Canadiens Early Season Struggles

by Benjamin Twain - Date: 2010-11-18 - Word Count: 489 Share This!

Inconsistency has reared its ugly head once again. After a shutout loss to the lowly New Jersey Devils and sub-par Columbus Blue Jackets, the Canadiens seemed to have finally hit a snag losing 3 of their last 4 games.

So what are the issues? Is it the inconsistency, which seems to have manifested itself in the bodies of the Canadiens? What exactly has made this team tick, in both a good way and bad way? One of the headline issues right now is the infamous second line, which makes those devoted to the religion of hockey cross themselves. At this point only one saying applies: You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. It doesn't matter who plays with Gionta and Gomez, or what punishments either of them take. It doesn't even matter how the team is doing. Right now, only two people can decide when Gomez and Gionta really get started. And those two people are, believe it or not, Gomez and Gionta.

Unfortunately, Jacques Martin's attempted force-drinking of the line has caused disruptions to the whole team's chemistry. That means it is still very difficult for the likes of Lapierre and Halpern to really get very much started with a line for themselves. So right now, messing with the team lineups isn't doing the team any favors.

If you build it, they will come. Aside from a baseball diamond, this famous quote can apply to the Canadiens powerplay. While it continues to come up short, it has, however, been effective in changing momentum. If only it changed momentum in a good way and not a bad one. However, powerplay quarterback Andrei Markov is back, which means that now the Canadiens can work on a more permanent powerplay unit, the real one, if you will. The players just need to focus on doing everything right. If they build a strong, fundamentally sound powerplay that creates chances then the goals will come.

Usually, at this point, goaltending is a huge question mark. Luckily, thanks to Carey Price, the only question mark about it is how much Carey can do with no defensive help.

Carey's defense has some decisions to make. Frankly, the entire personality of the defense has been unclear. They have been passive, then really aggressive, then plain stupid, and then simply weak at times, and it changes even mid-period. It really is impossible to criticize or compliment something that is this wildly inconsistent, not to mention irritating. Once the defense makes a decision, the constructive(or destructive as the case may be) criticism may begin.

And now for the fans. Ah yes, the lovely Canadiens fans. Well, I was going to write something insightful here, but then I realized that running and screaming is probably a better idea.

Overall, my view on the rest of the Canadiens season goes like this: Very. Careful. Optimism. We know what this team is capable of, now lets see what they aren't capable of.

This article was written by Benjamin Twain. Check out Canadiens Zone at for all the latest Canadiens news updates, pregames, postgames, trade rumors, lineup changes, player profiles, videos and much, much more.n
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