All right. I’m big enough to admit when I’m wrong.
And boy, was I ever wrong on this one.
Back on Jan. 16, I wrote that the Montreal Canadiens didn’t need a major shakeup. Their lineup was working, despite a major amount of injuries. They were comfortably in fourth spot in the conference.
Now, it’s not even a month later, but this team really sucks now. And I don’t mean normal sucking. I’m talking Ottawa Senators level of sucking.
Their defence is brutal. Their goaltending is horrible. And their offence can’t be counted on to come through.
Now, I realize it. They need two major shakeups. They need a new coach, and a good forward.
First the coach. I defended Guy Carbonneau time and time again. He was a runner-up for the Jack Adams trophy last year. He seemed to have made an impact on this team. As a strong defensive forward in his playing days, he seemed like a logical choice to be able to teach that to the youth on this team.
But they aren’t listening. And if they’re not listening, then the coach has to go.
He’s been repeatedly outcoached in games, he can’t get his guys to play well, and he can’t seem to get them to eliminate the same mistakes.
Time for him to go. I’d like to see Larry Robinson in his place, as Robinson has a Stanley Cup on his coaching resume. No more of this “it has to be a French Canadian coach” or whatever. Just get a good coach.
The second big change has to be way of a trade. At first, I didn’t like the idea, but now I know that Vincent Lecavalier would look good in a Habs uniform.
Montreal has had only one 50-goal scorer since 1979 (Stephane Richer in the 1980s), and only one 100-point guy since the same year (Mats Naslund, also in the 80s). How bad has this team been when they can’t get a 50-goal season or 100-point guy?
Since 1990, Atlanta has had one. Columbus, San Jose, Ottawa, Colorado, Philly, Winnipeg, Anaheim, St. Louis, etc. Most teams have had a 50-goal scorer in that team, except for Montreal.
But Vinnie Lecavalier can be that guy. He’s scored 50 goals in a season. He’s had 100 points in a year. Why shouldn’t we get a guy who is that talented?
And who to trade for him? I say let P.K. Subban go if that’s the sticking point. A second-round draft pick for a 50-goal guy? Subban may be a great defenceman, but we’re looking at four or five years down the road before that happens.
And don’t use his play at the World Juniors as a good example of his play. It was an all-star team. Everyone played well. Remember, Steve Downie was a huge favourite a few years back. He’s already been traded, and can’t even crack the Tampa Bay Lightning lineup.
Two major shakeups, but two that are sorely needed.