It’s time to abandon the foxhole

There’s plenty of blame to go around, but all eyes should be on Marc Bergevin. The only difference between a foxhole and a grave is the depth of the hole.

In what was supposed to be a turning point for the Habs, they dropped two games to the 30th place team, who were without their coach and starting goaltender.

This is what rock bottom feels like. The Habs will have to pick up roughly 43 points in the remaining 32 games, which isn’t an impossible task, although it seems herculean considering how the team is playing.

And now, the fans are left scratching their heads.

What went wrong? Why isn’t Michel Therrien making any adjustments? Why isn’t the General Manager improving his team? What is life?

First off, it’s painfully obvious that players are starting to get sick of the lack of controlled exits.

“If I could do it over again I would have just rimmed it off the glass. But it seems like we’re doing that a lot.” – Subban on Dubinsky goal
— Аrpon Basu (@ArponBasu) January 27, 2016

And he’s right. The Habs do give the puck away way too often. It leads to more scoring chances against, and more losses.

Of course, it would be unfair to ignore P.K. Subban’s turnovers last night. He tried to do too much, and got caught.
Which leads us to the question, why is Subban trying to do so much? Well, he wants to win.

He’s driving the offense from the back end, as evidenced by his 13 points in 13 games, and unfortunately when you control the puck that often you’re bound to lose it. The forwards clearly aren’t getting the job done, which is why the Habs desperately depend on Subban for creativity.

Subban isn’t perfect, but he’s identified Montreal’s main problem right now, which is their strategy. He’s willing to sacrifice safety for offense, and it would be nice if the rest of the Habs followed suit. Right now safe isn’t good enough. The Habs can’t safely make the playoffs, they’ll need to find a new gear if they have any hope to make the big dance.

Wasting Prime Years

#Habs Bergevin: “If you’re ever in a foxhole, you want that guy next to you. That’s what Michel is to me.”
— Chantal (@pucksnlife) January 21, 2016

We all understand what Bergevin is trying to say, but if you’re ever in a foxhole and you’re getting hit with artillery, you have two options. Either figure out an action plan to get yourself out of the bad situation, or accept your fate.

Right now, the Habs are wasting prime years from players such as Max Pacioretty, Brendan Gallagher, P.K. Subban, and more. It’s not excusable.

Stanley Cup windows slam shut way faster than they open in this league, and at the moment the general manager is watching his opportunity slip away.

If Bergevin truly has faith in his coach, and his team, then it’s time to find a solution. As he once famously said: “Winners find solutions, losers look for excuses.” The Habs have way more excuses than solutions at the moment. It’s a sad state of affairs.

The lack of adjustments by Michel Therrien notwithstanding, it’s clear the Canadiens need upgrades, especially once you focus on the winger depth. What makes the lack of quality wingers even more frustrating is knowing that P.A. Parenteau, and Zack Kassian weren’t given much of a chance, and Alex Semin has 9 points in 13 games playing for Magnitogorsk Metallburg of the KHL. It’s worth noting that Semin was booted from the team for a lack of production. Semin had 1.54 points per 60 minutes, which is higher than several current Habs forwards.  At the moment Max Pacioretty stands at 1.68 P/60. Let’s not sugar coat it, the Canadiens clearly mismanaged their depth on the wing.

You’re under the gun, Mr.Bergevin. You decided to keep a coach after a historically bad stretch, and you have to deal with the fallout. The coach seems to be out of answers, and you’ve already given him a vote of confidence. Now is the time to show your mettle. Your legacy as a Canadiens General Manager counts on it. Empty rhetoric won’t cut it anymore.

The artillery fire is approaching, and your foxhole is next. Whether or not you survive is up to you.

Follow @MarcPDumont


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