Prior to the start of the 2011-2012 NHL season, I predicted that the Canadiens would finish in 7th place in the Eastern Conference.
I was wrong.
I never thought the Habs would move to the next level with the roster that they had (Bob Gainey often talked about the strides the Canadiens would have to take to become a top-four club in the East.) However, I never thought that they would, on Feb. 29, 2012, find themselves in last place in their conference.
As a result, instead of leading Habs’ fans through the inevitable finger-biting associated with a last-gasp effort to secure a playoff spot, as has been the case in recent season, Canadiens’ supporters are left wondering what kind of top draft pick the team will emerge with, as a result of this season of futility.
Are the Canadiens a better team than their 15th-place record would indicate?
Offensively, they are a one-dimensional club led by the line of Desharnais-Cole-Pacioretty. That’s it, that’s all.
Defensively they are a team in shambles as a result of the injured Andrei Markov, the underperforming Chris Campoli, the overrated Tomas Kaberle, and the underwhelming Yannick Webber.
In goal, Carey Price has been good on most nights with gusts of terrific. He needed to be great this season to give this team a shot at the playoffs.
Forget about the guys behind the bench. Jacques Martin didn’t deserve to be fired any more than Randy Cunneyworth deserved to be thrown under the bus when he was given the job as head coach.
Sorry. INTERIM head coach.
And so it goes. With five weeks left in the regular season, most Habs fans can’t wait until its over.
Mercy rule, anyone?