Monday, 25 January 2016

More fallout from the Jarred Tinordi trade.

I wonder if the way MT has this team play, specifically the relentless forechecking, is not just draining it physically. That could explain why the team and certain individuals did so well early on in the season — when they were not yet tired out — but not so well since Dec.
I believe the CH puts a BIIIG emphasis on aerobic/cardio fitness for that very reason. But maybe that kind of play is not sustainable?
Any thoughts out there…?

It’s an interesting notion, it’s certainly plausible.

Other theories have been floated, one that the other teams weren’t able to deal with the team speed coming out of camp, but now that they have their skating legs they can withstand it.

Another was that when the team is engaged and playing with confidence, with determination, the system works, but when they’re a little shaken, when they’re maybe not as fiery and cohesive, that maybe it’s impossible to have the pedal to the metal and skate all out all through the game. Maybe the Canadiens aren’t as relentless as before, maybe they’re not quite harrying the defencemen and causing as many turnovers, without that fire in the belly.

My postulate is that other teams have plainly reverted to thumping and gooning and facewashing the Canadiens, and it’s having an effect. As gutsy as players like Gally or Daniel Carr are, the boys are only human, they get sick of getting crosschecked or rabbit-punched in the back of the head, only to have the refs and linesmen wade in and do their ‘Break it up’ routine, with no consequence for the guilty, and no benefit for their sore nose. After a while it gets old.

We saw the refs do a halfway decent job last night of trying to pick out the culprits, identifying the Blues as the culprits instead of calling offsetting penalties, if any. Unfortunately, the Canadiens couldn’t make the Blues pay with their powerplay. Or rather, they made them pay somewhat, but were undone by untimely lapses by their young goalie.

This is where Marc Bergevin took a calculated risk, didn’t go down the George Parros-Douglas Murray road the last two seasons, and it’s coming back to haunt us. The Canadiens are soft targets for attempts at intimidation. The smallish fleet team we had looked like a stroke of genius right out of camp, but now it feels like the Bruins of 2011-model is being resurrected when teams play against the Canadiens.

Which is why it's troubling to me that the team has divested itself of Jarred Tinordi and Zack Kassian, without really addressing the decrease in size and toughness in other ways.

But generally:

I thought Marc Bergevin was a patient GM, who would not panic, just patiently develop his chess pieces, slowly amass assets, never mind talk of ‘windows’ and ‘1993’, he’d build up our organization so that we’d be a contender for decades to come.

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