February 27, 2008, 10:39 pm
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Gainey sticks to his plan

by Manwhore 


Check out Manwhore predictions on the 1st round of the 2008 Playoff

Once again, Bob Gainey found a way to surprise all of the montreal Canadiens fan and even the experts. When everyone tought he was going to go right, he went left. He got rid of the player of the month for January in the NHL for a second round pick in 2009 and wouldn’t sacrifice a couple of good players to rent Marian Hossa for the rest of the years. Let’s analyze Bob’s move and try to explain them.

First of all, Bob shocked the hockey world by letting go the goaltender who has been their go to guy for the past two seasons. Just like everybody, I was very surprised and asked myself : Instead of letting him go for a 2nd round pick of the Anaheim Ducks in 2009, why not let him on the bench for the rest of the season in case something happens to Price? I know it wasn’t in the habs’ plans to offer him a new contract at the end of the year but still, we didn’t get much for him.

After a while, I came to the conclusion that the hockey heads of the Canadiens simply didn’t have any confidence left in Huet. I have never been a great fan of Huet and I believe he will never be a good no.1 goalie in the NHL. This year, was the first time ever he got 20 wins(which is a minimum required for a #1) and it seems as though he started his meltdown after his 20th win. For the past couple of weeks, he just kept giving bad goals and even if he made some very good saves, you just can’t rely on a goalie who gives 1-2 bad goals a game. The defence starts to play on their heels and everything goes down the drain from there.

Believe me, this isn’t an overnight decision. Two years ago, it seems obvious that Huet was one of the main reasons that the Habs got eliminated by the Canes in the postseason. Yes koivu got injured and it seemed to change the whole momentum of the series, but still, Huet wasn’t there to make the big saves and get the big wins for his team. I know he’s the main reason why we made the playoffs that year, but remember he only started playing regularly when Theodore got injured before getting traded. He simply can’t do it for an entire year.Remember last year, Carbonneau once again trusted Huet for the most important game of the season vs the Leafs. Once again, I ain’t saying that Huet is the only reason why we lost that game because he kept us in it in the first 40 minutes of play, but he couldn’t complete the job for a second straight season…which is by the way at the image of his career with the habs he just can’t complete the job!!!

I think Gainey and Carbonneau simply decided Halak could stop the pucks just as well as Huet so if something happens to Price, Halak who has been really hot lately in the AHL would get his shot. I think it’s a great sign of confidence for Price and everywhere he went in the past, he proved that he could keep his calm and composure in big situations(gold medal WJHC, Calder Cup champion)so I believe he will do just fine for the rest of the season.

Now, Marian Hossa was expected in MTL in a big way. All day on TSN Pierre Mc Guire and the rest of the panel was convinced that we would sign him. There isn’t much to say about that. Gainey refused to sacrifice three young good players of the team. I believe…and trust me this is pure speculation that the Thrashers asked for Higgins, O’Byrne and Grabovski as well as a 1st round pick…or something like that anyways. I think Gainey made the right decision by refusing that trade and keeping three young promising players. Higgins sure thanked his GM by scoring 2 big goals yesterday but he needs to keep the same energy for the rest of the season. It now seems obvious that Ryder will join him and Koivu to form once again that former 1st line of ours.

Now, to get back to Hossa, I believe he wil definitely wait until July 1st to sign somewhere, so it seems obvious that the Penguins paid a big price to get a player for 2 months. If they get eliminated in the 1st or 2nd round of the playoffs, it will be a bad trade for them. If they make it the the Eastern final, I believe it will go in their favor because I just can’t see them get very far in the playoffs with their inexperience and less than secure defence/goalies.

As for the Habs, I simply believe Gainey will stick to his plan which finally seems to come in pieces. If the Habs do well in the playoffs without Huet and Hossa, Gainey will look like a genius. However, if we get eliminated by the Penguins in the 1st round, it will be a hard one to take. Who knows if we beat the Pens in the playoffs, maybe Hossa will sign with us on Canada day!!!!! Let me know what you think…your comments are always welcome…positive or negative…as long as its constructive!!! 


3 Comments so far
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I agree completely, Huet was good, but not good enouph. Price is the calmest looking goalie in the entire league. He moves around his net looking almost lazy, and still makes that big save. Everyone gave Gainey trouble for picking up Price 5th in the 1st round, but you will see that Price is the future of the Habs, just like Roy was, he is going to lead the Canadiens to a cup in the next few years. If you want stats, Roy came in with the same stats as Price has, a decent year as rookie goalie, and who ended up winning the cup that year. Exactly! And who cares if the Habs don’t win the cup this year, because they most like won’t. The west is too strong. I am a habs fan and I want them to take the cup, but Gainey is planning for the cup for next year or the year after. The team knows that and that is why a guy like Plekanec who has more points or just as many as 7 million dollar players is going to sign for around 3.5 next year. Why? Because Plekanec, and the rest of the Habs players know that Gainey is re-building the team for the future, and why wouldn’t they want to be a part of that.

Comment by Fothehoe

While Habs fans are talking up Price, and thats fine, what about two players Gainey and his building program could have drafted, but didnt. Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf were there for the taking three years ag, a big 6ft3 center and 6ft3 power foward. Montreal has needed players like this for years, and what does Bob do, drafts more smaller Europeans. Anaheim won the Cup last year, need I say more. What about free agents Gainey has picked up, Samsonov, Brisebois, and Smolinski, brutal.He has along way to go before I have total confidence in him. We are still missing much needed size, along with skill of corse.

Comment by True Blue

True Blue, that is some serious facts about the free agent Gainey signed over the years. But you forgot to mention the Hamrlik deal. Does anyone miss Souray?

Regarding Perry and Getzlaf, the main reason why Gainey goes for smaller players is that in the Eastern Conference, the game is faster and a lot less physical. Gainey build his team to perform well in the East. If the Habs were in the West with the team we have have right now, I don’t think we would be in the playoff

But right now, the Habs are 1-2 place in the east and have a good shot to go to the finals. But I believe if we meet a very physicla team in the final, like San Jose or Anaheim, we will get our ass kicked like Ottawa last year

Comment by jtutah

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