The constant injuries and lack luster play has certainly been tugging away at the optimism I had coming into the season. A quarter of the way through it’s still pretty hard to read exactly who this team is. But although it is hard to discern it’s not really something that can be faulted on management.
I’m not saying that there haven’t been moves (or “non-moves”) made in the last few years that I think were bad in hindsight leading up to today… but what I am saying is that one can’t honestly measure just how good this team is
We’ve been without our best player and other players who were keyed in as integral parts of this team.
When compared to last year’s team and the “core” that the Habs had prior to this season it still speaks loudly to me that this group is 10-11-0 after 21 games… without Markov… and other pieces of the puzzle also out.
There’s a great article on the numbers without Markov over at Lions in Winter… check it out.
There’s been quite a bit of doom and gloom from what I’ve been hearing in regards to the season and the talk about a “rebuild” has begun. Honestly, I think we’ve just begun “the rebuild”.
The face of the team has changed and some 1 year deals were handed out… I think there’s a further evaluation currently underway…. as there probably always is during an NHL season.
And about this quick face lift… I’m not sure if anyone thought that this “was it”.. that the changes were done. I didn’t think that. I thought this season would be a transition year from the start.
A new core moving forward younger on average and further evaluation on who would be kept and who would be traded away. At least that’s what I assumed.
Right out of the gate, it’s been hard to see who this team is. They’ve played without their best player… without whom they have played terribly in previous seasons.. yet they are now just below .500.
Were some games totally lack luster performances??
But I’m not all doomsday yet about this season. If this core could get into the playoffs without key players and have them in the playoffs… then who knows.
However, where I honestly do start to think in almost doomsday terms for this season is with the recent injury of Brian Gionta who is tied as the top scorer on the team with 8 goals.
The way the supporting cast has been playing on the team, Latendress, Lapierre, Andrei Kostitsyn, Pacioretty…. I’m just not sure. I’d like to think that they’ll somehow find a way to step up. If it was all just some kind of 20 game slump for these guys then we’d still be in decent shape but without some solid secondary scoring coming VERY soon… (like tonight!!!!) then I’m not sure we’ll hang in there.
Tonight Ryan O’Byrne comes back into the mix which may help the defense a bit. He’s not the savior but if he manages to provide some grit in front of our net it will be an improvement.
By trade deadline if we’re not in the playoff race then the obvious question will arise as to which player has trade value and what deals can be made. Although many are suggesting these scenarios now, 21 games in the season.
This kind of brings up another subject… what is expected of the organization? What is considered a success?
I would like the Habs to win the cup. Honestly.
But I don’t expect them to.
What is a successful franchise in terms of results? Maybe I’ll jot some of my thoughts down and write about it.
In 3 years, all the ducks fell in a row… the team finished 1st in the east and were ousted of the playoffs… they start the following season strong… injuries dominate.. barely make the playoffs.. lots of drama… mass disappointment.
This year most people would have said big changes needed to be made… big changes were made… key injuries to the Habs again (as many other teams in the NHL)… and disappointment has turned into “let’s blow it up”.
I’m not convinced that it’s time to talk about blowing up the team. I believe it’s time to look at who to drop and who we can add (and how we can add them).
That’s my $0.02 for now.