Thursday, February 12, 2009

Lambert's take on your Montreal Canadiens

I had the extreme pleasure of meeting former Habs power forward extraordinaire Yvon Lambert on Wednesday at a promotional event, and we got to talking about what is up with his Montreal Canadiens.

As far as Lambert was concerned, the Habs problems start in goal, and that was before Carey Price allowed seven goals on 27 shots in Edmonton later that night.

Lambert believed the skaters were letting Price and Jaroslav Halak down, and that since the goalie tandem is so young they need to get picked up a little by their teammates. I think we saw a perfect case of that in Edmonton, because up until the point Ryan O'Byrne took a slashing penalty at 4:30 of the first to cover up a mistake made by Roman Hamrlik, I thought the Habs were playing a pretty good game.

There was energy, guys were skating hard and and putting pressure on the Oilers, and it appeared that everyone was resolved to end this slump and start anew in Edmonton. But as soon as the Oilers scored that goal, it was a different team wearing white. They were a de-moralized bunch that suddenly became tentative, playing with the fear of God that the Oilers would score the next goal.

Inevitably, that's what happened, and it snowballed from there. Though Price was quite horrendous, his teammates were no better.

Getting back to Lambert, who I met at a news conference to promote the World Outdoor Hockey Championships to be held in Magog from Feb 20-22 (shameless plug for my buddy Jeremiah Gordon, who's organizing the event and has poured me more than my fair share of pints at Hurleys. If you're in the area, go check it out, games are being played on Lake Memphremagog). Sorry, where was I? Oh yeah, Lambert.

He readily admitted that he doesn't have much experience in matters like these, because the Canadiens teams he played on in the 70's didn't have too many losing streaks.

"If we lost one game, we had a meeting," he said with a laugh.

But he also added that the players meeting held in Calgary was a good sign, and that with each loss the players need to hold other meetings, be it at the rink or at a bar after practice, because there is no trade that's going to bail this team out of the current situation.

I'm thinking that today may be a good time to take Lambert's advice, because he's bang on when he says there is no saviour coming.

"Bob Gainey and Guy Carbonneau know that if you make a trade it's not going to solve the problem," he said. "The problem is the 23 guys on the team."

So there you go. That's the problem. You're welcome.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Come on now. Price, even though 7 goals were let in, was not to blame. In fact, I see no blame for him in any of those. To say he was horrible is just wrong. Has he been give the guy some credit and don't say every goal, just because it went in the net was his fault.

Montreal media will eat thier own like no other......