Thursday, February 12, 2009

Is this what rock bottom looks like?

Well, the Habs had better hope so, because what happened Wednesday night in Edmonton was about as ugly as it gets.

Teams lose 7-2 games, but they are often isolated incidents, even for the worst of teams. But to lose 7-2 after dropping a 6-2 stinker two nights earlier, and after holding a dramatic 32-minute players meeting following that game, and after having a day away from hockey to clear your heads at bowling alley, that's a whole other matter altogether.

"I thought the last game was bottom of the barrel," Christopher Higgins said following yet another public embarrassment, "but I guess the barrel was deeper than we thought."

That, in a nutshell, says it all about this Canadiens team right now. It's not necessarily that the barrel is so deep, it's that the Habs keep making it deeper than it needs to be, almost as though they are purposefully trying to dig themselves into more of a hole.

I'm not sure what the next move is here, seeing as all the cliché responses have been used up on this trip already. Carbonneau sounds like a man that is out of answers, but one thing we can be sure of is that he's not about to lose his job. At least I don't think that's something Bob Gainey would even consider right now.

So what to do when you dress eight defencemen but still give up seven goals? When you're franchise goalie looks about as solid as a snowman in May? When your highly vaunted skilled forwards look like they would have trouble scoring in a novice game? What do you do?

If you're Carbonneau, you start passing the buck, to a certain extent.

"Obviously I'm really disappointed with some of the efforts that we've had," he said. "I'll sit with Bob and try to discuss those and try to find a solution. But you know better than I do it's hard to make trades, you need two teams to do that and you don't turn a corner that quickly."

The funny thing about that answer is that no one asked Carbonneau about making trades, he came up with that all on his own. And when the coach starts waiting for trades, that's when the team is in trouble.

This team, clearly, has reached that point.


TK said...

I should have turned this one off after the first and called it a night, I knew that. With a morbid curiosity usually reserved for car accidents, I watched the whole thing. To be fair to the Habs, the lopsided score was not a true indication of the effort level they brought to the table. I thought they competed, had a few bad bounces, didn’t get many saves, and made some mistakes that ended in the back of their net. The special-teams is in shambles- allowing three powerplay goals, and once again conceding a shorty. Other than that, I truly believe this one should have been a lot closer that the final score.
On another note, I think it speaks volumes when a player who is out of the lineup for two months with a shattered arm steps in as the best player on the ice. Dandenault doesn't exactly have to hit the ground running if he wants to keep up with these boys. Not running at all, more like a light jog, or in the case of Hamrlik an unsteady, choppy gait. Dandenault was the best player for the habs- lets hope he keeps it up and doesn’t succumb to the mental toothache these boys are suffering from.

Ps- lets send Price to a fishing lodge for a week or so, looks like this kid needs another break.
Pps- Gainey- why don’t you take Kovalev for another long walk, he needs it.

Anonymous said...

why is carbo safe? every brilliant decision he had last night failed miserably and yet the team, at least in the first five minutes, showed they wanted to play after a much needed players meeting. hard to play when you don't know who's going to be on the ice with you or those you do know (the goalie) are having a rough night.

i'll cut carbo some slack when he stops treating this team like a bunch of school boys who need life lessons at the cost of a win every second game.

Sliver24 said...

I couldn't turn it off either. I was already a glutton for punishment but watching last season's (there it is again) comeback win over the Rangers has ruined me for life.

I'm completely at a loss to explain the mess they boys have managed to get themselves into. We're way beyond 'X's and 'O's at this point. It's time to acknowledge that something is rotten in the state of Denmark, find out what it is and address it.

A meltdown like this has nothing to do with hockey skills. This is a head game at this point. I don't know whether the Habs employ a sports psychologist, but if they don't Bob should be letting his fingers do the walking right now.

A shakeup in the form of a trade may or may not help, but like Arpon mentioned earlier in the week the Habs haven't been in a wore position to make a deal all season. Plus it would take a blockbuster along the lines of Lecavalier or Bouwmeester to really make an impact.

Whatever he decides the right path is, I'm just hoping Bob heads down it sooner rather than later