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Will the Real Habs Please Step Forward? by Andrew Wright

May 6, 2015, 10:47 AM ET [303 Comments]
Habs Talk
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Will the real Habs please step forward. I think this is what all Habs fans are thing heading into game 3 of this series. Are they the blubbering fools that played out in game 2, or are they the 2nd overall team in the NHL? Somewhere in between is more realistic. But lets be honest with ourselves: this edition of the Montreal Canadiens is still a work in progress. To get to the next level MB needs to understand that Therrien has taken this club as far as he can. Much like in Pittsburg, this coach cannot take that step forward. His inability to adapt to the team he is playing is non exisitent. Dump and chase does not work against a team faster and bigger than your team. It worked, barely, against Ottawa because the Habs were faster. However, they are neither faster or bigger than Tampa. Add in a gigantic goalie who is in our heads, and the equation is disaster.

The first goal of a successful coach is to identify each player on your team, and put them in the spot that gives them the greatest chance for success. Does that mean 30 different line combinations in game 91 of the season? Galchenyuk should have been centre in game 1 with Patches. By game 91 they would be clicking. Tinordi, Patyrn and Bealieau should have had 91 games under their belts now, not Gilbert, Weaver or Gonchar. The coach needs to get out of the way of these players that were drafted BECUASE of their skill, not in spite of it.

But I digress. This edition of the Habs is easy to defend. Bottle up Patches and get in front of Carey. To get to the next level, we need Plekanec as our 3rd line centre. That is his role now. We have a #1, but don't use him as one. Which means we need to find a big, strong gifted #2 center. Maybe another top 6 winger as well. We have the defence in the system, so lets use them for a full season in the spots they should be in. Subban-Petry, Markov-Bealieau, Patyrn-Tinordi, Emelin. Until Dale Weise is a solid 4th liner, and a good one at that, and not an up and down the
lineup player, these Habs will not make that next step.

So for the rest of this series, lets embrace the season they gave us and stand up and cheer. Lets not get down on them, or prove other fan bases correct that Habs fans are ignorant. Stand up and cheer them on. Go habs Go.
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