Stu Cowan: Seeking to the previous isn’t going to assist the Canadiens now

The Canadiens will as soon as once more look to their wonderful previous subsequent Tuesday night time after they maintain a captains’ reunion earlier than taking part in the New York Islanders on the Bell Centre.

Eleven former captains will participate within the pre-game ceremony to rejoice the franchise’s 110th anniversary: Yvan Cournoyer, Serge Savard, Bob Gainey, Chris Chelios, Man Carbonneau, Kirk Muller, Mike Keane, Pierre Turgeon, Vincent Damphousse, Saku Koivu and Brian Gionta.


Former Montreal Gazette sports activities columnist Michael Farber likes to say “solely two establishments in Western civilization actually grasp ceremony: the Home of Windsor and the Montreal Canadiens” and this may absolutely be one other good celebration of the previous for a franchise that has received a report 24 Stanley Cups.

However this franchise needs to be way more targeted on the current and the long run, together with Saturday’s sport in opposition to the Philadelphia Flyers on the Bell Centre (Three p.m., SN, RDS, TSN 690 Radio) adopted by Sunday’s sport in Boston in opposition to the Bruins (7 p.m., SN, RDS, TSN 690 Radio).

Canadiens’ Carey Value is having one other tough night time because the puck will get previous him throughout second interval in opposition to the New Jersey Devils on the Bell Centre in Montreal on Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019.



It has been 26 years for the reason that Canadiens’ final Stanley Cup and I consider followers are extra taken with profitable one other one as a substitute of remembering previous glories. A younger era of followers has no thought what it’s wish to see the Canadiens hoist the Cup and the crew appears nowhere near doing it once more within the close to future.

The Canadiens head into this weekend’s back-to-back video games on a season-high six-game shedding streak (Zero-Four-2), throughout which they’ve been outscored 31-16 and goalies Carey Value and Keith Kinkaid have a mixed for an .837 save share. Their energy play has gone 2-for-17 in the course of the droop, dropping to 18th within the NHL after Thursday’s 6-Four loss to the New Jersey Devils, and their penalty-killing ranks 30th. Defensively, the Canadiens rank 29th, permitting a median of three.52 objectives per sport.


The Canadiens ranked 10th within the NHL in offence after Thursday’s loss, scoring a median of three.32 objectives per sport, however defence wins championships and the Habs’ defence has been horrible. So has Value, who ranked 44th within the NHL in goals-against common (Three.19) and 41st in save share (.897) after Thursday’s loss, which dropped his report to 10-Eight-Three.

It doesn’t seem like there may be any fast repair for the Canadiens’ issues, particularly if Value retains going through so many two-on-ones and different Grade A scoring probabilities.

“If it was shortly, it might have been completed after one sport, not six,” head coach Claude Julien stated Friday when requested if there was any fast repair. “In order that’s not a fast repair to me. I feel it’s a kind of issues the place I assume, from sport to sport, frustration has crept in an increasing number of. I feel the key to turning issues round for anyone that’s going by that’s fairly easy: Simply do your job. Don’t do anyone else’s, do your job and do it properly.


“If you try to do an excessive amount of you find yourself out of place, you find yourself attempting to do your job and any person else’s, and everyone knows that by no means works. So it’s about taking a step again, simply doing all your job and doing it properly.”

Julien determined to not have his gamers practise Friday in Brossard, as a substitute having a crew assembly with movie work and off-ice conditioning throughout a troublesome stretch of three video games in 4 days. Julien stated he’s planning to start out Kinkaid in one of many two video games this weekend, however didn’t say which one.

“We’re actually not targeted on a fast repair or the droop or no matter you need to name it,” ahead Max Domi stated. “The matter is we’ve obtained to win our subsequent hockey sport and that’s all we’re actually targeted on. All you are able to do is put your vitality into that and get a win as quick as we will. We’re going to stay collectively right here, we’re going to discover a strategy to do it. All of us consider in one another and we’re going to discover a strategy to do it proper now.”


There are such a lot of issues fallacious with the Canadiens that they’re bringing again recollections of two seasons in the past, after they completed 28th within the general NHL standings.

It’s true the Canadiens have been just one level behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for third place within the Atlantic Division after Thursday’s loss, however they have been additionally solely 5 factors forward of the Devils, who have been in 15th place within the Japanese Convention and held a sport in hand.

If this shedding streak continues, the Canadiens are going to dig themselves a really deep gap.


At this level, it wouldn’t be stunning if we’re speaking about an eight-game winless streak when the Canadiens honour their former captains subsequent Tuesday night time.