6 games later and Edition II is here! Between then and now a lot of things have happened, mainly the tail end of a horrid losing streak. We saw coaches get fired, superheroes in action and an averted crisis. After Wednesday’s big win the fans of Montreal have really toned down their disdain towards Jacques Martin, but is he out of the woods? HA! Not even close.
Getting on with the Ups and Down’s (again I don’t like that name. How about “Crowns and Frowns”? I’ll think about it) There are some definite Ups from the last 6 games and not many that stand out as Downs. Let’s first start with the “Ups”
Ever since the Leafs game on Saturday, Cole has really hit his stride notching 2 goals and a helper in the last 4 games. Time and time again you can see Cole using his speed and strength to power by opposing defencemen on the wide side and then getting pucks to the net, creating scoring chances. He is also really grasping the concept of having a big body in front of the net, as this is where both of his goals have come from.
Cole has been excelling the past few games, no debating it. I’d really just like to see Cole continue to be strong on the wide side and in front of the net, with that, Montreal will have a real tough time losing 6 games in a row again.
Also seen in the picture, is Habs leading scorer, Max Pacioretty. For the second straight edition, Pacioretty is in the “Ups” column. But honestly, how could he not be? Even through a Canadiens’ rough patch where they went 2-4, Pacioretty was able to notch 2 goals and 3 assists. Even more remarkable is the fact that he was supposed to miss at least 2-3 games with a partial ligament tear in his wrist but defied human nature and played anyway. Usually, that’d be a bad idea. Playing right after an injury, you run the risk of hurting yourself further. Even then you probably won’t play as well because you don’t want to get hurt further. To top it off, the opponents know you have a weakness, and they’ll target it any chance they get.
Pacioretty would lead his team to a 5-1 win over Philadelphia to break out of a 6 game losing skid while putting up 2 goals and 1 assist in the process. Again, defying human nature. Pacioretty is not of the planet, the only explanation I have is that he must be some sort of super human!
To show exactly what I mean, I’ll use twitter as an example. Every move Martin made was criticized by the the twitter people, the “tweeple” if you will. Every failed power play, every lackluster shift, every goal against and of course, every game lost, was, in their eyes Martin’s fault. They were demanding he be execut- fired, sorry.
Gautheir responded to the fans with a trade, one that was rumoured early to be a big one, and just to stretch out fans’ hopes even further this trade was rumoured to be with with Phoenix, bearer of hold-out Kyle Turris.
Instead of getting the 3rd overall pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, we got Petteri Nokelainen and Garret Stafford while trading away one our better prospects in the process. The “tweeple” reacted once more. To paraphrase what they all said in to a sentence, “How will that help with our offensive woes?”.
Sparked by Montreal’s recent experience on the trade front, self proclaimed “Insiders” were having a field day reporting bogus rumours. “Plekanec involved in trade talks.” (No Trade Clause, dummy) “Martin is demanding an experienced defenceman” (Even though Spacek was set to return within the next few days) “The deal was just a setup deal, there will be more Montreal trades” I actually hoped that last one would come true as I was left pretty disappointed by the one minor trade.
Now back to Martin. With the departure of former assistant coach Kirk Mueller, some of the “tweeple” credit the bad start to Mueller not being there to run the show, leaving Martin to do all the coaching all by himself, which he just can’t handle. Martin, now coming loose from his hinges from the media, acted very rudely to a reporter who asked a question we all want to know, “Why Darche over Cole on the powerplay?” Martin responded in such an absurd way. “Do your research.” What?! Do her research? Cole has more than 10 times as many PP goals than Darche. So what is there to research?
Tempers were at a boiling point when something remarkable happened, the Habs won. Just the first game after assistant coach Perry Pearn was relieved of his duties. Perry Pearn acted as the ultimate scapegoat. As he left all the pent up frustration and failure latched on the him when he was on his way out the door and like that. was vanquished from Habs nation. 2 convincing wins later and Martin extinguished all the fire he was under, but that in no way means it’s gone. If the Habs lose tonight against Boston, I expect the flames to reignite and be higher and hotter than they’ve ever been.
I’m going to try something really different for tonight’s review, you won’t expect it at all. Come back when the game is said and done and I’ll show you what I mean.
If you didn’t catch Edition I, here it is
And also Follow me on Twitter @JacksonScarrow
(Photo:The Canadian Press, Adrian Wyld)