Coming off an insane playoffs, they were expected to do big things but could never do anything past the first round. They toiled in mediocrity and I honestly think thats the way the Habs are going (and have been going since that playoff run).
  21. reinjosh says:

    No thanks. I'm willing to be a center we get in the 15th – 25th spot in this years draft will be better than Johansen ever will be. I've never been particularly high on Johansen (He was great in the WJC, I'll admit) but I'm not a fan. Grabbing him would completely ruin Colborne's confidence. It would be the proverbial middle finger to a guy thats been tearing it up in the AHL since he was acquired by us. I mean the kid can't even center Nash or Carter right now. That alone should make people think long and hard about whether or not he's overhyped. 

    I think we could get a better deal with those picks. I wouldn't turn him down for the right deal (like Franson and a conditional pick for Johansen) but that's far to much for a kid that might not stick with the worst team in the league. 
    And not a chance in hell would I ever trade Grabo for Johansen. Even considering that, it makes me think you've gone off the deep end. And don't talk to me about being the only one on the site that liked him. I was championing him long before that. Grabo is far ahead of Johansen. Depth is what wins in this league and having Grabo as a 2nd line center is gold. I have no doubts that both Kulemin and Grabo will stay. Grabo loves it in Toronto and he knows that a loyalty from management to him exists. He'll stay. Johansen has a long way to go before he's anywhere near Grabo.
    Johansen is nice but he's overrated. 
  22. JoelLeafs says:

    Good points.

    I think you're spot on about Price and Halak tricking the public, the media, and (most surprisingly) management. It is unfortunate, indeed, that Price is stuck on a team that will likely be anchored in failure by its large, long contracts up front.

    I feel like the D (especially this year) has little cohesion and seems more like a patchwork quilt of in-and-out defenders than a defensive team. And can anyone offer an explanation for splitting up Gill and P.K.? Just seemed to be a good things going.

    Injuries haven't helped things – neither has the booing, for that matter – but I think the real problem lays first with poor decisions in the front office, and a multitude of pressures (media, fans, management, losses, etc.) affecting the effectiveness of the coaching staff. Martin seems to be losing/has lost the team. What they need is an iron fisted Darth Vader style coach to whip the boys into shape, get better production from the top guys (not necessarily the top paid guys), and keep everything going, even when the media is calling for heads to roll.

    My french friends have been much quieter since the start of the season… it's kind of nice. 😛

  23. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Mojo and leafy can both tell you I knew Grabovski was a good player and would break out. I've said it because of his talent levels.

    Kulemin is an RFA and Grabo is a UFA yes. That was not the point…The point is we cannot disperse 10 million dollars of cap into two players that had one good season. Ask Montreals how that is working now…We need to save cap for the future so managing it now is the best option.

    Grabo will not have superstar numbers ever, that is not debated. If you want to see Bergeron vs Grabo or Kesler vs Grabo or Toews vs Grabo or Datsyuk vs Grabo in the future then good luck. My point is he he will not be avle to handle top-end centers ina  7-game series and I want a legitimate center to go against them. Stanley Cups are won by goaltending and Centers…Look at the last 5 winners. Proof of that. Grabo can be a very effective two way player on the wing, alongside a very good C and Kulemin.

    What has Mac brought? He has one assist and Kulemin and Grabo have for the most part been invisible with him. They've only looked alive with Frattin.

    Schenn is a core player…But thats right now a positionof depth, unlike center. If Gardiner continues to grow as a player because right now he looks like a gem…It is not impossible that Schenn could be moved. If Gretzky can be moved…Anyone can.

  24. TheLeafNation91 says:

    I think Johansen, if develops, is that first-line C we were looking for.

    Just imagine a future team where its:

    Kadri-Johansen-Kessel
    Grabovski-Colborne-Kulemin
    Frattin-McKegg-Armstrong
    Brown-Steckel-Orr

    Phaneuf-Aulie
    Schenn-Gardiner
    Gunarsson-Blacker

    Reimer
    Scrivens

    Ohh…The championships we will win.

  25. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Like I said…Imagine a team with:

    Kadri-Johansen-Kessel
    Grabovski-Colborne-Kulemin
    Frattin-McKegg-Armstrong
    Brown-Steckel-Orr

    Phaneuf-Aulie
    Schenn-Gardiner
    Gunarsson-Blacker

    Reimer
    Scrivens

    Ohh…The championships we will win.

    This does not even include Biggs, Percy or Ross.

    And this roster makes Lombardi, MacArthur, Bozak, Lupul, and Franson expendable.

  26. Steven_Leafs says:

    The biggest problem Montreal has is that they signed a bunch of decent 2nd line players for 1st line dollars which completely prevented them from signing / chasing actual 1st line players when they became available.

  27. Steven_Leafs says:

    I wouldn't give up that 1st that fast. I really like Johansen but I think that pick will be good even if it is 25th-ish.

    MacArthur
    Franson
    Gustavsson (they probably wouldn't want him so maybe a decent prospect instead)
    2012 2nd

    for:

    Johansen
    (cap dump)

    we either flip the cap dump for a small pick or waive him (I doubt we get a good enough player to make the team if we are getting Johansen).

    Also you do not give up a player like Grabovski when your trying to make the playoffs.

  28. dumbassdoorman says:

    I think he will be way better than you do, and no way that centre grabbed there is as good. Drafting a centre there would still be giving that same finger you talk about no?

  29. JoelLeafs says:

    Both above comments show your amazing hockey knowledge: I bow to thee!!

  30. blaze says:

    lol at you saying we couldn't win a championship with a gritty resiliant Grabo at center, but a big softy like Colborne and we're all set.

  31. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Colborne was never a 'softy' genious. Since his height did not match his frame he did not use it as much. The reason he's still in the Marlies is to teach him how to use his frame as Kulemin had to learn how to do in the NHL when TORONTO had no other options for players at the time.

    Also, if you actually knew a thing or two, you would know he's third in AHL scoring right now since he has been hitting those hard areas to get the puck and use his fram to his advantage.

    Get off the Leaf kool-aid…Grabovski is not a first-line C.

  32. reinjosh says:

    Of course as soon as I say Johansen is overrated, he puts up a goal and an assist. 

  33. JoelLeafs says:
    It's spelled "genius", genious.

    Everyone was soft at some point.

    Yeah, no shit about AHL points, it's early in the season.
    Yes, he is. 
  34. TheLeafNation91 says:

    I'm going to go out on a limb and say that every other first-line C has more points then Grabovski does right now and possibly that whole line.

    Championships are won down the middle. Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Anaheim, hell eve Carolina are all proof of that.e

    So, no he is not. better suited as a wing player, his productivity would probably be greater if you placed a good Center besides them.

  35. mojo19 says:

    haha, well he already broke out in his rookie year with the Leafs, but you did stand by him in his sophomore season where he regressed so you deserve your props. But don't take it too far.

    Anyway's Grabovski could definitely be the 2nd line center on a cup winning team, or a first line center on a cup winning team that's deep enough at all positions. Like, he's as good as Krejci and Bergeron, so, that's pretty much that. We just need another one.

  36. mojo19 says:

    Your dream team has Johanssen and Turris as leading the way. Just saying.

  37. blaze says:

    Get off the Leafs kool-aid?? That's a good one. Show me where I said Grabo was a first line center. You had Colborne in Grabo's second line center spot and stated 'oh the championships we would win' and I'm the one daydreaming??

    I was attacked earlier by a 'realistic' leaf fan for suggesting it's not impossible for Colborne with his skill set to have a long developmental road to still become a first line center. Now I get attacked for saying until he proves it at the NHL level he is not an improvement over the gritty 2-way Grabo.

    And ya that's great, I'm aware too Colborne is piling up the stats at the AHL level, it's only on the HTR home page. You read some article that says he is defensively aware now so suddenly he's proven to be more gritty than Grabo who has scored GWGs after getting smoke by Chara…twice. Don't act like you're some scout who routinely watches the Marlies games. I've never watched a Marlies game in my life, and why would I?

    As for Kulimen his entire amateur career he had been scouted as possesing a gritty, physical two way game regardless of him taking time to adjust to the pro NA game. The exact opposite can be said of Colborne.

  38. blaze says:

    Are you stunned kid? Grabo, despite being the Leafs best center, is not the first line center. The Maca-Grabo-Kuli line is the second line and a damn solid second line at that.

    The Kessel line is clearly the top line with a current stop gap first line center that you may have forgotten….Connelly.

    What even makes you think Grabovski would be suited to the wing. The offense runs through him on the line. He's the main puck carrier and takes a high volume of shots as well.

    Are you drooling on your keyboard?

  39. dumbassdoorman says:

    LOL…ya I read online that he did it just to spite you. i think he will be a excellent player.

  40. JoelLeafs says:

    I'll let the veteran NHL coaching staff and Grabo decide where his is best suited to play.

    Also, your qualification for a first line center seems to be that he could win the cup. So there has really only been 1 first line center in the league per year? Just look at Boston… 
    And for the record, I'm still not giving you that one about being the only one on Grabo's side back in the day.
  41. JoelLeafs says:

    If he keeps using his imagination this hard, he's going to hurt himself… 

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