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Poll of the Week: How much blame?


habs_93

Who's more at fault: Bergevin or Therrien?  

25 members have voted

  1. 1. Who's more at fault: Bergevin or Therrien?

    • All Therrien
      0
    • Mostly Therrien, Bergevin partly responsible
    • Therrien, Bergevin only slightly
    • 50/50 to each.
    • Bergevin, Therrien only slightly
      0
    • Mostly Bergevin, Therrien partly responsible
      0
    • All Bergevin
    • Neither is at fault


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Before the presser today I would have said mostly Therrien, partially Bergevin - assuming that Bergevin was finally going to 'right the wrong' by replacing Therrien.
However, after coming out & saying that Therrien basically has carte blanche for the remainder of the summer puts a heck of a lot more blame back on Bergevin's shoulders.

While i think MB has done his job a lot better than MT has, imho they share responsibility equally for this season's trainwreck - if only because Bergevin has not corrected it.

I am not a betting man but i'd be willing to risk a whole lot of my savings that if Guy Boucher had taken over this morning we would be a much better team & probably back into a fairly safe playoff position before Price even got back.

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therrien. the partial blame to bergy is for not firing therrien

the assets made available to this team, most of which are still available, can be put together and deployed in a logical way which when it has been done, has proven to be effective in the early part of the year

our forward lineup is not a juggernaut, but its not a joke either. but when you insist on breaking up effective line combinations and create ineffective ones, play ineffective lines ahead of more effective lines, plug less effective players in bigger roles than more effective players, you can expect your offence to struggle and that is what we have seen, and thats entirely on the coach.

because our players as a group have a decent amount of talent, we are able to produce a decent amount of offensive pressure, its just that when its a dale weise or a paul byron or a dsp trying finish off a play instead of a semin or an andrighetto or an eller, they tend to miss. its not rocket science

when the lineup was put together in a logical way and deployed in a logical way, we have had success. unfortunately, thats been the exception this year, not the rule.

and let me add this, these guys are not robots. when chuck gets put on wing, on a line with dd and weise, after being the most effective and least played unit with eller, its not just the two of them who get annoyed. you think patchy, pleky, subban, dont look at what we all see and go dude.....what in gods name are you doing? you think they don't get annoyed?

now take that train of thought and apply it to every dumb, nonsensical thing we do. weise, suddenly a ficture on the pp, no matter what. DD, first man over the boards, no matter what. markov out there on the 3 on 3. and on and on and on

I have been reading a lot of diplomatic garbage in the habs media about how historically coaching changes dont make huge differences, and sentimentality for therrien's record, and our captain sticking up for him (no kidding he's "phenomenal", you don't lose a second of ice time no matter how invisible you are) and its all just that. garbage.

this team does not have issues. this team has ONE issue: the coach has his favourites and he has his goats, and the favourites play no matter what they do and the goats dont play no matter what they do, and none of it is based on what happens on the ice.

this is the exact same thing we saw under carbonneau, who was therrien v 1.0. and if you recall, gainey finally canned him, took over, did the obvious things everyone on this forum was screaming for all year long, and we finished the year as the hottest team in the league.

its already a mistake by MB, but im willing to grant benefit of the doubt that he knows good and well what the real deal is, and will just deal with the change in a more thorough and professional way in the offseason. if not, he can join his bff in the wild blue yonder because every second we waste of having subban and price in their prime gives me a bigger and more robust ulcer

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50/50 in my books. Mt is his problem and if he chooses to ignore it, then he gets equal blame.

If you had included Molson in the poll, then i would blame him 100% for caving to the media, regarding hiring policies.

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Agreed wit HTL. The primary problem is Therrien's antiquated way of thinking, his bias towards certain players, and his love of grit and jam. But if Bergevin is willing to accept all these things and turn a blind eye to fixing them, he is equally to blame. Bergevin made it very clear today he sees little problem with the current state of affairs and that it's acceptable to write off the entire slump on Carey's injury. The problems with this theory are

1. The Habs are losing primarily because they can't score. They are averaging 1.86 goals per game in the 21-game slump. This has nothing to do with Carey. Even if Carey were back, there would still remain a problem.

2. No team should rely so much on goaltending that if your #1 goes down, you go from Cup contender to out of the playoffs. The analysis last year showed the Habs weren't a playoff team without Price. The actual standings this year show we're not one without him again.

So bottom line is that MT and MB have both failed at their jobs. MB has done more things right than MT, but he's done a lot of little things right and he's gotten the big decisions wrong. As was stated, now that MB has made his intentions not to act known, the onus now falls to Geoff Molson. If Molson chooses not to fire both men immediately, then as much onus falls on him for his failure to act. Furthermore, we are seeing very clearly now that "the best Francophones for the job" are not able to do the job well. If they truly are the best Francophones, then GM needs to immediately put an end to the discriminatory policies that prevent competent people from being hired into hockey-related positions.

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its already a mistake by MB, but im willing to grant benefit of the doubt that he knows good and well what the real deal is, and will just deal with the change in a more thorough and professional way in the offseason. if not, he can join his bff in the wild blue yonder because every second we waste of having subban and price in their prime gives me a bigger and more robust ulcer

I suspect Price is in fact out for the season .. or worst case, not back till late March. And Bergevin already knows it. They're dangling the promise of Price to keep people buying tickets, but MB knowing Price won't be back puts MB in a bad spot ... do you hire a coach now on the spur of the moment to try and salvage the season or do you wait till July when you have 3 months to find one?

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Guest habs1952

50/50 Mt for reasons stated ad nauseam throughout this forum. MB for extending MT which makes it that much more difficult to fire him. I will cut MB a little bit of slack because in today's NHL it is very difficult to make trades to improve your team without hurting your team at the same time. And, as Ted stated, some blame needs to find it's way to Geoff Molson for the organization's Francophone coach policy which inhibits the teams ability to move forward.

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Guys, Geoff Molson doesn't have to account to anyone ;) . His family majority OWNS this franchise!

At the end of the day, he is a businessman first, and sports fan second. As long as the bottom line is healthy..... B)

But no worries, he will be forced to act once the Habs are mathematically out of the play-offs. Have to wait till June though to hear his house cleaning presser.

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Guys, Geoff Molson doesn't have to account to anyone ;) . His family majority OWNS this franchise!

At the end of the day, he is a businessman first, and sports fan second. As long as the bottom line is healthy..... B)

But no worries, he will be forced to act once the Habs are mathematically out of the play-offs. Have to wait till June though to hear his house cleaning presser.

Highlighted the important part... he is accountable, not to a particular boss but to the revenue generation that determines whether he can continue to run the franchise as he is. The Habs have continued to drive up ticket prices and concession prices, they've benefited from a salary cap that limits spending and up until recently a stronger Canadian dollar to do business. So times have been rosy for the Molsons. But we saw what happened with the Alouettes this year... the team was no longer competitive and fan interest started to wain. Now you can tell me that hockey fans in Montreal will never give up on their team the way people jump on and off bandwagons for football, baseball, or soccer teams here. But if you go back 12-15 years, the Habs were not selling out the arena and they had difficulty generating public interest because their teams were not good. You had first lines featuring the likes of Sergei Zholtok and a washed up Doug Gilmour and Oleg Petrov and so on. Hardly stars. Hockey in this city has taken on a particular buzz in the past decade, but there's nothing to say fans can't and won't walk away if they're disgruntled.

Rising ticket prices. An administration that places speaking French ahead of winning. An organization that isn't holding anyone accountable for the worst losing streak in over 75 years. The attitude around the team right now is becoming "we're the Canadiens, everyone loves us, and we'll get by without you're support, thank you very much." Molson himself is still very cordial with the fans and media, but have you seen the way Therrien and Bergevin have addressed reporters at their recent press conferences? Any question that calls them out for a mistake or hints at the possibility they might have something to improve is met with a cold stare or an angry response. There's really a my way or the highway attitude to the way the team is run, and the same thing is prevalent if you look at how Therrien has treated his players: Subban wants to carry the puck out of his own zone and he gets benched; triple low fives won't be allowed; Briere or PAP or Vanek are perceived as not hustling to play defence and they're out. Ditto for Bergevin, who has shipped out players like Kassian, Christian Thomas, and Danny Kristo very shortly after each had a minor transgression outside of the rink.

The Habs ultimately are free to run their organization as they see fit. And the fact is that if they're winning, people will put up with decisions they disagree with to some extent. But now that the team is losing badly, there will almost certainly be less tolerance on the part of fans for being asked to pay high prices for a losing product, for watching certain players receive unfair treatment that hinders the success of the team, and for having to put up with discriminatory hiring practices that are being followed for political gain. Momentum in ticket and corporate sales won't be lost overnight, but if the organization continues to treat media and fans as it has been the past couple of years, I would not in the least be surprised if fan support begins to fall off. And Molson will certainly feel responsible if he allows things to get to that point.

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Agreed wit HTL. The primary problem is Therrien's antiquated way of thinking, his bias towards certain players, and his love of grit and jam. But if Bergevin is willing to accept all these things and turn a blind eye to fixing them, he is equally to blame. Bergevin made it very clear today he sees little problem with the current state of affairs and that it's acceptable to write off the entire slump on Carey's injury. The problems with this theory are

1. The Habs are losing primarily because they can't score. They are averaging 1.86 goals per game in the 21-game slump. This has nothing to do with Carey. Even if Carey were back, there would still remain a problem.

2. No team should rely so much on goaltending that if your #1 goes down, you go from Cup contender to out of the playoffs. The analysis last year showed the Habs weren't a playoff team without Price. The actual standings this year show we're not one without him again.

So bottom line is that MT and MB have both failed at their jobs. MB has done more things right than MT, but he's done a lot of little things right and he's gotten the big decisions wrong. As was stated, now that MB has made his intentions not to act known, the onus now falls to Geoff Molson. If Molson chooses not to fire both men immediately, then as much onus falls on him for his failure to act. Furthermore, we are seeing very clearly now that "the best Francophones for the job" are not able to do the job well. If they truly are the best Francophones, then GM needs to immediately put an end to the discriminatory policies that prevent competent people from being hired into hockey-related positions.

I put mostly MT with some blame on MB. But the more I think on it..a lot of it falls on MB so it would at the very least be 50/50. MB really disappointed me yesterday. It almost seems that he believes he can blame all of this on Carey's absence. He is dreaming of course and now it has become a nightmare for all the fans.
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I put mostly MT with some blame on MB. But the more I think on it..a lot of it falls on MB so it would at the very least be 50/50. MB really disappointed me yesterday. It almost seems that he believes he can blame all of this on Carey's absence. He is dreaming of course and now it has become a nightmare for all the fans.

He definitely seems to have placed a lot of the blame on Carey's absence, saying it affects the team's mental state as well. But the Habs are getting more shots than they did with him there. If anything, you would think the coaching would try to shift towards a tighter-checking, lower-shots-for-both-teams approach in Carey's absence, but we've actually seen the opposite.

But if Bergevin wants to blame this misadventure on missing Carey, he's essentially telling everyone that the team's past success was entirely due to Price and that he and Therrien have done a poor job otherwise of building and coaching the rest of the team. If anything, that only further supports the notion that both men should be fired immediately.

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But if Bergevin wants to blame this misadventure on missing Carey, he's essentially telling everyone that the team's past success was entirely due to Price and that he and Therrien have done a poor job otherwise of building and coaching the rest of the team. If anything, that only further supports the notion that both men should be fired immediately.

It certainly seems to me that a coach/GM should be expected to have some positive contribution to the team beyond "play the star goalie" (that somebody else drafted).

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It certainly seems to me that a coach/GM should be expected to have some positive contribution to the team beyond "play the star goalie" (that somebody else drafted).

The core of this team is made of up of players acquired under the Gainey/Gauthier era... Price, Pacioretty, Gallagher, Subban, Plekanec, Eller, Markov, Beaulieu, etc. I would say the only two substantial pieces added by Bergevin are Galchenyuk (whom he backed into as a 3rd overall draft pick) and Petry (his best trade to date perhaps). But otherwise, while MB has done some nice tweaking with role players and such, he hasn't landed much in the category of key players, at least not any that he and Therrien can agree to keep around. Now one can argue that MB's draft picks are still too young to be playing a key role, and that's true. But the fact remains that MB's actual work in player personnel hasn't had that great a role in the team's success as of yet; the decision of his that has played the biggest role to date has been his choice of coaches, and those decisions have been poor all-around.

Putting that aside, however, let's take a look at some of his key draft choices:

- Alex Galchenyuk: this was MB's first choice as a GM and it was a great one. Galchenyuk is the player I advocated for strongly before the draft, and to me, he was the best player available, slightly ahead of Filip Forsberg. We were lucky to get him at #3, and he has to date been the most productive player from his draft class. However, Forsberg is gaining on him, and one can argue that players like Lindholm, Rielly, Trouba, and Teravainen are going to creep up in terms of utility to their teams shortly. Galchenyuk has been good, but his development is behind what you would expect, looking at who the 2nd and 3rd best forwards from previous draft years have done. From 2011, Landeskog is already the captain of his team and a dominant player in the league. Huberdeau got more time to develop but his PPG total is still higher than Galchenyuk's despite playing in Forida. From 2010, Tyler Seguin is an elite player in the NHL and Ryan Johansen is a de facto #1 center. From 2009, Matt Duchene and Evander Kane are both clear first-line players. The bottom line is that the expectations for Galchenyuk should be higher, and the Habs are unnecessarily limiting the ice time and responsibility of a player who should now be able to take the leaps taken by the likes of Seguin, Landeskog, Huberdeau, and Toews in the past. All of those other guys were first line players by the point Galchenyuk is currently at in his career. The Habs need to stop holding back, they need to play him at center, and they need to give him 1st line minutes, especially given the lack of another true 1st line center on the team. I would thus say that despite the obvious talent, Galchenyuk's development has been suboptimal, something that can clearly be blamed on ineffective utilization and development from the coaching.

- Charles Hudon: If you look at the rest of the 2012 draft class, the majority of it has been a bust to date. Collberg and Vail are no longer with the organization. Bozon's prospects of making the NHL appear slim at this time. Thrower is a question mark. The only other player with NHL promise written over him is Charles Hudon, and once again, despite being the best player in Hamilton last year and one of the best in St. John's this year, he has not been given any type of a real chance with the big club. He has had 2 NHL games, tallied points in both of them in limited 4th-line minutes, and hasn't seen the NHL since, despite the Habs obvious lack of scoring wingers. Why are the Habs so afraid to give a younger player a shot?

- Michael McCarron: jumping ahead to 2013, McCarron is a draft choice that I and many other criticized heavily at the time it was made, simply because it seemed like a pick that was reaching. McCarron at the time was known for size and goals but seemed to lack some of the footspeed and puck skill needed to make the NHL. He was sold as Milan Lucic lite, and the optics of the pick were such that it seemed reactionary to Montreal's last playoff loss and to trying to keep up with a division that featured the likes of Lucic and Chris Neil and so on. Fast forward and McCarron has become a pleasant surprise in the minor leagues. He has been able to adapt his game to a faster pace, and that bodes well for the future. But it remains to be seen where the Habs foresee him playing, as they have shifted him to center, despite the obvious logjam there for the next couple of years.

- 2013 class: the rest of the 2013 draft should have been a very good one for Montreal. With a lot of high picks, they came away with DLR, Lehkonen, Fucale, Reway, and Andrighetto. But yet again, there are questions about development. Andrighetto is older and appears ready, yet he's been stuffed behind players like Flynn, DSP, and Byron. DLR has shown very little offensive flair as a pro. And Reway remains unsigned, while Fucale seems to be far from the real deal thus far. The Habs would do well to have Andrighetto with the big club and Reway signed and in North America.

- If you also look back at the Habs top choices made before MB and MT took over, we all know how poor a job MB and the team did at handling Dany Kristo, Jarred Tinordi, and Louis Leblanc. The first was traded because the team couldn't deal with a kid being a kid off the ice, the 2nd was never given a chance, and the 3rd was grossly mismanaged at the AHL level by Sylvain Lefebvre. Other than Brendan Gallager, no other player from the 2008-10 drafts appears to have a future with the Canadiens. From the 2011 draft, only Nathan Beaulieu appears like he will be in the team's plans, and like Tinordi, he too has had to bide time behind journeyman grinders to get into the line-up. Players with promise, like Magnus Nygren and Daniel Pribyl and Alex Avstin just never seem to have developed for the Habs.

The bottom line is that looking back over what MB has done with inherited draft choices and the ones he's made himself, there hasn't been much if any success developing players. He's managed to turn Alex Galchenyuk from a home run into a ground rule double, still very good but far from what he could be. And outside of that, there have been many more players falling short of expectations than players surpassing them. As it stands, Marc Bergevin's resume consists of 4 things:

- Michel Therrien, Sylvain Lefebvre, and company as hires

- Inheriting a 3rd overall pick and drafting Alex Galchenyuk

- Trading for Jeff Petry

- Minor swaps and signings mainly for role players

Still no big trade. Still no marquee signing. Still no major player development. Still no progress made on the coaching fronts. MB showed a lot of promise as a GM, but thus far, he really doesn't have much to show for his work, and the large majority of the team's success can be traced back not to him but to his predecessors.

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Until that press conference, I felt it was mostly Therrien. Now knowing Bergevin supports and believes in everything his coach is doing (by his own admission), he's just as responsible. We aren't talking about a bad luck or otherwise excusable losing streak that can happen from time to time. We are looking at something that hasn't happened in over 70 years. There is simply no supporting a collapse of that magnitude.

Bergevin and Therrien now seem to be a dangerous partnership for the team. A duo willing to compromise the integrity of the organization in order to satisfy their combined set of flawed ideals. They're in the foxhole together now, just like Bergevin wanted.

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Still no big trade. Still no marquee signing. Still no major player development. Still no progress made on the coaching fronts. MB showed a lot of promise as a GM, but thus far, he really doesn't have much to show for his work, and the large majority of the team's success can be traced back not to him but to his predecessors.

What's frustrating to me, though, is that he has done these things. Vanek, Sekac and Semin are three big examples of getting potentially very helpful assets at little to no cost to the team, but they're not the only ones. After his first year I felt like everything he did seemed to indicate that he knew what the team was lacking and was finding a way to go out and get it. I still think that he has the tools to be a good GM.

Except, as you point out, that when we look at the team right now we don't have a whole lot to show for any of those moves. Vanek, Semin, Kassian, Diaz, Briere, PAP, Sekac, etc. are all gone, and the young guys that we got with our draft picks aren't playing. And as we've discussed ad nauseam on this forum all of these guys were underutilized by our coaching staff. If it weren't for this one stubborn insistance on keeping Therrien on as coach, Bergevin has the potential to be a good-if-not-great GM. I just don't understand what he thinks he's seeing in the coach that we're not.

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What's frustrating to me, though, is that he has done these things. Vanek, Sekac and Semin are three big examples of getting potentially very helpful assets at little to no cost to the team, but they're not the only ones. After his first year I felt like everything he did seemed to indicate that he knew what the team was lacking and was finding a way to go out and get it. I still think that he has the tools to be a good GM.

Except, as you point out, that when we look at the team right now we don't have a whole lot to show for any of those moves. Vanek, Semin, Kassian, Diaz, Briere, PAP, Sekac, etc. are all gone, and the young guys that we got with our draft picks aren't playing. And as we've discussed ad nauseam on this forum all of these guys were underutilized by our coaching staff. If it weren't for this one stubborn insistance on keeping Therrien on as coach, Bergevin has the potential to be a good-if-not-great GM. I just don't understand what he thinks he's seeing in the coach that we're not.

I think we need to look at the Vanek trade for the whole of what it brought us. Vanek, when he was on the market at the trade deadline, was an impending UFA and was heavily rumored to want to go back to Minnesota, since that was where his wife was from. This wasn't information that came out later as a surprise; rather, the trade value on the market was set knowing that this could be a likelihood, albeit by no means a certitude. I still think Bergevin made a nice trade that gave us an added piece to make a run in that one season. But it was not a trade made for the purposes of adding a star to our line-up and the added value of inserting Vanek into our line-up for 2-3 months was limited. Even if Therrien had made better use of Vanek, I still wouldn't earmark that trade as something Bergevin did to build up his team.

With respect to Semin and Sekac (and a couple of others), as I've said before, MB gets credit for going after that type of player. But if he caves in to his coach and allows their talents to go unused, then the end result is the same and it's as bad s if MB never acquired those players. It's basically subtraction via the addition of Therrien, which negates any good those moves might have done. If after seeing Sekac and PAP benched, Bergevin had told his coach "play these guys where they need to be played or else" or if he had fired the coach and kept the players, then absolutely, Bergevin would deserve the credit for adding skill to the line-up. But the actual result of what he did was not that at all. Outside of Petry, the additions of Bergevin's that are still here are the likes of DSP, Mitchell, Byron, Flynn, Fleischmann, Weise, Bartley, Scott, Gilbert, Condon, and Scrivens. None of those guys are particularly a ringing endorsement for skill. The guys he has acquired as skill players (the Ryder's, Gonchar's, Briere's, PAP's, Semin's, Sekac's, and Vanek's) were all sent packing after very brief stints. None of them really lasted here. So yes, we can without hesitation commend Marc Bergevin's intentions to inject skill into the line-up, but we must even more strongly oppose and criticize his failure to see any of that skill through and his failure to put in place a coach who can make use of the talent he provided. Marc Bergevin the cap manager has done well. Marc Bergevin the trading GM has done well. But Marc Bergevin the team manager has failed.

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Guest habs1952

Highlighted the important part... he is accountable, not to a particular boss but to the revenue generation that determines whether he can continue to run the franchise as he is. The Habs have continued to drive up ticket prices and concession prices, they've benefited from a salary cap that limits spending and up until recently a stronger Canadian dollar to do business. So times have been rosy for the Molsons. But we saw what happened with the Alouettes this year... the team was no longer competitive and fan interest started to wain. Now you can tell me that hockey fans in Montreal will never give up on their team the way people jump on and off bandwagons for football, baseball, or soccer teams here. But if you go back 12-15 years, the Habs were not selling out the arena and they had difficulty generating public interest because their teams were not good. You had first lines featuring the likes of Sergei Zholtok and a washed up Doug Gilmour and Oleg Petrov and so on. Hardly stars. Hockey in this city has taken on a particular buzz in the past decade, but there's nothing to say fans can't and won't walk away if they're disgruntled.

Usually I make every effort to watch every Habs game I can, usually at least 80 of the 82 and all the playoffs. Now, It's no longer important enough to me that I wouldn't do something else to entertain myself on game nights.

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No one wants to blame the players?

Did they pick the wrong captain?

Do the spend too much time doing photo shoots, instead of preparing for games?

Do they shoot when they should pass and pass when they shoot?

Do the forwards have the dmans back when he makes a rush?

MB just took all the pressure off the coaches and players.

They need to win two of three going into the all star break. The players need to step up and start doing what they are paid to do.

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Highlighted the important part... he is accountable, not to a particular boss but to the revenue generation that determines whether he can continue to run the franchise as he is. The Habs have continued to drive up ticket prices and concession prices, they've benefited from a salary cap that limits spending and up until recently a stronger Canadian dollar to do business. So times have been rosy for the Molsons. But we saw what happened with the Alouettes this year... the team was no longer competitive and fan interest started to wain. Now you can tell me that hockey fans in Montreal will never give up on their team the way people jump on and off bandwagons for football, baseball, or soccer teams here. But if you go back 12-15 years, the Habs were not selling out the arena and they had difficulty generating public interest because their teams were not good. You had first lines featuring the likes of Sergei Zholtok and a washed up Doug Gilmour and Oleg Petrov and so on. Hardly stars. Hockey in this city has taken on a particular buzz in the past decade, but there's nothing to say fans can't and won't walk away if they're disgruntled.

Rising ticket prices. An administration that places speaking French ahead of winning. An organization that isn't holding anyone accountable for the worst losing streak in over 75 years. The attitude around the team right now is becoming "we're the Canadiens, everyone loves us, and we'll get by without you're support, thank you very much." Molson himself is still very cordial with the fans and media, but have you seen the way Therrien and Bergevin have addressed reporters at their recent press conferences? Any question that calls them out for a mistake or hints at the possibility they might have something to improve is met with a cold stare or an angry response. There's really a my way or the highway attitude to the way the team is run, and the same thing is prevalent if you look at how Therrien has treated his players: Subban wants to carry the puck out of his own zone and he gets benched; triple low fives won't be allowed; Briere or PAP or Vanek are perceived as not hustling to play defence and they're out. Ditto for Bergevin, who has shipped out players like Kassian, Christian Thomas, and Danny Kristo very shortly after each had a minor transgression outside of the rink.

The Habs ultimately are free to run their organization as they see fit. And the fact is that if they're winning, people will put up with decisions they disagree with to some extent. But now that the team is losing badly, there will almost certainly be less tolerance on the part of fans for being asked to pay high prices for a losing product, for watching certain players receive unfair treatment that hinders the success of the team, and for having to put up with discriminatory hiring practices that are being followed for political gain. Momentum in ticket and corporate sales won't be lost overnight, but if the organization continues to treat media and fans as it has been the past couple of years, I would not in the least be surprised if fan support begins to fall off. And Molson will certainly feel responsible if he allows things to get to that point.

Well said. Certainly hunger from the fan-base for another Stanley Cup doesn't seem to align with the desires and/or goals of the organization at this moment. If I may be so bold, I would interpret this as ineptitude or outright contempt. <_<

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No one wants to blame the players?

Did they pick the wrong captain?

Do the spend too much time doing photo shoots, instead of preparing for games?

Do they shoot when they should pass and pass when they shoot?

Do the forwards have the dmans back when he makes a rush?

MB just took all the pressure off the coaches and players.

They need to win two of three going into the all star break. The players need to step up and start doing what they are paid to do.

Sure, the players are responsible as well. Many of them have taken bad penalties, many need to drive to the net more, and there have been bad no-look passes. But the truth is that none of those things are really sustained faults. Max Pacioretty might take an O zone penalty then go 10 games without taking one. Markov might make two bad turnovers at the offensive blue line but then play three decent games after that. On a play-by-play basis, mistakes from players are going to happen. What you don't want to see from players are ongoing issues with laziness (for example, a guy doesn't backcheck or he's constantly floating looking for breakaways while his teammates run around playing defence or he takes lazy hooking penalties regularly, etc.). I really don't think we're seeing that type of thing. Michel Therrien is absolutely correct that his team is putting in an effort every night.

So where are the problems?

For one, execution. This team can't score. They're getting shots, but they're not going in. The team is not very adept at breakouts. The team is not that great in its own zone at picking up coverage in the slot/crease area.

Second is creativity. This team is not very creative on carrying the puck into the O zone. They play a pretty basic North-South game: you get the puck, you carry it or flip it up the boards, one guy rushes up across the red line and dumps it in or else a player carries it across the blue line and stops to wait for support. How many times do we see guys crossing with the puck in the neutral zone or just inside the offensive zone? Rarely. How many times do we see give-and-go passes to get around the D? Not so often. How many times does a guy enter the zone and put his head down to go right at the defence and take the puck to the net? Not as much as we used to when we had players like Zednik and Koivu and Cole who would do that. Pacman and Eller and Gallagher sometimes go wide and try to go around the defenceman to drive the net, but mostly it's either a dump in to the corner or a stop inside the O zone blue line with a pass up the boards or to a trailer. Rarely do we see the puck go cross ice. Rarely do we see back-door passes to the opposite circle the way Andrei Markov and Sheldon Souray and Mark Streit used to be so good at.

Third is fear. The coach has benched Subban and Eller and Galchenyuk and Briere and Sekac and so on for trying to do too much with the puck. When they try to carry it up ice, the coach doesn't like it. If a guy tries to make a big hit and gets caught out of position, there isn't anyone to back that guy up and the guy making the hit gets called out when in fact he's gone one for one with the opposition and one of his teammates should be back to cover. The coaching staff has made it pretty clear they don't like high-risk, high-reward plays because they punish players for making them. So as a result, players back off from being creative and from pushing for offence. At the start of the year, we saw defencemen jumping up into the rush a lot more and that seems to have stopped. Why? I'm not sure. Therrien says he's not telling the team to sit back, but on the other hand, he's penalizing players who make mistakes and get caught up ice, so that kind of is telling them to sit back. The other part of it is that when you're losing, you tend to take less risk because you don't want to make that mistake that puts your team in the hole.

Sure, the players can be better. I look at Pacioretty, Plekanec, Desharnais, and Markov in particular as four guys who have underachieved in certain areas this year. But the problems with the team appear to be systems problems more than effort problems. They appear to affect almost every guy on the team, which tells you there's something wrong with the game plan not just one guy's individual performance. It is much easier to fix the system issues than it is one guy's shooting percentage, and that is why we call out Therrien first. Regardless of how well any one player is playing, it doesn't make sense to be playing Desharnais at center over Galchenyuk and to be giving DD 2 minutes more ice a night. It doesn't make sense to be using Weise on the powerplay over Andrighetto or Fleischmann or Semin. It doesn't make sense to throw Andrei Markov on for 26 minutes and then ask him to play 3-on-3 overtime. It doesn't make sense to reject Sekac and Semin and Vanek but see no problem using DSP, Flynn, or Byron in the top 6. It doesn't make sense that the PP has been abysmal for two straight years yet the strategy remains trying to get a shot for Subban despite the fact he's heavily marked. These are things you can fix easily. Put the players in a position to succeed and if after that, there are 2-3 who are not performing, then it gives you the flexibility to address those guys individually. But with our D corps, every fivesome on the ice should be able to move the puck up ice and win possession. Every fivesome should be able to generate chances. We now need to make sure those chances are going to the right guys, and I'd rather see those guys be McCarron, Hudon, Andrighetto, or Holloway than DSP, Weise, Byron, Flynn, or Mitchell. The coach is the first and easiest thing to fix, and the solutions there are a lot more obvious than trying to figure out why Plekanec's shooting percentage has dropped.

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I voted 50-50, but I'm tempted to say all Bergevin. Once Bergevin hitched his wagon to Therrien 100%, all of this became his responsibility, IMO.

I've heard a lot of people say something similar to this: "Bergevin can't fire Therrien when the team's winning". What they mean is, no GM of the Montreal Canadiens can be expected to be forward thinking and brave enough to withstand the "pressure" from the sycophantic hockey media. The media that is just as happy with Montreal in shambles as Montreal at the top of the league, because they both provide just as many opportunities to write voluminous columns without much work. Why? Why must Montreal Canadiens fans accept this friendly doormat mediocrity from their organization's hierarchy? Why do we have to listen to the general manager of this team refuse to explain why he "had" to accept the worst player in the league in an otherwise meaningless trade? Why do we have to watch as players shine on other teams after they've been waived or otherwise thrown away in terrible trades to appease a failed coach, or to fit a (frankly, xenophobic) hockey narrative, or to uphold the team's "character"? And here's the biggest one for me: Why are we expected—whether through snide answers in team press conferences or fawning, finger-wagging articles by the hockey media—to accept the waste of one of the very few true contention years this core's going to have?

Yes, it's true that a vast majority of the on-ice failure directly leads back to Therrien. But Therrien still being here isn't an indictment of Therrien, it's on Bergevin. Semin, Kassian, Parenteau, and Sekáč not being here is on Bergevin. It's insulting to be told that "it's a process", as if we're children. Or as if these men, Bergevin and Therrien, are high priests of the mystical game of hockey, and we mere vulgar philistines can't even begin to understand their decisions. This isn't 1970. Television satellites exist, and most of us can now watch every NHL game that gets played in its entirety. We won't be lied to and told that the dysfunctional manner in which this team goes about playing hockey is just how everyone does it. "I guess the coach/GM sees something we don't" doesn't cut it anymore. I say this as someone who does not regularly frequent the Bell Centre. I can imagine those of us who spend hundreds or thousands of dollars a year on tickets having an even harsher view of this.

I suppose it is indeed true that the GM of the Montreal Canadiens "can't" fire a "winning" coach: because the GM of the Montreal Canadiens isn't expected to win the Cup. The GM of the Montreal Canadiens is, apparently, running a pension fund for Québecois hockey personnel. This is an organization with a crippling phobia of risk. Look at nearly any decision made in the last five years. The "safe" choice was made, even when the "safe" decision was likely to fail. That's what's important: stability. And when you can't pound on stability any more, go to history. It's heartbreaking, because I absolutely love everything about this team, and the historical parts of it in particular. I love the pre-game ceremonies. I love the torches. I love the old players. I love the old game film. And at this point, I'd almost be happy to never see another one of them again.

Acceptance of this culture is all on Bergevin. If the pressure is coming from above or outside, then it's on him for not standing up to it. Either he wants to be a revolutionary GM, or just yet another Montreal Canadiens seat warmer. Fortune favours the brave. It's fully possible he'll fail. But who cares at this point? Not winning the Cup has gotten pretty normal. Let's see them do it in an interesting new way.

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