(Part) Deux et un Peu: Why The Canadiens Will Be Even Better Next Season

Photo: LeGrandClub.RDS.ca

Photo: LeGrandClub.RDS.ca

Hey- I’m getting good at this title naming eh? If you have read my previous post on “Two and a Few Reasons…“, you’d come to realized….well….I lied. There were more than two reasons. Due to the length of my previous post, this will be a follow-up, part deux, with further proof as to why the Canadiens will be even better next season:

Briere Over Ryder:

I was amongst the unpopular vote of having Ryder stay with the Canadiens this season. Without him, our team certainly would have not finished as high up in the rankings. That being said, the signing of Briere is a pretty good replacement. Many criticized Bergevin for signing another “small” player, and a declining productive small player for that matter. I believe otherwise. Briere is a player who has always played with “heart” (see what I did there Bergevin?). Briere will seek a fresh start and will be determined to prove to management, fans, as well as himself that he is still a legitimate solid hockey player. This will be accomplished. Most players who wish to reinvent themselves, never get the opportunity to do so. Instead they get the opportunity to warm the bench. This is not the case with Briere. Therrien uses his veterans often and effectively, so Briere will see much ice-time where he can redeem the faith of his fans. Therrien and Bergevin strongly appreciate the values of being a leader, especially veteran leadership. Briere is just that. He had both Giroux and Couturier (at different times) live in his home, where he taught them many values, tricks and tips. Whether Briere had an influence or not, we Habs fans can at least pretend he’s solely responsible for Giroux’s superstar title. The youngsters such as Gallagher and Galchenyuk (amongst many others), will benefit very much from the presence of Briere. Those who are still opposed to Briere’s spot on the lineup must remember, the Habs did not trade for him. They lost nothing. All they did was gain.

A More Complete Therrien:

I think I speak for many, when I say Therrien was one of the few messiahs to descend from the heavens this year. Snubbed of being a Jack Adam’s nominee, (never mind the winner), Therrien proved to all Habs fans, as well as the entire hockey community, that both he and the Canadiens are true winners. Come this fall, there will be a more complete Therrien. Its unbelievable when realizing that this year was Therrien’s first season with the Habs. Never mind, scratch that. It was his first half season. Only 48 games! With a fresh and new 82 games upcoming, Therrien will know even further as to which players he can trust, which players he can put in each situation, as well as being able to detect chemistry. In theory, he can only become better at his job and hence the team.

Healthy Emelin:

I quote the wise Jason Brown: “(Emelin) threw up 110 hits and the Canadiens gave up 55 goals in 15 games without Emelin for a goals-against average of 3.66. Before Emelin’s departure, the Canadiens’ goals-against average was 2.39”. Every Habs fans is still scratching their head as to the monumental collapse of the playoffs for the Canadiens. There are in fact numerous reasons as to why it happened, but as Jason mentioned, our blue-line took a serious beating with the departure of Emelin. The Canadiens only started to lose momentum once Emelin left the lineup, so by putting 2 and 2 together (“Really? math?”) it leads us to believe that Emelin’s absence was a bigger loss than most of us anticipated. The Canadiens goals against average was simply embarrassing with their shortened defensive lineup, so with a healthy Emelin, the Canadiens will have a full, more developed defensive lineup ready to lay a beating if needed be.

A Redeemed Ryan White and David Desharnais:

In all my years of watching the Canadiens, I have never seen two players go from such heroes to such villains in such a short matter of time. As to why their reputation dropped substantially, is a whole different topic. What is evident, is that both players will be gazed at with a stern eye, forget the coaches, but by the fans. One small mistaken and…well you get the idea. Both players will be back stronger than ever next year, both mentally, physically and skillfully.

As for White, he will have, more than ever, an established role. With one year on his contract, he will have to earn his next. He is a talented player, but if he does not use his talent effectively, he will not only get the boot from the Canadiens organization, but will possibly fail to earn a living on any NHL club. White will understand the found reasoning to his most recent contract extension. He’ll understand he is a solid 4th line grinder, whose role is to use his body, but to be responsible. He’ll understand he needs to show his defensive attributes, both on and off of the penalty kill. He’ll understand that there is a very fine line between being gritty and tough and simply being an uncontrollable beast of the wild, thirsty for blood. He’ll understand that if there’s ever a time in his life to be a mature hockey player, the time is now.

Desharnais, like Briere, will want a fresh start. He is not some evil knievel master mind stroking his cat, sitting on a chair in his basement (yes, I’m referring to Dr. Claw from Inspector Gadget). Desharnais is nothing more than a hockey player trying to earn a living. He has only received one legitimate contract, but at the very moment, is somewhat far from earning his next. Last year was his 2nd “full” year, and by full I mean half full (or half empty) season. Just to be lenient, we’ll say that last year was his Sophomore Slump, which means that this coming season, he will snap out of it and return to prove he is a legitimate 1st or 2nd line centre. He has to. There’s no where but up after his previous season.

All in all, the Canadiens have shown the hockey world that they are becoming a true Stanley Cup contending team. They have all the elements to do so. They have a great coach, a great general manager and of course great hockey players. The time will come for that sacred, glowing number 25. Will it be this season? We will have to see.

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6 Responses to (Part) Deux et un Peu: Why The Canadiens Will Be Even Better Next Season

  1. Too bad Emelin might be out for a couple of months to start the season. Perfect opportunity for Tinordi to step up. I too am optimistic about this upcoming season. I would add to the list that Carey Price was not himself last season. He will only be better. New goalie coach, the chance to start for Canada at the Olympics. This is his chance to grab that elite title once and for all.

    Chris Sly August 8, 2013 at 5:18 pm Reply
    • Hey Chris, thanks a lot for your reply and reading. This article is a “Part 2” to my previous one titled “Two and a Few Reasons…..”. If you want, check that one out as well. There I speak about exactly what you mentioned such as Price and his goalie coach ect. That’s true about Emelin, I forgot he’s only going to be back in a few months, so like you said, hopefully Tinordi can step up and prove his potential. Anyway, thanks again!

      Micah Winston August 8, 2013 at 10:15 pm Reply
  2. I like what you said about White. You are right, at least I thought the same thing. My question is if MB or Therien, or Gionta said that to him. Probably. What I doubt they realized, at least IMO, is White’s issue was due to the presence of Prust. Let me be clear, Prust did now wrong at all. I remember two years ago when the Habs were bad. White was one of the bright spots. He was injured for two weeks or so and the Habs went from bad to awful…until he came back. You really noticed his shifts. The issue around Prust is that he is bigger, stronger,, and has a little more skill than White, but plays a similar style to White. I think White saw Prust as a being a replacement for him and felt he needed to prove he could out do Prust. I think in trying to do that, he went overboard. I am a little worried that if he is not sat down before the season and given the right pep talk, he could fall into the same trap. If so, he will be traded. He is worth at least one trade, some team would take a chance on him regardless f how this year goes, but that will be it unless he turns it around and plays the way you said. Good read BTW.

    Habsfan1 August 10, 2013 at 12:37 am Reply
    • Hey “Habsfan1”, thanks a lot for reading and replying! I very much agree with what you said. This applies to all players, but none can relate more than 4th liners. Two years ago, White WAS the 4th liner. When Prust came along, White appeared to have fallen back like a shadow. In order to make his presence and role heard, he went to “Stir the pot”, however he was unaware that what he was doing was not being a good 4th liner like Prust, but simply an idiot (in some cases like that situation with Ott ect). On his defence, being a 4th liner is not easy as to where the line must be drawn. I truly do think that he’ll learn his role better for next year and learn there’s a time and place for everything.

      Again, thanks a lot.

      Micah Winston August 14, 2013 at 8:24 am Reply
  3. I liked the first piece but this second one is very much a beautiful loveletter to an ugly girl. I don’t know how you can give so much praise to Therrien when he was infact the very reason the Habs fell apart. Neglecting all his young stars even when they were clearly the best players night in & night out. Therrien gave Markov all the PK time while Subban sat and watched, hense their terrible 79% PK effeciency. Galchenyuk & Eller never got PP time while Desharnais was gift wrapped unearned ice-time and continued to not produce. Therrien also told the media that Carey Price was struggling with his confidence. That is the biggest flop Michel made all season. You do not tell the Media your star goaltender struggles with his confidence.
    Again, you write very well Micah, solid first piece, but I feel this piece wasn’t accurate for me. But I’m looking forward to your next one. Cheers

    Colton August 11, 2013 at 8:08 am Reply
    • Hey Colton, thanks again for reading and replying. I must say though, that the “ugly girl” metaphor made the entire article worth it! (lol)

      To be perfectly honest, while I try to give valid reasons, this and the other “Part 1” piece is more for Habs fans to be in “wishful thinking” state of mind, hence some inflated terms and expressions like Therrien’s symbolism. I very much agree with the fact that Therrien lost all control in the playoffs. Yes, he and all Habs fans were upset with MacLean’s tactics (like calling a timeout when the score is completely lopsided and only a few seconds remain), but he knew exactly what he was doing. And look-it worked effectively. Therrien has changed his style of coaching tremendously, however there are hints here and there that it is still the good ol’ Therrien. That being said, I very much liked many things he did in the regular season, such as not simply throwing his rookies out there to do all the work. This is why, after an offseason to reassess what occurred in the playoffs, he will learn what he did wrong- just like all his players will be doing. Come next year, I do believe he will be different in the sense of staying composed. Perfect, no. Better, yes.

      Again, I always really appreciate you reading my posts and replying- whether you agree with them or not. Thanks very much for your compliments. Take care!

      Micah Winston August 14, 2013 at 8:36 am Reply

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