Friday, February 20, 2009

Of blood tests, confidants and spin control

I was not in Brossard for practice Friday, so it's tough for me to sift through all the material provided so graciously by Habs Inside/Out and make a proper judgment of what happened on what was probably the biggest media day of the Bob Gainey regime.

But based on what I heard, two things stood out.

First was Alex Kovalev saying that he took some blood tests and that they found something, though he wouldn't say what. To me, what they found is of vital importance, because if he's not fit to play and hasn't been for some time, then what was he doing on the ice? Why didn't he tell anyone? Could anything be so selfish?

He admitted he's not the most open guy on earth, but that doesn't absolve you of your professional responsibility to tell your team that you have a physical problem, especially if it's causing you to play like a lazy bum most nights.

The other thing that caught my ear was Gainey admitting, and Kovalev later confirming, that he is the only person Kovalev actually feels comfortable talking to. Is that normal, that a player doesn't feel like he can walk into his coach's office and tell him what's on his mind? Is that healthy? Do other players feel this way?

I'm not going to talk about the whole Kostitsyn issue and their mob buddy, because frankly I feel it's stupid. But what I found even stupider was the Canadiens not allowing the players involved to address the media army today and get it over with. Do they think it will just go away if the players don't address it?

The team did the same kind of thing with Carey Price last year when they felt the water was getting a little too hot for him to handle, even though he had no problem whatsoever answering questions. Ultimately, in my mind, it did Price more harm than good.

By restricting access to the players today, the Canadiens spin machine was doing the exact same thing. And even though they thought differently, it was a huge disservice to Andrei Kostitsyn and Roman Hamrlik because I'm sure they were dying to tell their side of the story, and now they'll have this thing hanging over their heads while they're playing the Ottawa Senators Saturday afternoon.

Somehow, I don't think having that on their minds will help their games much. Do you?


pierre said...

Big Kost has already been aked a few questions upon is arrival from Pits last night, admitted that he knew the guy but not what the guy was doing,.... also when asked pointed out that he didn't need anyone else help in order to get boozes and women but himself...... this was when the CH PR guy jumped in to close the interview session.

We know enouph dont we ?

That is lifestyle hasn't contribute to the betterment of our team this year seems ovbious...... but for now letting rip it on the ice is the only thing that should matter..... for him and for us.

The sens of unity and the caring for one another in the team has remained "weak" despite the arrival of a new commander in chief 6 years ago..... Gainey didn't bring in a new culture of commitment at the core of our Club and its not a big surprise for me that some of the consequences of that has been exposed publiquelly...... to much partying for many, (my friend is a security gard in a building were two players have their appartement).

Arjun said...

Boys will be boys, yadda yadda. But the sense of team thing is important. The Oilers of the 80s-90s were crazy party animals. The Habs of the 70s too. Lafleur? You kidding? But the team was always bigger. There is a team coming here and the core is there but this year it's been obvious it's not a team yet. And I think the main problem is that he core of the team and the "hierarchy" of the team are not the same. Koivu and Kovy are not the core.