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At least the Canadian is making progress…
No, there was no Xhekaj or Pearson effect last night.

The Habs played a third straight one-sided game… this time in front of their home fans. And yet, the boys had slept at home the night before, without having to travel overnight or go through customs at Dorval.

I suppose someone once told you that the first game back from a trip is always tough… which is statistically untrue, by the way.


Once again this season, it’s not about wins. It’s about progress. No “P” or “S” word , depending on the language used: we just want to see the little guys progress. As long as there are people in the Bell Centre and more than half a million watching the games on RDS and TVA Sports, we’ll be fine.

Good news, then: the Montreal players have improved since last Thursday.

Last week, the Habs suffered a severe 6-2 thrashing at the hands of the Senators, while yesterday they lost by a mere 4-1. And the last goal was scored in an empty net. Progress, progress, progress!

Thursday, the Habs lost by four goals. Saturday? By five goals (in Boston).

Yesterday, they lost by just three goals. The club is progressing, and that’s what’s important.

OK, all kidding aside. Let’s get serious.

Since Christmas, the Habs have been one of the worst – if not the worst – defensive clubs in the league. And it’s only likely to get worse, because after the trade deadline, the good clubs will have improved and will be preparing for the playoffs, while the not-so-good ones will have impoverished themselves by dreaming of Macklin Celebrini.

Need I remind you that the Canadiens have one of the toughest schedules on the circuit between now and the end of the season?

What’s the problem?
The Habs are scoring too few goals and allowing too many. Only the deep-pocketed Ducks, Blackhawks and Sharks have a colder goal differential than the Habs in 2023-24. Is the St-Louis – Hughes – Gorton star trio’s honeymoon over?

Let’s just say that the Roy’s return to the Bell Centre tomorrow, in the colors of a team other than the one in blue, white and red, couldn’t come at a more special time. If I were Geoff Molson or one of the members of the star trio, I’d be climbing the icy steps of the oratory today in the hope of not seeing the Habs play a fourth consecutive one-sided game tomorrow against Patrick Roy’s team. Because if that’s the case, the fans who pay a fortune for the right to sit in the Temple on game nights certainly won’t be quiet.

No, the Canadiens aren’t lining up to play meaningful games in March and April, as management had hoped.

Except that if the Islanders ever manage to qualify for the playoffs, another management – that of TVA Sports – will have meaningful games to present to their world in the spring. Bet that L-P Neveu, who added 10 Isles regular-season games to his schedule yesterday, will be celebrating if he’s able to present playoff games from a team that drew nearly 200,000 people to his airwaves on Sunday night.

Plus, I’m told the theme music before those games could be sickening!

Mea Culpa
I must make my mea culpa: I didn’t watch a single second of the Senators-Canadian game live last night. I only caught the highlights this morning on RDS.

Why not? Because I spent the evening at the Casino de Montréal. Julie Bertrand and Emanuelle Estephan had invited journalists and media to the launch of the new platform of boxing streaming site PunchingGrace.

The casino hosted a number of interesting behind-the-scenes discussions. Réjean Tremblay and L-P Neveu had no animosity towards each other, even after the story of the TVA Sports cameraman who may (or may not) have filmed Martin St-Louis and John Tortorella two weeks ago in Philadelphia. We hit it off, explain ourselves and move on. That’s how it works.

The youth of BPM Sports – as well as the station’s programming director and new morning man – were also on hand. They all had big smiles on their faces, which leads me to believe that the reorganization of programming and the amplification of their Web presence are already paying off.

Jeremy Filosa and Gavino de Falco were also present. I managed to chat about CF Montréal with them for about ten minutes. I’ll keep the details of this off-the-record conversation confidential. Just one thing, though: their departure from the club’s beat doesn’t help anyone.

Nancy Audet, Laurent Poulin, Charles-Alexis Brisebois, Nicolas Martineau, Marc-Olivier Cook, Simon René… the place was packed with interesting people.

The only thing missing was Georges Laraque, who had moved from Seattle to Minnesota.

Why am I mentioning my favorite BIG at the end of this column? Simply to tell you that he will no longer be on the sidelines at CF Montreal games next summer. It seems he’s realized that taking a few weeks off during the summer is a good option for a guy like him, hehe.

Can’t wait to see whether or not BPM Sports will replace Georges… and if so, with whom?

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