Sure, everything may look good on paper. I mean, didn’t we just make it to the third round of the playoffs, defeating the President-trophy winners Washington and Stanley Cup champions Pittsburgh along the way? How could we want to tinker with that team?
Well, simply put, because the 2009-10 season sucked, the Habs barely made the playoffs, and they struggled to find an identity.
There’s no reason to think any of that will change this year. About the only thing that will be better is we won’t have to listen to the Carey Price vs Jaroslav Halak debate any more.
They were 26th in the NHL for shots against, and they addressed the problem by doing absolutely nothing.
They were 25th in league in shots for, and they addressed the problem by doing absolutely nothing.
They were 13th in the league in goals against, and they addressed the problem by doing absolutely nothing.
They were 18th in the league in points, and they addressed the problem by doing absolutely nothing.
They were 22nd in the league in five-on-five play, and they addressed the problem by doing absolutely nothing.
In the end, they did nothing to improve the team.
Oh sure, they overpaid for Tomas Plekanec (see the list of reasons here).
They let Glen Metropolit (and his 10 powerplay goals and 16 goals overall) walk.
They did sign Alex Auld, the goalie who has played for six teams in the last four years.
They did sign Alexandre Picard, the defenceman who is now on his fifth team in four years, doesn’t score, doesn’t hit, doesn’t play strong defence and is a healthy scratch quite often.
They did bring in Dustin Boyd, who will play on the fourth line.
And they did trade Halak for Lars Eller, who is a rookie with a lot of upside, but is still just a rookie.
So how did this team improve? Oh wait, they didn’t.
Atlanta got better. Tampa Bay got better. The Rangers are a bit better. Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Washington and Devils are still solid. The Canes should be better with Cam Ward healthy for the full season. The Sens are better. Throw Philly and Boston in there, and that’s 11 strong teams for the playoffs.
And with the Habs making the playoffs by one point last season, this doesn’t look to be a good season for the Canadiens.