The Montreal Canadiens have allowed 20 goals in their last three games and Carey Price has allowed five or more in four of his last five starts. The defence has been invisible during this six-game losing streak. The last two weeks haven’t just been a slump, a few off-games…oh no…it’s been an implosion, a turning point in the season, and conceivably the franchise.
More from Price & Weber
It’s time to stop pointing fingers at the supporting cast and get answers from the multi-million-dollar men. Price is not the reason that the Habs are on a six-game losing streak but he is expected to end it. (from ‘Canadiens Game Day: This is getting ridiculous as Habs lose again,’ Montreal Gazette, 11/29/2019) He takes home the fattest paycheck and hasn’t earned it over the last couple weeks. Price needs to steal a game to get his team out of this slump and set them back on track. It’s what he gets paid to do, even if he needs to do it by himself.
Shea Weber is not just the captain, he is the second highest-paid player and the number-one defenceman on a team whose defence is costing them games. He hasn’t played terribly, with two goals, an assist and 12 shots in his last five games, but aside from his paycheck, he needs to show the team why he wears the coveted ‘C’. Weber has 14 years of NHL experience prior to the 2019-20 season – the rest of the Canadiens’ seven defencemen have played 32 seasons combined. He needs to single-handedly pull his d-men out of the depths of hockey hell and lead them back to a winning direction.
“It seems like every team goes through a little bit of a tough stretch in their season at one point or another, and we’ve got to find a way to stop it now. It’s a tough league. There’s no easy games every night, and when the tough times come, you find out a lot about your teammates,” said Weber after their 8-1 loss to the Boston Bruins. “That’s when you really need to stick together and dig your way out of these things, and that’s what we’ve got to do right now.”
Make a Move, Marc
Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin is used to going from hero to goat on a weekly basis. That, after all, is the life of a general manager, more so when you tack Canadiens’ onto your job title. Love him or hate him, Bergevin is unwilling to make big moves during the season. He has repeatedly stated that getting to the playoffs in 2020 is the goal, yet, as part of the team, Bergevin also needs to contribute.
The team’s missing pieces must be addressed and rectified. The Habs are going through losses and injuries and Bergevin is not providing them with the help they need to get to the playoffs. With 12 picks in the upcoming draft and a prospect pool bursting with talent, make a move! We all know anything can happen in the playoffs… but you have to get there first.
After the Canadiens lost in the first round of the playoffs in 2017 (and missed the postseason in 2016), team president Geoff Molson decided the franchise needed a youth movement. The Habs have a great scouting team and they were called upon to turn the team back into the famed franchise it once was. The team missed the playoffs again in 2018 and 2019 as they focused on their rebuild.
Through the recent losses, the Canadiens’ youth have been one of the few bright spots. Jesperi Kotkaniemi played well in the 6-4 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Thursday, with a goal and an assist. Artturi Lehkonen and Max Domi each scored two goals and an assist and Nick Suzuki posted two assists in their 6-5 loss to the New York Rangers last Saturday.
Who Will Be the Habs Hero?
The Canadiens are heading into the weekend with back-to-back games against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night at the Bell Centre and the Boston Bruins on Sunday night at the TD Garden. Those four points will be crucial to get the Canadiens back on track heading into the final weeks before the holiday break. Will one of the veterans put on their cape or is a young shining star about to rise? Maybe Bergevin will be the hero. He can’t sit back and watch this mess much longer.