In Defence of Bob
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02-03-2009, 03:22 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Disagree with the crux of the article... to me it reads more like weak excuses than rational justification... all teams suffer injuries. If he is to be applauded as a genius when the team overachieves in a miraculously injury-free season, he deserves to be held just as responsible if it under achieves in a year where injuries are a factor.
The problem isn't so much about where the team is right now, or even where it looks to be heading, the problem is how the team has played all season.
the seemingly obvious holes in our lineup/with our team play are, imo, a direct reflection of the moves Gainey has/hasn't made over the past few seasons, leaving us with the roster we have, injuries or not.
We lack overall grit/heart/toughness:
- as one poster pointed out, signing 1 enforcer, at a huge cap hit for a 4th line guy, does not= improving team toughness. if he really thought pleks/kost jr/lang/tanguay ect would start playing more physical just because BGL was there to win a fight against some other 4th line scrub, he was sadly mistaken... besides, the opposition players that we need to match toughneess with are exactly the players BGL refuses to go after per the "code".
We lack a physical presence in our top 9
- adding the likes of Tanguay/Lang, to an already skilled team (tops in the league in goals scored without them) that lacks on the physical side of things strikes me as a redundant move, not exactly what you call shoring up your weaknesses
- fact is, from a talent evaluation pov, Gainey dropped the ball. The team played just as well with and without Tanguay in the lineup... I'd argue that Max Pac has been, in some ways, more useful to the team as a top 9 LWer... While I was as happy as the next guy- though not without eservations for precisely the "redundancy" concerns- to hear about the Tanguay trade (cuz let's face it, im a fan and he's the most talented player we've added to the team since Kovalev... ok maybe Hamrlik, but offense is more flashy), from an organizational POV, we'd have been much better off keeping our picks and leaving room open for a Max Pac or d'ago to make the team in Tcamp, not too mention having more assets to dangle in-season to address whatever needs might arise due to performance/injuries.
PP issues/need for an offensive dman
-it may be a dead horse, but Gainey's unwillingness/aversion to work out contract extensions in-season cost us Streit at a very reasonable cap hit (not the big contract # he got in the offseason).
Again it reaks of stubborness and a failure at the talent evaluation level. Streit had/has obvious defeciencies in his own end (so did souray), but he did contribute in a big way to the teams success, and Gainey did ZERO to replace the element that he brought to the table (namely PP contribution from the back-end). The guy loved being in
montreal, was ready and willing to sign a deal that would have pretty accurately matched his contributions, and Gainey didn't budge. It's a mistake, one I'm sure he acknowledges to himself.
In the end, Gainey certainly did "place his bets". He was active in the offseason trying to improve the roster, no doubt about that.
But even though Lang was contributing well (on pace for roughly what he could be expected to do, ~60 points), and Tanguay was also on pace or about what he put up last year (but not on pace for the #'s you'd expect from a guy who has had 80 seasons, back playing on an offensive minded team), I felt in September about as I feel now about the moves... optimistic but fully aware that we were still not built like a successful playoff team.
I was hopeful that guys like Pleks/Higgins/Kost jr/kost/lats could build on last year, but knowing that at least a few of them might struggle or regress a little (no way to know then that none would improve on last year... talk about bad timing)
In the end, our biggest shot at post-season glory is, as it was last year, all to dependent on a very talented but very young goaltender.
flash back to last years deadline, and Gainey's B.S attempt to force feed the kool-aid by claiming that he thought he HAD improved the team... couldn't we see it, he had just added the best player and best goalie in the AHL to the team... obviously that would make us better down the stretch and in the post-season (
...then to the offseason and his comments about BGL and how his presence would help the rest of the team play bigger(
...then to the additions of Lang and Tanguay, and how we would run 3 scoring lines, yet someone forgot to inform Carbo that Kosto/Begin are not what most GM's would consider scoring line material (
... then to his comments about the in-season negotiation issue not being a firm policy, just a preference, but that he considers each situation on it's own, meanwhile we watch other clubs lock-up young franchise cornerstones to reasonable deals (getzlaf, carter, richards, burns, staal etc) while we wait till the offseason holding our breath (komi), or worse watch a part of our team drown (pp) when we cant match the inflated UFA market (streit) (
I love the habs.
I'll support the team through thick and thin
But mistakes are mistakes, and results speak for themselves. Until Gainey assembles a team that can string together more than 1 playoff series in a row, his tenure as GM is fail in my books, no matter how highly touted the prospect pool is... 6 years is past the point of reasonable patience, imo.
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