Di Stefano’s Beef: 10 Things I Hate About The Habs


2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse 3.0 with 138,000km My pride and joy

If there’s one thing Habs fans are, it’s passionate. You have never seen a memorial tribute for a hockey player until you saw the Jean Béliveau one this past year. Sellouts are a norm for the home of the Canadiens; the Bell Centre has sold out consistently since January 2004. Habs fans are everywhere, even famous people that aren’t even French-Canadian love les Glorieux; names including tennis star Novak Djokovic, NBA All-Star LeBron James, and Aragorn himself, Viggo Mortensen. For some strange reason, people are drawn to the Montreal Canadiens. Must be their colors or beautiful city, but certainly has nothing to do with their 24 Stanley Cups…

Growing up as a Canadiens fan myself, I took my fandom to another level as you can see.

One of my favorite games is playing devil’s advocate, and as a die-hard Habs fan, I’ve seen glory and I’ve seen pain. It’s quite easy to see that there are many holes in the Canadiens’ armour, and stains on the sweater if you will. There’s problems in Montreal and I’m fed up with them. How many more years must we endure mediocrity? A 25th Stanley Cup banner is well overdue. So, without further adieu, here are the 10 things I hate about the Canadiens:

  1. Carey Price’s attitude: Oh yes, such a sweet, humble young man. Always placing the blame on himself after a tough loss, while praising his teammates for a shutout victory. Carey blamed himself for losing the series against Tampa Bay in round 2 by saying he wasn’t good enough to win. And then again where he won 4 major trophies at the NHL awards, he thanked his parents, wife, coaches and teammates while taking none of the credit whatsoever. I mean he’s not wrong in thanking his teammates, they were the ones that left Price out to dry making 35 saves a night. Seriously Carey, grow a pair of balls and call your team out. You desperately need some run support, and heaven knows if you asked for some better players, Bergevin and co. would grant your wish, and maybe you’d finally win a cup for the team, city and fans.
  2. CHaracter: I mean clearly Vanek had none of it, but there is just way too much stock put into character by Therrien and Bergevin. It’s easy to fall in love with the character Brendan Gallagher plays with, and I understand the desire to acquire more of that character on the roster, but is that really the most important quality to the Canadiens? Let’s look at the Blackhawks and Kings of years past and see what they both valued most.. LA won and died on playing the big heavy game while playing good defense. The Blackhawks have won 3 times with a very highly skilled roster. Both teams obviously had clutch players who were full of character but I don’t see those teams valuing character as much as the Canadiens do; and if the past few Cup winning teams aren’t valuing it, then why the hell do the Habs? Shouldn’t the Blackhawks and Kings be the measuring stick?
  3. Depth: Again, having depth is vital to winning a Stanley Cup. Let’s look to the Blackhawks again and how they dealt with injuries this past year. Patrick Kane missed the final 21 games of the season as Chicago was battling to stay out of the wildcard spots in the west and managed to score and place 3rd in the central division without him. Then Michal Roszíval broke his ankle in the second round forcing Quenneville to play inexperienced rookies and aging veterans into roles they were not ready for but still came away victorious. Look, dissing the value of depth is stupid, but filling your team with bottom line role players is even more stupid. I’m sick of acquiring two extra lines of 4th liners. Bergevin values “depth” to the millionth degree and it’s inexcusable. It’s a waste of money, waste of a roster space, and it’s wasting that player. The Hawks value depth to the extent of having extra second liners capable of moving up and down your lineup as opposed to the Habs owning extra 4th liners to throw them into top-6 minutes. That’s why Chicago has won 3 Cups in the past 6 years.
  4. “Fans”: I can’t stand some of you people. One bad apple really does ruin the whole bunch. Some of you wanted to trade Carey Price. Some of you wanted Subban to sign in Toronto. And still some of you want Montreal to acquire Vincent Lecavalier. You all deserve to fight Georges St. Pierre for 5 rounds. And who the hell are you shameful souls who poured beer on that little Senators girl in the stands in the playoffs? Get out of town. Don’t let your “passion” get confused with chaos.
  5. Ticket Prices: Just because the Bell Centre is sold out every single night, does not justify $300 nose-bleed tickets. Lets say you’re at least an hour away from the Bell Centre, and you bought tickets for you and your significant other, by the time you add in your food and beverage price along with your gas money and potential hotel room, you’re easily looking at $1000. That’s just ridiculous. I know it’s a business. I know the Habs have no trouble selling tickets, but come on. I’d rather spend a grand on a one-week flight to Florida to watch the Habs play than spend one night in the beautiful city of Montreal.
  6. David Desharnais: Nothing grinds my gears more than watching that little number 51 hop over the boards. His usage is ridiculous. If you’re having scoring problems I feel bad for you son, Montreal’s got 99 problems and DD is all but one. The entire offense is handed to him on a silver platter from Therrien. It’s honestly embarrassing to be given sheltered minutes with offensive zone starts, the top scorer as your winger and first wave PP minutes yet still produce to the tune of Grabovski, Holland and Pageau. These are NOT good comparables. Those 3 names are 3rd line centres on their teams which means they are given more defensive zone starts and bottom-6 grinding linemates compared to DD’s offensive zone starts and top linemates, yet they each produce AT THE SAME CLIP. I guarantee if Galchenyuk replaced Desharnais’ minutes and role that he would reach 70 points easily. What’s even more intriguing is that Pacioretty actually has better numbers in every category when he’s flanking Plekanec, Eller or Galchenyuk. Don’t believe me? Check out these fantastic numbers over here.
  7. Photo: Francois Lacasse, Getty Images

    Photo: Francois Lacasse, Getty Images

    Therrien: Question, who shows more emotion, Kristen Stewart or Michel Therrien? I don’t know if I have ever seen a coach so easily outcoached game in and game out since Jacques Martin coached the Habs. Like do you think MT plays chess? Because if he does, I would bet that he’s not very good at all. During Therrien’s entire tenure, Desharnais has been his number #1 centre other than being scratched once in 2013-14 and then for Galchenyuk’s 9-game tryout at centre this past year. So basically two and a half seasons (48+82+82-1-9=202 regular season games), Therrien has been outcoached because Desharnais has been his #1 centre. Therrien also decided it was WISE to dress Douglas Murray for 53 contests in 2013-14 when he had Nathan Beaulieu available. Therrien also has stunted the growth and development of Galchenyuk drastically. If you don’t think he’s a great centreman and weak on the draws, then what the hell do you do at practice? Manny Malhotra was there all season, did you not tell Chucky to take draws with Manny every day because if you didn’t then that’s on you, not on Chucky. Also what is this “system” that you refer to so often in your media scrums? You don’t have a system, you have a Carey Price who bails out your ass night after night; he’s the only reason you still have a job. And the bedpan of Gene Rayburn! Fix the pucking powerplay. I don’t care if that’s Lacroix/Jodoin’s job or not, you are the Head Coach and clearly you guys absolutely butchered the man-advantage this season.

  8. Lefebvre: Copy and paste from the section directly above. Now the one tiny, miniscule, micro-fracture in Lefebvre’s resume is his record as Head Coach. I’d say 96-105-27 is a pretty self explanatory record. Also worth noting, he never took his team to the playoffs, even though he had capable rosters at his disposal. Remember the once highly touted 1st round pick Louis Leblanc? I place the blame for his development directly on the shoulders of Sly. Lefebvre’s Bulldogs would be on the powerplay or down a goal with just a minute to go and who does he throw out there? Zack Stortini and Kyle Hagel. Seriously, once Geoffrion was hurt and Palushaj lost on waivers, it seemed like Leblanc was never given an offensive role in Hamilton again until finally Bergevin traded him away to Anaheim where he never played in the NHL. He’s now in the Islanders organization. This past season on the back of Mike Condon standing on his head, the ‘Dogs were in the hunt for the playoffs until the final days of the season. I remember when Lefebvre scratched Sven Andrighetto in November due to “reasons”. He also favoured veteran Finley over Morgan Ellis. The powerplay has never ever been a success in Hamilton which is much the same in Montreal; go figure. You’d think with the atrocious record and the move from Hamilton to St. John’s, that Bergevin would change things up, but as he has stated recently, the AHL is a development league, and that winning in the AHL isn’t a priority of his…
  9. Photo: Paul Chiasson, The Canadian Press

    Photo: Paul Chiasson, The Canadian Press

    Bergevin’s Balls: Sometimes I am so in love with Bergevin and his ability to pick-pocket fellow GM’s around the league and then other times I’m just forced to facepalm. Like in what world does the AHL not matter for winning? Do you honestly believe that the Calder Cup has no value at all? Tell that to Carey Price, the Manchester Monarchs and the Grand Rapids Griffins. Winning matters at every level, so saying the AHL is only a development league is so naïve because it’s pretty damn easy to develop bad tendencies on a team that loses more often than it wins. One of the other bones I have with Bergevin is his love affair with the following: Bergevin, Lefebvre, Depth and CHaracter. There is absolutely no logical sense to continue to pay Lefebvre to continue ruining your young prospects. I understand the argument in keeping Therrien because of “reasons” such as Carey Price standing on his head and leading the Canadiens to 50 wins, however I truly believe that he’s just your drinking buddy rather than a great coach. Probably the most annoying thing about Bergevin in my opinion is his lack of balls. And some of you are like but what about buying out Gomez, Kaberle and Parenteau, the addition of Vanek and signing Subban to his humongous contract? Sure those aren’t just simple and low key decisions but were they really that big? Gomez and Kaberle were free buyouts from the lockout. Vanek was acquired for Sebastian Collberg (who?) and a 2nd round pick. Subban’s deal was big but in years 3 and onwards, it’s actually quite the bargain considering his value, production, age, intangibles and comparable contracts. And the Parenteau buyout perhaps caught some off guard but one must believe with that money saved, the Canadiens are looking at adding a big ticket forward? Now, I know Bergevin has made some unique trades thus far, Sekac for Smith-Pelly, Briere for Parenteau, and most recently Prust shipped out of town for Kassian. He makes moves, don’t get me wrong, but is Bergevin the type of guy to make a huge trade regardless of public backlash? Would Bergevin have traded Brandon Saad like his buddy Stan Bowman did? Only time will tell as the Canadiens get older, but I believe it’s vital because there is a glaring hole at the number #1 centre ice position and the right wing position. One must not forget the 3 worst deals Bergevin has ever made. Signing Desharnais and Emelin to 4-year deals in 2012-13 and then after completing year 2 of a 3-year deal, Bergevin extends Therrien for another 3 years as head coach. Absolutely none of these deals were earned, deserved or merited. I’m on a rollercoaster ride with Marc Bergevin, it’s quite a love-hate relationship. Grow some Balls Marc, Fire Therrien and Lefebvre, trade Desharnais, and maybe try to bring a Wayne Simmonds to the Habs!

  10. Francophones: This is the biggest bunch of BS to ever be a part of the Habs. Do people forget that the best three coaches in Canadiens History were ENGLISH-SPEAKING COACHES? Dick Irvin, Toe Blake, and Scotty Bowman won a combined 15 Stanley Cups at the helm of the Montreal Canadiens. Stop with the moronic narrative that the head coach has to speak French because it hasn’t worked in over 22 years. It’s quite hilarious and actually so frustrating to watch Patrick Roy and Bob Hartley win the Jack Adam’s award in back-to-back years for Coach of the Year when the Canadiens passed on each of them and instead signed Michel Therrien. I actually resent and hate seeing Therrien’s face behind the Habs’ bench. It’s embarrassing to see him talk about “playing da right way” and about “respeck”. Stop worrying about what language your coach speaks and start hiring the best coach available just like the Leafs did.


With all that being said, what do you hate about the Habs?

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