BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA
PITTSBURGH -- There will be a familiar face behind the Montreal Canadiens bench.
The Habs have called a news conference for today where they're expected to name Jacques Martin as their head coach.
League sources say Martin has stepped down from his post as GM of the Florida Panthers because of the financial instability of the club and the possibility they may be sold.
Martin will be a solid choice for the Habs. He will bring stability and could help get the club back to respectability.
Is this the right move for the Habs? Can Martin turn around this team? Have your say in our forum.
Habs to hire Martin
I won't write off the season yet, but changes need to be made, We are not Toronto where making the playoffs is a victory. Second best won't cut it as a habs fan, and it never will.
Chris, 2009-02-19 11:32:40
Last season Kovalev had a great season. Was it Gainey's butt kicking before the season? C'mon...
NO ONE on the Habs are having a good season except Tom Kostopulos and Maxime Lapierre ... WHO ???
The hoopla for the 100th anniversary of Les Canadiens combined with the playoff run last season had everyone in a frenzy ... me included. Now it seems the whole team overacheived and the minuses last season were not addressed.
So we didn't get Mats, and we won't get Bouwmeester, or Lecavalier. More than that, we are missing some key elements that have showed themselves in the loss column, and have managed to drive conditions to where they are now for the Habs.
No one is playing consistently or scoring. This lack of threat has allowed teams to go on a more aggressive forecheck against the players in all zones especially in the ends offensively and defensively along the boards. They give up turnovers and play very tentatively and end up forcing the play instead of creating a play.
Kovalev is the same way. Carbonneau and his coaching team had to know that Kovalev was going to be shadowed by more than one guy this year and did very little to help. Gainey has only now gone out and got a defenseman with a shot in Schneider, and with the system the Habs use on the PP, the wingers should have more time and space because the other team has to anticipate a shot from the blueline, instead of all the work down low.
Kovalev should be benched as he has by far the most talent on the Habs - if only to send a message to the others on the team.
Koivu was sat down 2 seasons ago and the message rang through the room. It helped somewhat, although they did not make the playoffs.
The team played far better last night against the Caps and I hope they kick the Pens while they're down tonight.
Kovalev should take this time off to rest and reflect. We will see what his attitude really is when he returns. He's playing for a new contract next season, and this benching sends a message to the other GM's too. While they may be interested in a rental if thats the way things go, It would be doubtful that someone will give Kovalev $4-5 million based on his time with the Habs.
Andy V., 2009-02-19 11:24:40
I'm glad to see Gainey at least trying to improve. Sure I'd love to see a Lecavalier or Gaborik come to town, but these deals are hard to come by and may result in many more lost picks and prospects a la last year's Hossa deal.
The message I see is that the team knows they have to sink or swim with Kovalev and Price and they are trying to get their heads in the right place before the playoffs. I'd love to see Price sent down for a week, it sure seemed to work for him last year. If none of this works then yes, the Habs will have a short anniversary season. But let's not pretend we're the Leafs, panic, throw players under the bus and trade away young talent for the "one player" who will put us over the top. Better yet, just ignore editorials like this that try to invent news instead of reporting on it.
Rick W., 2009-02-19 10:48:03