Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Should the Canadiens tank to get a higher draft pick?

I abhor the use of the word ‘tank’ in this context. No matter what, it conjures up the idea of throwing matches, of losing on purpose.

From Wikipedia:

“When a team intentionally loses a game, or does not score as high as it can, to obtain a perceived future competitive advantage (for instance, earning a high draft pick) rather than gamblers being involved, the team is often said to have tanked the game instead of having thrown it.”

I much prefer to think about it and refer to it as adopting a long-term strategy. In other words, coach and play every game to win, but manage the team’s assets so as to be in better shape for the next season and beyond.

As far as the Canadiens still not being mathematically eliminated, we have to understand that the team is being presently assessed a 3.9% chance of making the playoffs by sportsclubstats.com . If this was a stock, we wouldn’t invest in it. Even if it paid off, and we overcame the 25 to 1 odds of making it, the payoff would be meager instead of a jackpot.

The last two Montreal teams who made the playoffs had a certain swagger, an inner strength that we don’t see in this team. We didn’t see it on the ice against New Jersey or tonight against the Stars. We certainly didn’t see it on the bench or on the coaches’ faces. If they miraculously made the playoffs, they would be cannon fodder to the actual Cup contender they would have to face.

Anyway, we don’t need to whip ourselves into a frenzy or get clinically depressed over it, it’s obvious to everyone, including management, what needs to be done. It’ll be hard to put down Old Yeller, what with the tears and the wracking sobs, but it must be done.

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