Montreal Canadiens Need More Cowbell

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.

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About Iain Carnegie (@emann_222 on Twitter)

I have followed the Montreal Canadiens for over twenty years, even while living in the heart of Toronto. I spent 5 years in the mecca of hockey, moving to the Plateau region of Montreal in the summer of 2009, I've been writing extensively on the Habs franchise at Bleed Blue Blanc Rouge BBBR has now moved to it's new home here at WordPress, , where content continues to matter.
This entry was posted in 2011 - 2012 NHL Season, Eastern Conference, Montreal Canadiens, Northeastern Division and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Montreal Canadiens Need More Cowbell

  1. mbouf says:

    That SNL episode is AWESOME! Love the cowbell πŸ™‚

    Thank you for depicting a picture of the Habs thus far this season. I’ve unfortunately been unable to catch a lot of the games due to work/travel (maybe it’s actually fortunate at this point) so it’s been hard to read into the scores and know what’s actually going on. Obviously between twitter and news articles I’ve had a pretty grim picture painted for me, but it’s always nice to get a second opinion, especially from you.

    I do know EVERY PLAYER on the Habs has made mistakes this season, none of the players have played a near perfect game. It’s time for someone to someone step up, take control and get the groove back in Montreal.

    • I agree. One of my all-time favourite skits on SNL.

      After this particular post, I was lucky enough to attend the Habs v Panthers game. A strong effort that once again left a hole in fans hearts. But there are many things that came to light that night.
      Watching the play, and the line changes, the first 40 minutes proved positive. The Habs were outplaying, and outshooting the opposition. Cole being moved to the powerplay was long overdue and it paid off.

      But after Pacioretty went down in the second, and did not return for the third, the holes in the team became more and more apparent. The team stopped skating. They stopped moving to the puck. And I hate to say it, but Andrei Kostitsyn proved over and over again that night, why many people do not want him on this team. I couldn’t even count the number of turnovers.

      Brian Wilde and I were chatting on Monday night at the Bell Center before the game, and we discussed in genereal terms that players can get frustrated with constant line changes. Something that has been happening a lot this season, and something that I personally am hoping to see stop soon.

      There is much work to be done, and both coaching staff and players need to step up their game. I have to say though – this is the first time in 3 years that I’ve had a concern in the coaching staff.

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