SECONDARY SCORING AN OXYMORON ON THIS HABS’ TEAM


Can someone please tell me how Tomas Plekanec of the Montreal Canadiens has managed to rack up 11 points through the first dozen games this season, without having regular linemates to play with?

The reason why Plekanec hasn’t had regular linemates on this team’s second line is because no one on this club, except for Plekanec, deserves to be PLAYING on the second line.  Then again, there hasn’t been much happening on the THIRD line, either, in terms of offensive production.  Truth be told, it’s a FOURTH-line centre who has sparked a modicum of success this season in Glen Metropolit, with six points in six games.  But when you’ve got to count on a player like Glen Metropolit to kickstart your power play (another oxymoron on this Canadiens’ team this season) you know you’re in trouble.

That’s not to take anything away from Metro, who  has been a very handy addition to this club.  More than the 6-1 loss in Pittsburgh last night (featuring the aforementioned Tomas Plekanec as the only Habs’ goalgetter), what concerns me are the goalscoring totals associated with the younger players who were supposed to step up to the plate this season.

And haven’t.  Not through a dozen games, at least.

Let’s start with our good friend Andrei Kostitsyn.  One goal.  Remember when Habs’ GM Bob Gainey signed Andrei Kostitsyn to a three-year deal back in the summer of 2008?  How pleased Canadiens’ fans were to see Gainey put a long-term lock on this promising talent?  Seems like a long time ago, doesn’t it?  Kostitsyn sleep-walking through much of last season, and doing more of the same through the first 12 games of this season.  I miss the Andrei Kostitsyn who helped power the Plekanec-Kovalev line to lofty scoring heights two years ago.

Let me know when you find him.

Guillaume Latendresse.  One goal.  And please. If I see Guillaume Latendresse take a run at an opposing player and come up with nothing but air, just one more time, I think I’m gonna cry.  Remember how good Latendresse looked when he came back after an injury late in the season last year?  How he, along with Max Lapierre, grabbed this hockey team by the scruff of its neck and dragged it into the playoffs?  I miss that Guillaume Latendresse.

Let me know when you find him.

Maxime Lapierre.  See above.

Matt D’Agostini and Max Pacioretty.  One goal apiece.  Remember when D’Agostini and Pacioretty got a chance to play regularly last season when veterans like Saku Koivu and Alex Tanguay were out with injuries?  Remember how the Canadiens ended up playing some of their best hockey of the season, at the time, with those youngsters in the lineup? Remember the nifty scoring touch D’Agostini displayed when called up from the Hamilton Bulldogs?  The raw strength that the young Pacioretty exhibited fresh out of college — a true power forward in the making?

Remember???

I miss those guys.

Let me know when you find them.

Last night in Pittsburgh, the Canadiens proved, once again, that it’s very difficult to win a hockey game when you score only one goal.  Truth be told, it isn’t much easier to win a hockey game when you score TWO goals.  But for the sixth time the season, the  Habs were held to two goals, or less. On a night when Sidney Crosby scored three. And on a night when the Canadiens were a combined -20 as a team, with no Hab having a “plus” night.

You what they say: win as a team, lose as a team.

I know, I know.  I’m the guy who also keeps saying “your best players need to be your best players.”  And last night in Pittsburgh, the Penguins’ best players (and there are a lot of good ones on that club) were better than Montreal’s best players.  But goodness gracious.  Sometimes, just SOMETIMES, guys like Plekanec, Gionta, Gomez and Cammalleri need a little help from their friends.  Up front.

Maybe they’ll get it tomorrow night in Chicago against Cristobal Huet and the Hawks.

Maybe not.

 

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About ahefter

I have covered hockey extensively during my 30-year sports broadcasting career. From the Miracle on Ice at Lake Placid to the Edmonton Oiler dynasty years, I've shared my views on hockey with listeners in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. You can "catch me in action" on Youtube at the following URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1n5BdB9ngYw My radio stops include TSN 690 Montreal, CJAD Montreal, CKNW Vancouver, and CKEY Toronto. I also ran the Canadian Press sports desk (radio). My travels as a network reporter have taken me to four Olympics, most recently Vancouver 2010. I'm currently an Applied Assistant Professor within the School of Communication at the University of Hartford.
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