Rabid Habs

Habs Fans Shouldn’t Panic

It’s reasonable to state that panic has set in for many Habs fans through the preseason. Despite a 9-2 thumping of the Ottawa Senators and a convincing victory versus the Florida Panthers, your Montreal Canadiens still finished with a paltry 2-6 record. This is an obvious concern, however, we should not panic.

Even though Montreal has been mediocre, we can’t ignore the fact that all of these losses occurred in the preseason. We have to consider that Michel Therrien has coached the Habs for the past five years. Michel Therrien is no longer apart of the equation.

With the new season on the horizon, it’s certainly plausible that Claude Julien has been spoon-feeding an entirely new system to the Montreal Canadiens players; a system that made the Boston Bruins successful. He is slowly but surely instilling that same style of play. For the players, it’s going to take time, hard work and patience to adjust to a different system. I recognize that Claude Julien took over the coaching role in mid-February, nonetheless, Julien simply did not have time to establish a completely new and foreign system midway through the season. The best he could have possibly done would be to tweak and to improve the finer details of the Canadiens’ play. The preseason was the perfect opportunity to install a system that will better suit the team.

Before pressing the panic button, we should also recognize that Marc Bergevin morphed his defensive corps and found players to fit that gritty, shot-blocking style of play. With Nathan Beaulieu, Alexei Emelin, Mikhail Sergachev, Nikita Nesterov and Andrei Markov out the door, in comes Karl Alzner, David Schlemko, Joe Morrow, Victor Mete and Mark Streit. Bergevin’s goal was clearly to structure a stable defense. The new defenders also imply that there will be entirely new line combinations. I can almost guarantee that each pairing will be completely different from what we’re used to due to the overhaul of defenders. Players will need to adjust to each other come the regular season.

The main objective for the preseason is to test combinations and to warm up the players for the new season. We don’t keep track of preseason standings.

The Habs are still 0-0-0.

The preseason is certainly not a clear representation of how a team will perform in the regular season. Remember the 2016-17 Colorado Avalanche? They ended the preseason with a sparkling, 6-0-0 record. Unfortunately, the Avs couldn’t carry the wave as they inevitably ended with a 22-56-4 record.

I see myself as an optimist. This would be an optimist’s point of view. Feel free to comment your thoughts below.