Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Few Queries

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

7 comments:

dusty said...

Thanks for this. After watching last nights game I really need a good laugh. 1. (d) 2. (c) & maybe (d) 3. (a) but probably (d) 4. (a) & (d) 5. (d) 6. (c) 7. (d) 8. (a) 9. (b) 10. (a) & (d) 11. (d) 12. (b).

HoustonHab said...

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… this guy is good.

2. Why can't Mike Cammalleri score on the road?
c) his emotional response is higher in front of the home crowd

3. If Jaro Halak is traded, what would you like to see Gainey get in return?
c) Pink Slip. Halak is a number 1 goalie who will prove it sooner or later.

4. The most heartbreaking loss this season so far has been:
c) … I’m sure there is more to come.

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?
c) Gomex is invisible. Periods go by and you don’t notice him but yet the game card says he plays 20 minutes per game. 20 minutes per games, lol, there is no way he is on the ice for 20 minutes. Yeah, right!

6. What kind of deal does Tomas Plekanec deserve?
b) He's an excellent two-way player, so 4-6 years at 4-5 million per

7. Why are the Habs taking so many penalties?
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

9. What do you think of Jacques Martin's "System?"
c) I have yet to see this “system” you speak of…

10. What piece do the Canadiens need most, if they're to improve?
c) This team is at a $10M handy cap while Gomez and GL are under the cap. To improve they need to dump both of these guys. $8-10M a year… that’s Kovalchuk money people. Can you image Kovalchuk / S. Kostitsyn / Brian Gionta as the 2nd line? (lines the be adjusted at a later hypothetical date).

11. If the Habs finish in a lottery position, who will Bob Gainey draft?
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

Harry said...

I'm so glad there is you.....
1) c-maybe if we ever get to see him
2) a
3) d
4) d
5) c-although he has had crap linemates
6) b
7) a
8) c
9) b-always hated him and still do-he has the emotion of a robot.....Pat Burns est furious-remember?
10) a
11) d-I don't really know any of them-but if things go as they have it will be the least useful one
12) c
My life as a Habs fan is made tolerable by your rants and comments........me likey you !!!!!

bea.habs.fan said...

tough questions with great analysis behind them.
1. c) if he plays to potential but Gionta will probably be back before this guy is ready.
2. a/c do I get to to call a friend
3. a or c would be nice but I would settle for anything but d
4. a
5. b but only with good wingers
6. b
7. a
8. a
9. a
10. a miracle at this stage of the season
11. we should be so lucky
12. a. b. c. it's like asking someone to pick a torture method.

Raphaƫl said...

b
a
d
c
b
a
a
c
a
b
b
a

Denise T said...

Last year, Habs had talented players who didn't work hard. This year, they have hard workers who don't have talent.

Anonymous said...

Jacques Martin's "System" is a major part of the problem. He is using his line's like a pee wee coach. Instead of using depth to generate energy late in the game- because people aren't tired, he is running legs into the ground on his top lines. Metropolit in the box with a minute to go? Does anybody remember Damphousse's mid game penalty box break to catch his breath. Clogging the front of the net and shooting at feet did its damage- to the feet. How do you get multiple defensemen injured falling over their goalie? It's gotta be the system- too many to be random. The clearing is textbook- a textbook on what doesn't work. Stand still so your puck support role is a supporting pylon, or clog lanes so people can't go anywhere except skate into a concussion- look at the video of how D'Agostini got hurt- he had his head up but no place to go. Before they signed him to the big bucks somebody should have looked at Martin's stats at HockeyDB.com. With the exception of peak Alfredson and one year in Guelph, he is at best a .500 coach. He played on a very mediocre SLU team and had one year when he played 22 games and had 4.10 GAA,(0.875 save percentage) and the next year 6 games and 6 games, 5.40 GAA and 0.836 save percentage. Perhaps the real challenge would have been to lose with Alfredson in his prime. And the sad thing is that even if he can get his players to play with intensity, in a losing cause, Martin's salary and contract are a significant cost. System wise the team was better off with Carbonneau. Always two outlets for a clearing pass. Puck movement. Always on forward back on the backcheck- essentially the left wing lock, but it was ambidextrous. A fluid power play and enough speed deployed to force the other team to hook and grab. Martin's system requires a lot of standing around and standing around leads to hooking and grabbing- ask any oldtimer with tired legs.