Rabid Habs

Three Random Thoughts – MB Fired? Therrien vs Julien? Habs Fans Expectations.

Good Day Everyone,

I feel I need to start with an apology. Last year was a tough year for me as a Habs fan. In my 20s I would describe myself as a Habs fanatic. My daily mood was affected by a win or loss. At the end of the season, I would take weeks if not months to recover from the season. As I get older, although still a die hard fan, I am now able to put things into a little more perspective. However, last season, with the trade of my favourite player PK Subban, my passion for the Habs hit an all time low. I still watched every game, still cheered every goal, but there was something that was missing. All this to say, I took a step back from my blogging. This year, I am back, and I look forward to blogging all year long. I will also be tweeting my “Three Random Thoughts” after each Habs game.

1) Is it time for Marc Bergevin to be fired?
I chose Marc Bergevin over Pierre McGuire when he was first hired. As he stepped up to the podium for the first time he had a confidence that had been lacking from our previous GM’s. He also seemed to have a plan on how to get the long suffering Habs fans a Stanley Cup. This was six years ago. Now, saying Bergevin is a better GM than Rejean Houle, Bob Gainey, and Pierre Gauthier is like saying that Schwartz is better than a balogna sandwich. Clearly he is a good GM. However after six years it is clear that he is not an elite GM. He has failed in the one thing that we have needed the most. A first line center. While the Habs are clearly a better team then they were in 2011, they are probably no closer to the cup than they were say 5 years ago. Bergevin has become an excuse man. Trades are hard. Free agents dont want to come to Montreal. Centers do not grow on trees. If his job was easy then anyone could do it and we wouldn’t have to have this conversation. I believe that this team, despite the fact that they have all world goaltender Carey Price, is actually worst than the team they had last year. The team that lost in the first round of the playoffs. Bergevin has botched this off-season and now is stuck with $8.5 million in cap space that he does not seem to have a plan for. Bergevin said he has seen enough of Alex Galchenyuk to know he is not a center. After 6 years I have seen enough of Bergevin to know he is not the right man for the job. I will leave you with this last thought. Has Bergevin done anything in the last 6 years, that the other 29 GMs would not have been able to? The answer for me, is no.

Michel Therrien vs Claude Julien?

Everyone knows that I was a Michel Therrien fan. Maybe his only fan. I also have said that I believe that it was time for Therrien to go. I was very excited about Claude Julien, although I would hope one day that we would look outside the very small francophone coaching circle and at least explore the notion of the best coach available. I am still not sold on Julien. So far, he reminds me of Therrien. I know I will get a lot of flack for this, but before the hate mail comes in let me give you three solid examples.

1) The Galchenyuk experience. There was a large backlash when Michel Therrien refused to play Alex Galchenyuk at center. Habs fans started calling for his head. They could not understand why Therrien would not play him at center. So, when the playoffs started, Galchenyuk was on the fourth line as a winger and the notable sniper, Dwight King, took his place on the 2nd line. If this was Therrien, would we have had a riot not seen since the days of the Rocket?

2) Michel Therrien had David Desharnais and Claude Julien also has a very low producing overplayed center that he leans way too much on. His name is Tomas Plekanec. In the playoffs last year CJ constantly sent Plek out there for the powerplay and offensive zone draws, and like lil’ Davey, very little was produced. So my friends, what’s the difference between the two?

3) It seems, like Therrien, Julien likes players that play both sides of the rink. Max Pacioretty came out and pretty much begged the Habs to take advantage of Carey Price and open up a bit, only time will tell if Julien listens,but so far he seems to like a 2-1 game just as much as Therrien.

Habs Fans Expectations.
If you are below the age of 30 you probably have zero recollection of the Habs winning a Stanley Cup. So I do not blame a generation of Habs fans hoping that the next young superstar will come to town. While we have a had a few bright stars in training camp, we really need to temper expectations. The first young superstar is Jonathan Drouin. He has all the potential to be the next great superstar. Now while i do believe he will put up 60 points this year, I do hope Habs fans realize that he is just 22 and he might not be ready just yet to carry that torch just yet. Cut him a little slack this year, because this kid will be awesome!

Victor Mete is another young player who has had a good to great camp. I will stop this here. This kid needs to go back to junior and he needs to go back tonight. Marc Bergevin has put him in a position that he is not ready for. The fact that MB was not able to sign Markov or get a D to play with Shea Weber is forcing Julien to give Mete a shot. Yes, he has played well against non NHL players in exhibition. But if the Habs are counting on him to be a difference maker this year, there D corps is in trouble.

Mark Streit and Ales Hemsky. Remember: with these two, Habs fans, you get what you paid for. Both are making about a million a year. In this NHL that does not get you a 20 goal scorer or a top 4 D. I believe both will be helpful at times but again if we are counting on either of these guys for big production, the team is in trouble. Manage your expectations. It might be a long year.

These are my thoughts, would love to hear yours.
Find me on Twitter @HabsScott