Two Words: SCRATCH LATENDRESSE
The Habs have started off pretty well and are playing better than anyone expected. Yet still, there is always room for improvement and they have a few problems to fix.
*Note to HTR* Please insert this picture if you do decide to put one in:
For some reason unknown to myself, Guillaume Latendresse has played in 13 of 14 games this year, something he is terribly undeserving of in my opinion. Latendresse, or ‘Lazy Tendencies’ as I like to call him, has points in only 3 games this year, he has 2 goals and 2 assists, and we all know the quality of his goals… Latendresse is second worst on the team with a minus three rating, and if you take a look at the other players with low plus minus ratings you’ll see that many have played on a line with Latendresse at some point this season. Plekanec has played much better than a minus three rating and Kovalev has played better than a 0.
Latendresse has very rarely actually been demoted a line, in fact Ryder has been demoted more times the Lazy Tendencies, and although I agree that Ryder should have been demoted that many times, Latendresse should have been demoted many more times than Ryder.
Unbelievably, Latendresse has been playing on the second line and has served as a cancer for that line, yet thankfully Kovalev and Plekanec have kept things together. I do not know why Carbo is so unwilling to send Latendresse a message, and for those of you who argue that he has, take a look at the powerplay. Notice that Latendresse is always on the second unit with Kovalev, yet he has managed 0 goals. Patrice Brisebois has more Powerplay goals than Lazy Tendencies does.
And for any of you who have beeto a game recently,you would notice that there are quite a few fans who have no problems calling Latendresse useless, unworthy, a cancer, and other more vulgar terms.
I really hope this is not the case, but I think that Carbo is being pressured by the French media into keeping Latendresse on the roster. I do not mean to sound racist in any way, but if Latendresse were to be benched there would be an uproar from the French media. Apart from Benoit Brunet the RDS broadcast team seems quite knowledgable and they would probably not be too upset with the move, but the likes of Journal de Montreal and La Presse would throw fits. They would throw other players like Josh Gorges under the bus in order to make it seems like Latendresse really isn’t all that bad. Of course, they’ll neglect to say that Gorges has been playing because of injuries to others and that he’s been giving the aging Brisebois the ocassional game off.
There is no lack of players on offence, and I’d much rather see guys like Grabovski, Lapierre, or even Sergei Kostitsyn getting a shot when a guy like Latandresse is showing no effort early on. I’m not saying get rid of Latendresse for a long period, simply scratch him once, and give another guy a chance. Give Latendresse the start next game, but tell him that if he does not play to his capabilities he will be benched/sent to Hamilton for the next 5 games. When that 5 game period ends give him another 2 or 3 games to prove himself, and if he does not do so send him down/bench him again, and repeat the process until he starts playing to his capabilities.
I hope it does not require much time to get him back on track, but if he is not willing to skate on an energy line with Smolinski and Dandeneault you know something is wrong.
So far, it looks like Lazy Tendencies would fit perfectly (speed wise) on Montreal’s old energy line with Audette and Gilmour, in fact I’d say those two played more like they had something to prove than Latendresse does.