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Gainey Shouldn't Be Blamed for This Year

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Old
04-08-2009, 07:01 PM
  #76
Melvin Udall
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Originally Posted by citylife View Post
I think the whole NHL can imagine how effective this 08-09 Canadiens team would be if Mr. Gainey was icing our full line-up, and had been coaching the season himself from day 1 of training camp.

Top 20 scorer? Maybe not

Tough to beat? Definitely

Case closed.

ps. its not over yet
Dude, the reality is............every team in the league has (on average) their fair share of injuries!

Scotty Bowman used the term....."quality in numbers" - referring to the fact that his (Habs) teams needed roster depth in order to play above the (anticipated) injuries!

As we know, Bowman had the roster depth and his record sppeaks for itself.

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04-08-2009, 07:06 PM
  #77
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Though when Lang, Tanguay and even Markov are your leading scorers, isn't it possible that you're in trouble?
Not if it's Tanguay (he is a fantastic and underrated player) and not if it's Markov because two forwards ahead of him ended up getting passed because they were on the shelf.

I always wonder why analysts throw out circumstances as "excuses" when, in fact, circumstances play such a large part in hockey success.

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04-08-2009, 07:14 PM
  #78
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Although building through the draft still holds a certain degree of importance - in this NHL era teams improve more quickly by adding key players through free agency - an area that Gainey has not succeeded at (can another GM do better in Mtl?).

Colorado, Detroit and NY Islanders all built through the draft in a different era (minus UFAs - for the most part) and they all finished at or near the bottom of the league for years and drafted well ( Detriot is still drafting great - even in late rounds).

Habs don't draft well enough to build compeatively through the draft - look at the players Habs passed on - using 2003 as just one example - Timmons can draft players who can play in the league but not players who are difference makers (such as Carter, Parise, M. Richards, Getzlaf etc.- just to name a few).

Can I borrow your time traveling machine

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04-08-2009, 07:15 PM
  #79
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Originally Posted by ND Irish View Post
Although building through the draft still holds a certain degree of importance - in this NHL era teams improve more quickly by adding key players through free agency - an area that Gainey has not succeeded at (can another GM do better in Mtl?).

Colorado, Detroit and NY Islanders all built through the draft in a different era (minus UFAs - for the most part) and they all finished at or near the bottom of the league for years and drafted well ( Detriot is still drafting great - even in late rounds).

Habs don't draft well enough to build compeatively through the draft - look at the players Habs passed on - using 2003 as just one example - Timmons can draft players who can play in the league but not players who are difference makers (such as Carter, Parise, M. Richards, Getzlaf etc.- just to name a few).
Fair enough....just one question????? How do you get them to come to the Montreal Nut house......language issues...never ending
tax issues...very high.....Media issues...every burp and belch analyised......one bad game....no wait one bad period...no wait again one bad shift and let the attacts begin.

No where to go to get away....with cell phones, internet, scandals...fans demanding your time. In other cities there are other sports that are more important...football, baseball, basketball that compete with each other....hockey is somewhere on page 5.

How many reporters, talk show hosts, talking heads, ex coaches, ex players are there...all trying to make a name for themselves

Then throw in cold snowy winters and wonder why players want to play down south and sign for as long as they can....nice weather, privacy...can spend there millions in peace

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04-08-2009, 07:26 PM
  #80
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Originally Posted by ND Irish View Post
Dude, the reality is............every team in the league has (on average) their fair share of injuries!

Scotty Bowman used the term....."quality in numbers" - referring to the fact that his (Habs) teams needed roster depth in order to play above the (anticipated) injuries!

As we know, Bowman had the roster depth and his record sppeaks for itself.
Did you ever take the time to check Scotties line-up...Savard, lapointe and Robinson on defense......Lafluer, Shutt etc. up front...extra players in the press box waiting for their chance in a pre cap era...........players did not make that much money back then and the union was not as strong

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04-08-2009, 07:31 PM
  #81
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Originally Posted by ND Irish View Post
Bruins finished '05 - '06 season with .......... 74 points!

Philly finished '06 -'07 season dead last in the league with 56 points!

So why....do Habs fans see no significant improvement after 6 years with Bob GAINEY?
Excellent examples! Really, they're great examples. They will serve beautifully to illustrate my point.

Let's ask ourselves the question: why did those two teams turn things around so quickly? Because they were already good teams that had really bad seasons.

The question is not so much "why were they good after being so bad?" but "why were they so bad after being so good?"

Let's start with the Flyers, because that's such an aberration and there are so many parallels to the current Habs. The Flyers in 06-07 were a complete doormat. But you look at their roster... and really, you couldn't understand how that team could be last. They were billed as a strong contender, especially having been an 101-point team the year before.

It's patently untrue that the Flyers in 05-06, were a talentless, worthless team. They were merely complete and utter underachievers.

So why did they falter so much? Injuries to key players, terrible coaching, and underachieving players. Sound familiar?

Combine a coach that had a roster studded with highly-skilled forwards but could only coach goon teams and serious injuries to key forwards Forsberg and Gagne as well as D-men Hatcher and Rahtje (the latter two weren't great but were the best they had), sprinkle in bad seasons by everyone else who ended up overtaxed and couldn't cope, and you have the recipe for a disaster. And they had shaky goaltending and a lack of puck-moving D-men, but that's why those Flyers were a 56-point team and these Habs are a 92-point team.

Incidentally, there is another parallel the Flyers' 2003 first-round draftee was seen as a bust as about that time, and most of the next year due to lack of effort and results. He then exploded. His name was Jeff Carter. One wonders what would have happened if the Flyers had given on them then, when the fans were viewing him in much the same way many posters here view the Habs' own 2003 first-rounder...

The Flyers eventually busted out due to a combination of factors -- Mostly, a coaching change, the players going back to form, Gagne returning to form, the youth of the team developping, and the addition of a capable #1 D-man to replace the lost players. Their goaltending, while not great, has improved. (Notably, the flashy UFA addition of Daniel Briere wasn't much of a factor.)

But ultimately, the turnaround of the Flyers was due in large part to them returning to form after a season marred, in part, by injuries, bad coaching, and inconsistent goaltending. They were a 100-point team the year before they hit rock bottom, and they were close to 100-point the year after. The 56-point year was an aberration.

The 05-06 Bruins are another aberration. The previous incarnation of the Bruins was a very strong team that finished second in the conference and were up 3-1 in their first round series before being toppled in a fashion I'm sure we all remember, don't we?

The 05-06 Bruins were off to a bad start with their #2 center suffering a career-ending injury and the goaltending was plainly horrible. The coach at the time also wasn't very good. Other players, such as Glen Murray, underachieved horribly.

The difference in this case is that management panicked and gave Joe Thornton away in one of the most boneheaded trades of the post-deadline era, up there with trading Luongo for scraps. This put Boston even further into the hole, and their season never recovered.

They were a playoff team the very next year, thanks to the addition of Chara and Savard who compensated for the loss of Thornton. Then their youth developped. If they hadn't traded Thornton and ridden the storm, then added Savard or Chara, odds are they would have recovered more the next year and done better than 8th place. And Bob Gainey would not have traded Joe Thornton.

This year, they're riding an abnormal high -- I would put them as prime candidates for a decline next year, but they will still be a strong team.

Moral of the story: bad seasons happen. Injuries and bad seasons happen, are imponderables, and will wreck your team, there's no way around this happening from time to time, and in the cap world, you can't easily find replacement solutions like you could before.

When your team has the worst home fans in the league and the worst media to go with it, well, perhaps we should be surprised bad seasons don't happen to the Habs more often.

And sudden turnarounds are usually the results of recovering from a bad season, and not some fantastic GM moves. And as Boston shows us, panic GM moves made during a bad season can really wreck a team.

It's also a cautionary tale about looking at things superficially for soundbites and not looking at them too closely. That's how the media here operates, but we need to go beyond that.

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04-08-2009, 07:56 PM
  #82
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No one's to blame for all the injuries.
Exactly why it's irrelevant and a detrimental point to figuring out what actually happened.

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04-08-2009, 07:59 PM
  #83
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Toronto is the Mecca of hockey. Montreal is Jerusalem. Using the centennial to show the other 29 teams that this is true, by way of 25 minute pre-game celebrations - has shown a bit of arrogance on our part. The arrogance does not sit well with our opponents, and they play us a whole lot harder.

That's one against the organization.

We continue to hire management that were involved with the 70's & 80's model, where speed could beat size. That is no longer the case, IMO. We misused our size (Laraque) this year by not giving him more of a Lapierre provoker role. As long as Montreal tries to define the game as opposed to adapting to it, we will continue to be out in the first round.

That's two against the organization.

Injuries killed the rest.

Carbonneau, Gainey, Kovy, and the rest never stood a chance.
so that's why both sides hate each other.

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04-08-2009, 08:05 PM
  #84
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Originally Posted by MathMan View Post
...
All good but following your reasoning, if you look at the habs past seasons.

Here are how we finished:

10th (2002-2003)
7th (2003-2004)
7th (2005-2006)
10th (2006-2007)
1st (2007-2008)
7th to 9th (2008-2009)

Was it finishing first the abheration of players overachieving? The opposite of those bruins/flyers teams underachieving? And wouldn't it prove how constantly mediocre we have been for the past 5 or such years?

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04-08-2009, 08:12 PM
  #85
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Great job Mathman. Always a good read.

A season isn't determined on paper and there are so many intangibles that come into play throughout the course of a season. A GM's primary goal is to win. In order to do that and to be in a position to achieve that goal, the prerequisite is to ice a competitive team and to KEEP it competitive throughout the course of the season, regardless of the injuries, coaching woes or underachieving roster.

Despite the obstacles mentioned above, BG has done exactly that, all without compromising the future of this club.

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04-08-2009, 08:19 PM
  #86
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All good but following your reasoning, if you look at the habs past seasons.
Good point, but I'd argue that the teams have steadily improved, albeit in a sinuous fashion (eg. with ups and downs along the way), and that the youth movement is really not all that far along -- the first transition year, where rookies started entering the roster in numbers, was 05-06.

IMHO, steady improvement is the only way to go. Sudden turnarounds tend to be aberrations in one direction or the other. They're especially jarring when an unexpectedly good season is followed by an unexpectedly bad one, like what we're seeing here.

And for all the talk about finish, this team is at most 14 points worse than last year's. With all the injuries compared to last year's almost-white DL, that's really not a lot.

Let's face it, last year's team was better than expected, but at 106 points, it also wasn't a massive world-beater. (It had a really good goal-differential, though, indicative of pretty good team strength). This year's team is practically cursed and has taken a severe step back in March, but on paper, the roster is improved over last year's.

But it's still a team in transition. Healthy, it would probably have matched last year's point totals, maybe even bettered it, which was a really good result considering the improvements in the roster really only compensated for last year's over-achievement.

It might also have done better in the playoffs, although playoffs are more of a crapshoot.

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04-08-2009, 08:25 PM
  #87
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Fair enough....just one question????? How do you get them to come to the Montreal Nut house......language issues...never ending
tax issues...very high.....Media issues...every burp and belch analyised......one bad game....no wait one bad period...no wait again one bad shift and let the attacts begin.

No where to go to get away....with cell phones, internet, scandals...fans demanding your time. In other cities there are other sports that are more important...football, baseball, basketball that compete with each other....hockey is somewhere on page 5.

How many reporters, talk show hosts, talking heads, ex coaches, ex players are there...all trying to make a name for themselves

Then throw in cold snowy winters and wonder why players want to play down south and sign for as long as they can....nice weather, privacy...can spend there millions in peace
Then if this is truly the case, we should move the team down south. No use trying to build a winner in Montreal. According to you it's impossible right? Our best casr scenario is to be a farm team to the US based teams right?

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04-08-2009, 08:32 PM
  #88
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Best move that Gainey has made since being GM --> being GM
second best --> Youppi

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04-08-2009, 08:55 PM
  #89
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Then if this is truly the case, we should move the team down south. No use trying to build a winner in Montreal.
From the owner's perspective, the point of a professional hockey team is to make money, not win Cups. The Habs make more money than the vast majority of other teams, so there's no reason to move them. Someone needs to contribute to revenue sharing so that those Southern teams can survive a little better.

If you want to build a winner, it would in fact be easier in a market where they don't have horrible fans, horrible media, horrible taxation and horrible weather, yes.

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04-08-2009, 09:15 PM
  #90
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From the owner's perspective, the point of a professional hockey team is to make money, not win Cups. The Habs make more money than the vast majority of other teams, so there's no reason to move them. Someone needs to contribute to revenue sharing so that those Southern teams can survive a little better.

If you want to build a winner, it would in fact be easier in a market where they don't have horrible fans, horrible media, horrible taxation and horrible weather, yes.
Those horrible fans are the ones responsible for the kind of money the owner is making.

I know we are way too attached to our team no matter what, but even in Montreal we shouldn,t take the fans for granted. And at one point, we need to become a contender 'cause I wouldn't be surprised to see the Bell Centre not be full house real soon. Making less money for the owner. I do see a correlation between building a winner and making money. It's clearly more obvious in southern teams and other teams that can't filled their building unless they win (see Colorado amongst one of the few...) and we may not see this in 1, 2, or 3 years but if we accumulate bad performances after bad performances and no at least 3rd round presence in the playoffs, we may go back to what we were before Gillett came in as far as popularity is concerned.


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04-08-2009, 09:16 PM
  #91
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Those horrible fans are the ones responsible for the kind of money the owner is making.

I know we are way too attached to our team no matter what, but even in Montreal we shouldn,t take the fans for granted. And at one point, we need to become a contender 'cause I wouldn't be surprised to see the Bell Centre not be full house real soon. Making less money for the owner. I do see a correlation between building a winner and making money. It's obviously more obvious in southern teams and other teams that can't filled their building unless they win (see Colorado amongst one of the few...) and we may not see this in 1, 2, or 3 years but if we accumulate bad performances after bad performances and no at least 3rd round presence in the playoffs, we may go back to what we were before Gillett came in as far as popularity is concerned.
Agreed with this. In a cap world, most teams spend to the limit anyway. It's a matter of finding the right balance, the right mix to make it far in the playoffs, giving you the best chance at winning that elusive Stanley Cup.

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04-08-2009, 09:27 PM
  #92
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Our roster is completely fine if you subtract the injuries and players under-performing. Same team (if it stayed the same, which it certainly won't) could come 1st in the conference again. Lang and Tanguay were awesome for us. Markov HUGE. Schneider KEY. Kovy...well let's just say he saved his best for last and it's apparent all he needed were some players playing to their potential. Talk about intangibles, it's just that. Underperformers of the year:
1)Komisarek...wow (stop making excuses about the Lucic thing)
2)Hammrlik - not as bad but clearly not dominant
3)Andrei and Sergei (yup 46 has goals, but long forgotten)
4)Plekanec - thought he was getting it back but pffft

not as brutal, but compared to last year:
5)Higgins - although recently he's been showing importance in a different role
6)Price - I think he's back now, but he was down and out for wayyy too long

don't forget the injuries. Tanguay was out a while!

like I said, sometimes everyone just has a bad season at the same time and a team gets horrible luck. I would be very happy with the same team next year if I knew that Bob was going to be coach and if Snidy came back (or if we got Jay Bo).

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04-08-2009, 09:37 PM
  #93
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From the owner's perspective, the point of a professional hockey team is to make money, not win Cups. The Habs make more money than the vast majority of other teams, so there's no reason to move them. Someone needs to contribute to revenue sharing so that those Southern teams can survive a little better.

If you want to build a winner, it would in fact be easier in a market where they don't have horrible fans, horrible media, horrible taxation and horrible weather, yes.
I agree with you on the taxation,press and weather but the fans here are anything but horrible. They deserve to demand and expect a contender year in and year out. No matter the cost or casualties along the way.

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Those horrible fans are the ones responsible for the kind of money the owner is making.

I know we are way too attached to our team no matter what, but even in Montreal we shouldn,t take the fans for granted. And at one point, we need to become a contender 'cause I wouldn't be surprised to see the Bell Centre not be full house real soon. Making less money for the owner. I do see a correlation between building a winner and making money. It's clearly more obvious in southern teams and other teams that can't filled their building unless they win (see Colorado amongst one of the few...) and we may not see this in 1, 2, or 3 years but if we accumulate bad performances after bad performances and no at least 3rd round presence in the playoffs, we may go back to what we were before Gillett came in as far as popularity is concerned.


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04-08-2009, 10:06 PM
  #94
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Then if this is truly the case, we should move the team down south. No use trying to build a winner in Montreal. According to you it's impossible right? Our best casr scenario is to be a farm team to the US based teams right?
Not impossible....but yea ....hard. Typical over reaction...black and white...no grey.

Montreal's only chance to build a true winner is through the draft...established players are too rich and independent (in most cases) to want to deal with all the distractions

Some will come of course to experience the atmosphere as long as they ignore the crap and are strong in character.

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04-08-2009, 10:11 PM
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This is a great thread. It's been a long time since I've seen intelligent debate on here

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04-08-2009, 10:47 PM
  #96
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Those horrible fans are the ones responsible for the kind of money the owner is making.
Of course, but to the players, they're the perfect storm: passionately demanding, pretty ignorant, and as a result, they lap up what the aforementioned terrible media serves up. And willing to turn on individual at the drop of a hat, either spurred on by a biased and ignorant media, or for no rational reason whatsoever.

That's not all the fans, but a sad majority of them.

A lot of the time, Habs home games are worse on the Habs than road games.

For most players, these would indeed be the worst fans in the game.

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And at one point, we need to become a contender 'cause I wouldn't be surprised to see the Bell Centre not be full house real soon. Making less money for the owner. I do see a correlation between building a winner and making money.
I agree, but the Habs are less vulnerable to it AND less able to build a contender due to their unfavorable circumstances. Montreal is not just a desirable location for players.

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04-08-2009, 10:48 PM
  #97
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I agree with you on the taxation,press and weather but the fans here are anything but horrible. They deserve to demand and expect a contender year in and year out. No matter the cost or casualties along the way.
Exactly. So many of the fans are passionately and unreasonably demanding, pretty ignorant (while thinking they're not), lap up what the awful press tells them, turn on players harshly when led by the media or because the players don't play in the style they would like (despite being effective) and can readily turn a Habs home game into worse than a road game during a bad stretch.

Like I said, worst fans in the league -- from a player standpoint.


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04-08-2009, 10:55 PM
  #98
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Besides, a lot of the fans aren't really fans of the Habs, the current hockey team. They're fans of the history, and of a certain image of what they think the Habs should be that's been created for them by the media and by unrealistic projections of the Habs of the seventies into the modern age.

It seems to be dying down with the changes of generation. Note that the newer batch of media -- Mathias Brunet and Dany Dube and the like -- are demanding and critical, but do it from a hockey standpoint, whereas for the older columnists like Tremblay and Blanchard, the current team can do no good unless it's built like the seventies Habs -- except being good isn't particularly required. Blanchard in particular doesn't even hide his hatred of the Habs anymore.

The young generation, inasmuch as they have wants for the Habs, want a good hockey team and have a fair idea of the process involved (and it is a process). The old guard want a specific kind of hockey team and expect wins will magically follow, when they consider that question at all.

The fanbase, to get back to it, has the same cut of generations, although it's less pronounced. The younger generation is starting to gain ascendency, but as long as they're around the old guard has seniority. The younger fanbase can be affected by the Tremblay bunch, especially the francophones, which is why I wish the dissenting voice was stronger in the media.

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04-08-2009, 10:55 PM
  #99
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Exactly. So many of the fans are passionately and unreasonably demanding, pretty ignorant (while thinking they're not), lap up what the awful press tells them, turn on players harshly when led by the media or because the players don't play in the style they would like (despite being effective) and can readily turn a Habs home game into worse than a road game during a bad stretch.

Like I said, worst fans in the league -- from a player standpoint.
Wow. You just don't get it.

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04-08-2009, 11:01 PM
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Besides, a lot of the fans aren't really fans of the Habs, the current hockey team. They're fans of the history, and of a certain image of what they think the Habs should be that's been created for them by the media and by unrealistic projections of the Habs of the seventies into the modern age.

It seems to be dying down with the changes of generation. Note that the newer batch of media -- Mathias Brunet and Dany Dube and the like -- are demanding and critical, but do it from a hockey standpoint, whereas for the older columnists like Tremblay and Blanchard, the current team can do no good unless it's built like the seventies Habs -- except winning isn't particularly required, it'll just happen magically. Blanchard in particular doesn't even hide his hatred of the Habs anymore.

The fanbase has the same cut of generations. The younger generation is starting to gain ascendency, but as long as they're around the old guard has seniority.
And that is exactly what is wrong with the new generation of habfans. They are going the way of the Leaf fan where mediocrity is accepted. NOT THIS FAN. Never.

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