**Mods, if you are going to delete my thread, I'd appreciate a PM at least to tell me why. **
With all the controversy about the Habs in the last few weeks, itís become pretty apparent that the dressing room is in shambles. You have rumors of guys partying too hard, drinking, doing drugs and even playing while inebriated, (in Edmonton) Kovalev getting sent home for a couple of days, etc. In my opinion, all of this falls directly on the players themselves, and ultimately because they are in charge of the team, Carbo and Gainey.
Montreal is a great city to have fun in, of that there is no doubt. But with the amount of money available to players today and all of them being hailed as Gods in the city, the question of truly being a team in all senses of the word comes up to me. Why arenít they all looking out for each other? Why are they not playing for each other instead of themselves? We are not privy to the information of what goes on inside the dressing room and in the bars after the game, but Iíll bet everyone on that team knows who the players that have problems are. I would think many things could have been done to avoid this situation. You could change room assignments to make sure the troubled players are with trusted veterans who know what it takes to win and who will look out for their team mates. You could do spot checks on rooms to make sure curfews are being kept, punishing players that break it. To me itís clear that the coach doesnít have control over his players, that the players arenít looking out for each other, and that Gainey does not know what is going on in the room. (or if he did, thatís an even bigger problem) All of this shouldíve been looked after on day 1 at training camp with frank discussions on partying and ground rules set, not after it comes out in the media and tears your team apart. Perhaps we got a little too comfortable and easy going after last yearís first place finish, I donít know.
I will however say that Iím very disappointed in the ďcoreĒ of the team, with Carbo, and ultimately with Gainey because he is the GM and the buck stops with him. The veteran players should know better and take care of their team mates with guidance and mentoring, the coaching staff should know better and fix the problem immediately using punishment if the vets arenít able to keep the other players in line, and the front office should manage their coaches better if itís clear they arenít doing the job properly. Communication on all parts is key. There is no reason that things like this could not be avoided. There are 29 other teams in the NHL and you do not hear about stuff like this every day, even though it likely happens everywhere to some extent. I understand that everything players do in Montreal is under a microscope, but this is not a problem that is unheard of. With the amount of money the team has, there is no reason why steps could not have been taken to nip this in the bud early, even if it means calling in outside professional help. Obviously the guys are going to party and thatís ok, but they need to know their limits and abide by them.
For professional athletes they certainly arenít acting like it Ė and that to me is embarrassing. These guys need a serious head check and have to get on the same page if they expect to be successful, because in my opinion, until the Habs play and LIVE as a true team, they will never be contenders.
There are 29 other teams in the NHL and you do not hear about stuff like this every day, even though it likely happens everywhere to some extent. I understand that everything players do in Montreal is under a microscope, but this is not a problem that is unheard of. With the amount of money the team has, there is no reason why steps could not have been taken to nip this in the bud early, even if it means calling in outside professional help. Obviously the guys are going to party and thatís ok, but they need to know their limits and abide by them.
The problem is there are a lot of young players on the Canadiens, and the fact that we had a great season last year went to their heads. It's like a teenager going through puberty or something, it will all sort itself out as they mature.
Next year there will be a new crop of habs to watch. I watched Hardcore Hockey Talk tonight and Steve Kouleous(I know I spelled that wrong lol)said alot of these guys wont be here either at the trade deadline or on July 1. He went on to say thats why Bob Gainey has not negotiated with any UFAs , he says most of them will be gone. Iknow it is hard to consider any media guy to be credible or truthful, espescially where ratings are involved, but with kouly I doubt he would just say this without some insight or knowledge about the subject. I have always considered him to be very credible and respectful of our great game. I love the habs but come on man, this is brutal and something has to change, in my ignorant opinion there are to many young guys and not enough mix of veterans, maybe that will change.
I think part of the problem was the complacency. around the all-star break the team was firmly in the 4th position with no hope of catching the Bruins. there was no carrot to dangle, there was nothing to chase, just the next game and the winning and losing started to mean less and less to the Habs in the standings. last year it was different. with the standings close and 1st place a possibility in both the division and the conference it drove the team to new heights.