Thirty-five games into the season, and the Habs look like they're heading farther south than the Winnipeg Jets. The losses are piling up, one more heartbreaking than the last. And the injuries are like a game of Whack-A-Mole; the minute you think you've smacked one into submission, another one pops up. Losing Hamrlik, if he is lost, will be devastating, especially if Martin wasn't lying when he said Markov is "many games" away. It has me wondering about a few things, so I thought I'd throw out a few multiple-choice queries.
1. The team needs secondary scoring desperately. Who's the solution on the Gomez/Sergei Kostitsyn line until Brian Gionta returns?
a) Matt D'Agostini
b) Max Pacioretty
c) Benoit Pouliot
d) Baby Jesus
2. Why can't Mike Cammalleri score on the road?
a) he's a victim of effective line-matching
b) the team is on the PK more at home, so he's better rested there
c) his emotional response is higher in front of the home crowd
d) the other team's trainers are putting Ex-Lax in his water bottle
3. If Jaro Halak is traded, what would you like to see Gainey get in return?
a) Jeff Carter
b) Claude Giroux
c) Alexander Frolov
d) the second-round pick Gainey will probably end up with
4. The most heartbreaking loss this season so far has been:
a) the Washington game, where they gave up the tying goal with 11 seconds left
b) the New Jersey game, where they gave up the winning goal with two minutes left
c) the Buffalo game, where they gave up the winning goal on a 5-on-3 with five minutes to go, after a game full of stupid penalties
d) whichever loss is the most recent, until the next one hurts worse
5. Most of us agree Scott Gomez' contract is outrageously bad. But, contract aside, how do you feel Gomez is performing in his role as a top-two centre?
a) adequate; comparable to other players in his position
b) nowhere near a number one, but okay for a number two
c) not even close to being a top-two centre on a contending team
d) forget the contract? How can you forget that contract?
6. What kind of deal does Tomas Plekanec deserve?
a) He's a number-one centre, so 7-8 years at 5-6 million per
b) He's an excellent two-way player, so 4-6 years at 4-5 million per
c) He's a good player who's overachieving in a contract year, so 3-4 years at 2.5-4 per
d) He deserves a contract, but not with the Habs
7. Why are the Habs taking so many penalties?
a) their depleted lineup is consistently overwhelmed by the opposition's forecheck, forcing them into desperation defence
b) the refs have it in for them
c) they try to compensate for lazy play by using their sticks
d) they're too stupid for words
8. Conversely, why do the Habs draw so few penalties?
a) they're stuck in their own zone because they have no breakout, and it's hard to draw penalties when you're on defence all the time
b) the refs have it in for them
c) they're not using their speed to attack the opposing zone and force the other team to foul them
d) there's an elaborate league conspiracy to deny the Montreal PP a chance to really shine
9. What do you think of Jacques Martin's "System?"
a) It's not working because the defence isn't good enough in transition to effectively move the puck up the ice
b) It's not working because the forwards can't complete a pass and are weak on the forecheck
c) It can't work because the team spends half its time in the box
d) The problem is not the System. The System was created on the sixth day and passed to us by the Hand of God.
10. What piece do the Canadiens need most, if they're to improve?
a) a big, physical centre with skills
b) a big, sniping winger to play with Gomez
c) a tough, mobile defenceman
d) the ghost of Maurice Richard
11. If the Habs finish in a lottery position, who will Bob Gainey draft?
a) Taylor Hall
b) Tyler Seguin
c) Kirill Kabanov
d) a big college defenceman from Minnesota, who has at some point held the title of Mr.Hockey
12. What would be the worst finish possible this year?
a) the Habs finish last, but lose the lottery for first-overall to the leafs/Bruins
b) the Habs finish last, win the lotery for first-overall and pick the one guy in the top five of the draft who ends up becoming a bust
c) the Habs finish ninth, one point behind the eighth-place leafs
d) the Habs squeak into the playoffs and get swept by the Caps, with Ovechkin taking Price apart cell by cell