Thursday, January 28, 2010

Now That the Latest Habs Off-Ice Mess is Over, What Happens Next?

image Carey Price and Andrei Markov will look to put whatever it was behind them and get back on the winning track Saturday vs. Ottawa – AP Photo

So glad to hear Carey Price and Andrei Markov have made nice after their alleged spat in the Canadiens dressing room last week, cause the thing was tearing me up inside. Well, not really.

The whole situation was a fabricated story out of the gate, and a quick exchange of emails, with a verifiable media source who covers every single game, quickly confirmed my suspicions.

Arguments between players in the dressing room happen all the time, at any level of the game. It’s a common occurrence, but unfortunately some media yahoo decided to stir the pot. Was the 2008-09 season not enough for him, or is it ratings time?

Andrei Markov spoke to the media Thursday on the situation, addressing how some journalists make a living from bad stories.

All Habs has a great write-up on the off-ice events, from Wednesday and Thursday, but whether it happened or not, it should be really something of little concern to the rest of us.

For all we know, Price and Markov could have been fighting because one of the two forgot to flush the toilet.

We weren’t there, the reporters weren’t there, the players were…case closed.

The real concern should be the fact that the Canadiens came out of Florida with zero points and scored just a single goal in two games.

Montreal now sits ninth in a conference where sixth place and thirteenth place are separated by one point. Just one!

The two teams the Canadiens faced Tuesday and Wednesday are amongst that pack of teams. That’s two four-point games out the window, just like that.

The Canadiens will need to get it together, and fast, for any chance at a post season.

Leading up to the Olympic break, Montreal faces Boston and Philadelphia twice. Both of those teams are in that 6 to 13 grouping, and both have four games at hand on the Canadiens as of Thursday afternoon.

Games against Pittsburgh, Vancouver and Washington are also in those first two weeks of February, but who are we kidding?

Add a hot Ottawa squad (5th place by five points) in the mix on Saturday, and you get the idea of what could happen.

Call me a “Debbie Downer”, but if Montreal goes below .500 against  these three teams, you can call it a season before the torch is even lit in Vancouver.

In the meantime, what needs to be done? Arpon Basu at The Daily Hab-It looks at what little options the Canadiens have at the trade deadline, which falls three days after the Olympics.

Patience Please: Nice article by Mathias Brunet of La Presse on giving Price time to mature. On a similar note, this is something I put together for Bleacher Report last May.

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