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Habs 2010 Recap and 2011 Prospects, or How I Still Have Faith in Nos Canadiens

Posted by Andrés / January 3, 2011

20110103_canadiens.jpgFor those casual hockey fans or newcomers to the city, I've written this brief sum-up of our red-white-and-blue's performance for the 2010-2011 season. In brief, it was a high first few months and a low last ten games, but us fans are still holding onto hope for a rebound.

In December, Margot built up the courage to write about the Habs, which has buttressed my own want to try some sports writing. I have followed the Canadiens since their last Stanley Cup win during the 92-93 season when now-assistant coach Kirk Muller made the winning goal. Last year intensified this love as a whole new team was built; this was a team that struggled to find each other on the ice until the Playoffs, when enthusiasm (and a little help from a Slovakian goalie) brought them to the semi-finals.

There's no doubt that even with the lack of Halak, fans were expecting big things for the 2010-2011 season, and it started strong. Up to December, our Montréal Canadiens were top of their conference and third overall, thanks to an unusually strong performance by Carey Price and a strong defence that included veterans Spacek and Hamrlik and energetic newbies Subban and Gorges.

Unfortunately, since about ten games ago, the Canadiens have all but fallen apart. The gel that kept the offensive players in sync seems to have worn out. The defence, overutilized and lacking potent backups like Markov, has tired. Spacek and Hamrlik have slowed, and Subban seems to have lost his rookie confidence. Worst, the offence seems to have lost their ability to get their shots on target. Cammalleri's potent shot seems to hit anything but the net. Only Plekanec noticeably struggles to get ahead.

Canadiens coach Jacques Martin has made many changes in the last few weeks in order to salvage the team: Pacioretty, Desharnais and Weber were brought up from the Bulldogs, and more recently Québecois-favourite Lapierre was traded and a new defense-man was acquired from the Islanders: Wisniewski. Things look good: in the last two games, Wisniewski has scored twice and had two assists. I can only hope that the wear that has shown on other defence-men does not catch up to him as well.

Thankfully, in the last few games, these changes seem to have started bearing fruit. Winning their last game of 2010, the Canadiens gave an amazing performance against the Atlanta Thrashers yesterday afternoon, outshooting them 50 to 28. Gomez and Gionta seem to have woken up, and Plekanec has revitalized Cammalleri's game. Despite this, they still lost in OT, hitting a literal wall (see image above); but if this change of heart can continue, and they work as hard as they did in their first game of the New Year, the Canadiens may be able to stay above the dreaded 8th seed line to once again make the playoffs.

There's a tough road ahead in the next week. The next game is Thursday vs. Sidney Crosby and his Pittsburgh Penguins (4th), and then Saturday against our old rivals, the Boston Bruins (3rd). I can still say with zeal: Go Habs go!



Gee / January 3, 2011 at 01:44 pm
no offense, but your english is not good enough to be writing articles for consumption by the general public. this article is *filled* with mistakes and gallicisms and is barely readable.
Margot / January 3, 2011 at 02:39 pm
Dear Gee,

Them's fightin' (and non-capitalized) words! If your concern persists, please submit to the MP editors an edited and annotated version of this post to your liking. Will you use more commas? Fewer colloquial semi-colons? Only time will tell!

In the interim, Andrés will remain our best and most eloquent sports writer. Thank you for your exceedingly constructive criticism, and all the best for 2011!

Team Poutine
Paul / January 3, 2011 at 03:27 pm
Your Hinglish is just fine with me. It's the point, not the punctuation points.

Happy New Year
Mikey / January 3, 2011 at 03:44 pm
Seriously Gee, you suck. Great article and I look forward to more.

Luc / January 3, 2011 at 09:27 pm
when writing about the habs, you must write as french canadian as possible.

also, Price's hasn't had a "strong performance". he's been un-fucking-believable, and thats coming from a Leafs fan. he's the only reason they won any games in november
j2 / January 4, 2011 at 01:08 pm
Gee's not incorrect in that the article needs some editing - the douchebag part is stopping there and not offering suggestions for improvement.

The biggest suggestion I have is to be careful with your commas - when transcribing a speaker the comma is appropriate to indicate a pause but when writing it breaks the thought/throws the reader for a loop. I'd imagine this is true in French writing as well?

As to the content: Gorges isn't a newbie, he's a rock; the vets _are_ (spaceK faster than the hammer) getting older and Wiz will help; Subban's been making more and more audacious errors (even before being sat I mean) and the team has been paying for them; Price definitely had a bad game but has been struggling (back to human levels); the offence has been improving, but they just need some puck-luck.

Everyone is _slightly_ off, but all at the same time. The real question is how they will work through this "slump" which will be an important lesson come playoffs.

(That's a figurative wall, but I see what you did there ;-))

113757 / June 20, 2011 at 01:09 am
What a lovely day for a 113757! SCK was here
drum separator / April 16, 2013 at 04:09 am
there are things that we don’t want to happen but have to accept, things we don’t want to know but have to learn, and people we can’t live without but have to let go.
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