Even if that were true, this version of the Canadiens with its D and smallish centers and coaching would still be a team that would be eliminated in either the first or second round.
We still dont have the toughness and the grit to make a serious run. The Sabres (and pretty much every other team in the NHL) exposed that the last game. We are not the intimidators. We are the intimidated.
Thats far less of a problem than the PP. You can easily add a random gritty vet or two at the deadline at least if you see the team is in playoff contention. The team also started the season with a couple of proven playoff performers so we could have been competitive.
The biggest problem we've had in the playoff in the last decade wasn't grit anyways. We were the top seed only once.
We've had so many games where we could've put other teams away with a powerplay goal, last night again the powerplay was absolutely pathetic. If we a middle of the pack team on the powerplay and in shootouts we would've been in a playoff spot right now. Absolute joke in both.
Had Gauthier signed Wisniewski for what he wanted, he should have been fired for that, regardless of Markov's status.
Again what he got is not necessarily what he would have accepted with us. I'm fairly positive he would have accepted Markov money and term. CBJ was desperate and traded for his rights and then overpaid so he didn't go to UFA.