The Ship Be Sinking

Mouth Almighty

Alien Autopsy

Never has the name of this site been more apropos than with regards to the Montreal Canadiens. After a strong start to the season, the bottom completely fell out in every possible area leading up to the inglorious sweep by Boston in the first round. By the way, the post subject relates to the fact that most male homo sapiens possess both guts and testicles, both of which are in short supply among the bleu, blanc et rouge.

So, let’s take stock of what we’ve got, shall we?

First off, I think a VERY telling stat is TOI/GA, or Time on Ice per Goal Against. This is how it breaks down…the numbers are Goals Against (when they were on the ice), total TOI for the series, and TOI/GA. By this metric,  Josh Gorges was our best defensive player.

D-men:

Gorges – 2, 95:02, 47:31
Weber – 1, 40:48, 40:48
Brisebois – 1 (1 EN), 16:07, 16:07
Dandenault – 6 (2 SH, 1 EN), 84:18, 14:03
O’Byrne – 2, 26:08, 13:04
Hamrlik – 10 (2 SH, 1 EN), 101:14, 10:07
Komisarek – 8 (2 SH), 76:00, 9:30
Schneider – 4 (1 SH, 1 EN), 37:56, 9:24

Forwards:

Tanguay – 0, 30:57, 30:57
Kovalev – 3 (2 EN), 79:35, 26:31
Latendresse – 2, 46:57, 23:28
A. Kostitsyn – 3, 56:59, 18:59
Koivu – 4 (2 EN), 71:01, 17:45
Higgins – 4 (1 SH, 1 EN), 70:18, 17:35
Metropolit – 4, 64:16, 16:04
Laraque – 3, 43:50, 14:37
Dandenault 6 (2 SH, 1 EN) – 84:18, 14:03
S. Kostitsyn – 0, 12:10, 12:10
Kostopolous – 5 (3 SH), 56:05, 11:13
Lapierre – 6 (3 SH), 59:42, 9:57
Plekanec – 5 (1 EN), 40:47, 8:09
D’Agostini – 5, 35:28, 7:06
Stewart – 3, 17:01, 5:40

While it isn’t a perfect metric (it does penalize a forward for being on the ice when an empty net goal happens miles away from them, for example), it does roughly map out the general performance of the team during the Boston series. Gorges doesn’t stick out in the mind much because, well, he didn’t fuck up in egregious fashion. Meanwhile, the gruesome twosome of Komisarek and Hamrlik are down towards the bottom…and I can’t say I’m drastically stunned, I’ll put it that way. As for the forwards, Lapierre had a nightmare (especially on the PK), as did the two kids (Dagger and Stewart). Kostopolous was also dreadful on the PK, and Pleks should really be dragged out back and shot.

Oh, and while Price wasn’t as at-fault as some of the mouth-breathing loons at Habs I/O and some other places would have you believe, a line of 0-4, 4.11, .878 is just not fucking good enough. I know he’s still a kid, I know he’s going to get better, but the truth is that either he or Halak has to go this off-season. I still believe that Price has the higher ceiling (if we haven’t already ruined him for life), and that Halak’s trade value may never be higher. For me, the only sensible course is to trade Jaro for whatever we can get for him, and bring in a solid veteran backup to mentor Price through this awful time, and provide insurance in case he melts down again.

Maybe this is more my heart talking, but I think The Captain has to come back. There is NO REASON why he shouldn’t retire a Hab as long as his contract demands aren’t too ridiculous. At this point, he’s a third-line checking center, and if he’s willing to be paid as such, then by all means he should return. If he still harbors the notion of being the No. 1 somewhere…then happy trails and thanks for everything you’ve done for us. The man is a credit to the organization and to hockey in general, and I’ll miss him badly if he goes. If only some of these other guys had the heart that he does…shit, some of them could use even one ventricle.

Believe it or not, I think Kovalev should return as well. He still gives us a dangerous scoring weapon on a roster that is quite short on those, and he always steps it up in the playoffs. We shouldn’t pay him the moon and stars of course, but anything reasonable means he HAS to come back. Maybe next season we won’t play him with GEORGES FUCKING LARAQUE on the first line in the playoffs.  *sigh*

Komisarek, Hamrlik, Plekanec, both Kostitsyns and Kostopolous really need to go. Having watched some of the other teams in the playoffs (which is the first I’m seeing of some of them, in all honesty), I look at even the 8th-seeded Ducks and ask myself if any of these guys would crack their playoff roster based on current form. I’m coming up with a huge NO. If the 8-seed wouldn’t go to war with them, why would Detroit or Boston or San Jose?

Brisebois is probably going to retire anyway. Schneider I’m cool with as long as he is here as the 6th/7th defenseman.

As for the rest of it, we need one or two absolute top-end scoring types (cough cough Lecavalier cough cough) and some 3rd-line types that don’t have giant hands of stone like Tom the Bomb. The defense drastically needs shoring up as well. I hate to say it, but this lot is probably 2-3 years away from being a serious contender, barring some kind of crazy Gainey miracle.

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April 24, 2009 - Posted by | Montreal Canadiens

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