Skip to content
Canadien fatigue: Renaud Lavoie and Gilbert Delorme debate fiercely on air
Last night, the Montreal Canadiens lost their game against the Ottawa Senators. This followed a trip the night before, as the Canadiens had played in New Jersey on Wednesday.

The result? For the eighth time (out of nine) this season, the Habs lost the second game of a back-to-back.

Cole Caufield said after the game that the league didn’t care if the Habs had to play a second game in two nights. And let’s just say it got people talking.

The feeling I get is that Caufield said this in the words of Martin St-Louis, who sometimes uses this formula in front of the media.

But when the coach says it, it’s not to make excuses. It’s used to say that life goes on and that the players have to pick themselves up to overcome the pitfalls of a season.

He said this when we learned that Kirby Dach wouldn’t be playing again this season.

That said, I can understand why some people think that Caufield (who played well yesterday, that said) said this using it as an excuse and to send his message to the league following a loss. It’s a fine line.

Caufield’s comments came up again in Renaud Lavoie’s column on BPM Sports this morning. The journalist agrees with me on that point.

But that’s not what attracted the most attention during the column. After all, there was a heated debate between Gilbert Delorme and Renaud Lavoie about Hab fatigue.

It started when Gilbert asked Renaud if the two games in two nights had taken away his legs too, clearly alluding to the fact that the Habs hadn’t been up to the task yesterday.

And when Renaud replied that six games in nine nights wasn’t easy even for journalists, something was up.

In the eyes of the TVA Sports journalist, playing six games in nine nights is clearly a factor. You can’t expect to see the same level of energy as in the first game of the sequence nine days earlier.

Crossing the border several times is also a factor. It takes longer, of course.

But Gilbert wasn’t buying that. In his eyes as a guy who’s played the game, these are excuses for defeat, so that every time there’s a back-to-back, the guys can pull out the travel card to justify a lack of effort.

In reality, there’s truth in both. It’s true that fatigue is a factor (which explains the days off this week), but it’s especially true that the Habs played really badly yesterday. And it’s unacceptable to blame it on fatigue.

Renaud Lavoie believes, however, that the Habs didn’t take the Sens lightly, and that even if there was a lack of execution, the effort was there nonetheless. And Gilbert didn’t find that one funny.

What’s important to understand is that the radio host isn’t saying that the Habs should always win games following a travel and a two-in-two. What bothers him is the players’ lack of effort on the ice, and the fact that they hide behind the travel to explain it.

In his eyes, the guys have the resources to be in shape. He also adds that the other teams are playing too, and that the Habs don’t have a good record against clubs playing their second game in two nights. That’s true enough.

But it was when he added that the guys were going to have to take an extra 20 minutes because there’s a border between Ottawa and Boston that things got out of hand.

At this point, Renaud Lavoie felt attacked, as he is of the opinion that crossing customs takes time and makes travel more cumbersome. It got pretty tense in the end, and the column ended dry after a milk run on the fact that every defeat against a bad club attracts criticism.

I’ll let you go and listen to the end by clicking here. I don’t want to verbatimize the whole interview either.

What I will add, though, is that debates like this are healthy. It makes for good radio, and it lets you see both sides of the story.

After all, there’s nothing wrong with differing opinions. Bravo to both men for this morning’s good radio, sincerely.

It clearly wasn’t staged either, which made it authentic. Both were right at some point in the debate, and it was good to have one like that. You need more of it, both on the radio and in society.

I wonder to what extent Renaud Lavoie agrees with me, though. He’s not usually one for confrontation in his columns, and he didn’t seem happy this morning.

I’m not just saying that because of what just happened, but I’m wondering if Renaud Lavoie still likes it, doing columns on the morning show. After all, he basically said yes to being with Jean-Charles Lajoie last year.

We’ll see what happens.

In a row

– Of note on the Rocket.

– Of note.

– Really?

– I hope he is.

– It wouldn’t be any worse.

– Oh no?

More Content