Tanguay and Laraque started at training camp with injuries. Soon after and as the season progressed, the same Tanguay and Laraque, Koivu, Andrei Kostitsyn, Carey Price, Komisarek, Bouillon, Higgins, Latendresse and then Schneider and Markov all spent weeks off due to injuries. None were felt more than the Lang season ending Achilles injury and Markov’s knee injury, lost of the playoffs.
The story about the Kostitsyn brothers’ connection with the wrong crowd, the rumours of young celebrities spending more time working on their night life than they did on their conditioning and their career… Here’s hoping that lessons were learned on those aspects by both sides. The players in taking their career seriously, knowing that this is Montreal and with your fame, comes the stories attached if you step over the line. And to management in letting teenagers and young single adults live on their own with no guidance in a city like Montreal, without proper mentoring.
Guy Carbonneau, despite having a lot of success in his young career, was once again a first year coach who had to learn through the growing pains and in dealing with a dressing room with little character which included veterans with a history of being difficult to coach and motivate. Roland Melanson who is changing every goalie he works with into a butterfly goalie regardless of what brought these goalies to the NHL, regardless of the success they’ve had in the past, contributing to Price’s downfall. Bob Gainey choosing what’s considered to be a convenient time to fire Carbo, after a long road trip, after a win, just before starting a long home stand, hoping he could benefit from the schedule himself to turn things around. Hindsight being 20-20, it’s now clear that Carbonneau wasn’t the problem, and that we’ll have to go through yet another coaching change. And last but not least, no defenseman on the coaching staff to help a defensive core that struggled all season long, with the exception of Markov perhaps.
Instead of supporting the team and focusing on reporting what’s related to the team on the ice, some media doing their best to look for dirt, to try to expose the off-ice issues, purposely creating distractions around the team. True that they obviously had some things to report, but was it really necessary? And what about the timing of it all? This basically supports what I’ve been saying all along about some of the media in Montreal: too much tabloid reporting surrounding the Montreal Canadiens.
By that I mean mostly the ones at the Bell Centre. The booing of the players, whether it’s young Ryan O’Byrne or Brisebois, it’s insane to boo your own players regardless of the price you pay for your ticket or the rights you think you have going to games. It’s one thing to do this to the entire team, to the special teams when they’re not shooting or icing the puck, but to isolate individual players, especially young ones with fragile confidence, doesn’t accomplish what fans are supposed to be there for, which is encouraging and cheering the team on to play at their maximum level, be the 7th man on the ice. To the contrary, it wrecks their confidence and could hamper their development. The recent booing of the American National Anthem and the sarcastic cheering of Carey Price during the playoffs was the last drop in a glass that was already too full. This is a disgrace to the organization, to the city, the province and the country. Those so-called “fans” should be really ashamed of themselves and now that we’ve lost, this fan is hoping that they jump off the bandwagon for good and never return as they’re not needed! I’ve lived to see Patrick Roy requesting a trade after such coward reactions by “fans”, I certainly don’t want to have to live through another one!
Yes, a season filled with promises before the first puck drop, but a season filled with disappointments and heartbreaks. True fans stand up and give your team a round of applauds anyway and see you around as we are true Habs’ fans. We cheer them through thick or thin, through good times and bad times.