I agree with Christopher Walken. I could use a little more cowbell.
If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, then you simply haven’t seen the Saturday Night Live classic skit that depicts an over exuberant Will Ferrell giving it his all as he plays the percussion instrument.
It’s time for the Canadiens to take a page out of Ferrell’s notebook, and forget about the little black book that Jacques Martin incessantly scribbles in behind the bench. It’s time to play the puck with the same intensity that Farrell plays the cowbell.
During the first six games of the season (1-4-1), Les Boys have shown very little effort. With the exception of their loss to the Buffalo Sabres, where the Habs showed plenty of moxy, the rest of their performances have been lacklustre at best.
There are a few who are blaming it on injuries, and there is no doubt the Canadiens have missed a few key players starting the campaign, but that’s not a fair assessment.
Erik Cole, who was signed in the off-season to add size and skill has been sub-par. With poor hands along the blue line, and a lack of net presence, he’s made no impact on this team so far. Starting in every game thus far, he’s managed only one point while taking only six shots on goal and has a plus/minus rating of -2.
Defensively, the team has been struggling terribly. PK Subban is showing signs of his old form, often being reckless with the puck, and causing plenty of turnovers. Hal Gill looks slower than ever, and combined they have a destructive -8 plus/minus rating.
Where the team has really fallen short is in their special teams play. The power play has managed to find the back of the net only twice in 25 attempts. The Habs have suffered tremendously, being outpaced to the puck even on the man advantage, and their ability to even gain the offensive zone hasn’t allowed them to set up and dominate with the extra attacker.
Martin isn’t helping the situation with the constant line changes, and there is no consistency to allow players to gain comfort in playing together. No doubt there will be a new look this evening with Scott Gomez gone for anywhere between one to four weeks. Starting tonight; however, it’s time to allow players the chance to gel.
The shining light in all of this has been Lars Eller stepping up his game. Although he hasn’t put up any points as of yet, his puck movement is proving to be exceptional, and it’s only a matter of time until he pots some goals.
I’m not saying that the entire team is responsible. Max Pacioretty, Brian Gionta, and Tomas Plekanec have been the core to keep the team somewhat competitive, but the sloppy slow play has to turn around immediately.
It’s time to put in more effort. It’s time for more cowbell.