Contest: DansLesCoulisses will send two people to Ottawa to see Connor Bedard → https://t.co/s1KYgTroOh
– DansLesCoulisses (@DLCoulisses) November 21, 2023
In September, we felt that the Canadiens had taken a step forward in their rebuilding and that the club had progressed. At least, that’s what the organization was trying to sell us, and we were buying.
Although Jeff Gorton didn’t dare use the P-word(yet), he was talking about an improved team on the right path (to success).
Martin St-Louis, in one of his 1001 poetic flights of fancy/analogies, told us that his players had gone from being babies to children (or even teenagers). You can ask more of a child than a baby… and that was encouraging for the future.
Reread the last three paragraphs and sum them up in one word. If you used “progression”, you’ve won.
The problem is that it’s now November 22 and you can’t see the progress. The club will soon have played a quarter of its season, and frankly, it feels like the same damned club as last year. And the one before that…
Despite a (relatively) good month of October, the team’s record this morning is worse than it was this time last year. They sit 26th overall, just a few points behind the bottom three (Oilers, Blackhawks and Sharks). 16 points in 18 games is three points less than on November 22, 2022…
The Tricolore has just suffered four straight defeats and will try to stop the bleeding tonight in Anaheim. Unfortunately, the CH hasn’t had much success in California, historically speaking…
The problems are many, and no, Martin, the media don’t see the negative more than the positive.
Cole Caufield isn’t scoring enough, especially at 5-on-5.
Josh Anderson isn’t scoring enough.
And on top of it all, guys keep getting injured… and coming back too quickly.
Kirby Dach’s season ended after just one game and counting. Jordan Harris and Rafaël Harvey-Pinard re-injured themselves immediately after returning to action. David Savard has been out for a month. Arber Xhekaj fell badly the other night… and we’re still waiting for news on his medical situation. Chris Wideman and Carey Price are not expected to play all year.
I’ll be honest: where do we see the Habs progressing? At what level are we seeing it?
The only things working are Brendan Gallagher, (somewhat and against all odds) the ménage à trois in front of the net, Kaiden Guhle, Jesse Ylonen and perhaps the captain. Even Sean Monahan has been strugglingfor some time…
Is Gallagher’s renewed effectiveness (and promotion to the top three) what you’d call progress? Of course not!
But you know what? There’s more concern than certainty and confidence at the moment with our hockey club. I know that rebuilding can take a long time, and that the results aren’t always there in the end…
And that’s why I dare to write these few words (which will earn me the wrath of many fans) this morning. When will we stop seeing life in pink, with unicorn glasses? When will we dare to analyze all this coldly and ask ourselves whether the CH is really on the right track?
Maybe they are… but the fact that we’re not seeing a better team than we were a year ago when we watch the games is enough to worry me right now. You can’t always say to me, “Yes, but there are a lot of injured people, Max!
4 losses in a row for the @CanadiensMTL. Time to hit the panic button? 16 pts after 18 games, last season 19 pts after 18 games. Why the drop? So many things to discuss in Habs land. I do it NOW w/ Pierre McGuire.
– Tony Marinaro (@TonyMarinaro) November 21, 2023
I’m going to wait a little longer before doing so, since the Canadiens will be facing teams with worse records than at the start of the month over the next few weeks. But if things don’t settle down by mid-December, before the traditional long holiday trip, I’ll have all 10 fingers on the red button.
In the meantime, I continue to live in hope; I’m taking a leap of faith. In any case, that’s what almost all the mainstream media are doing, avoiding too much of a challenge to the organization despite its current difficulties…