Unfortunately for Jacques Martin and the Montreal Canadiens, the Columbus Blue Jackets -- the current remedy for whatever ails a team in need of a win -- don't visit the Bell Centre until the beginning of December.
The big question entering a critical week for the reeling Habs is will Martin, on a hot seat that is warmer than a freshly steamed hot dog, be around at that point? Will he be behind the Habs' bench a week from now?
The Canadiens are last in the Eastern Conference after Saturday night's overtime loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs and that makes easy fodder for speculation this week is critical for Martin's immediate future with the Canadiens. They host the improved Florida Panthers Monday night, the Philadelphia Flyers Wednesday and then have a home-and-home with the Bruins.
There was one story out there the next two or three games could decide Martin's future. That sounds like a bit of a stretch given the circumstances.
Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier and Martin go back a ways -- they were a tandem, of course, for 10 years in Ottawa -- and Gauthier has seldom been a guy who reacts rashly in any situation. Gauthier made a minor deal Sunday to bring in Petteri Nokelainen and defenceman Garrett Stafford from the Phoenix Coyotes for Brock Trotter and a seventh-round pick.
There you go, Jacques.
The Habs are off to their worst start in 70 years, but haven't had their full team yet. They're using three kids on the blueline right now, with no date set for the return of No. 1 defenceman Andrei Markov from his on-going knee issues (he remains in Florida for rehab), and Chris Campoli, signed for depth, is out indefinitely with a leg injury.
Martin hasn't had his full team, you could argue, but the X-factor in this situation is ex-Canadiens general manager Bob Gainey.
Gainey still holds tremendous sway as the special advisor to the general manager. He has never been shy about pulling the plug on a coach (he fired Michel Therrien, Claude Julien and Guy Carbonneau during his seven years as Habs GM), so it will be interesting to see what this week brings if the Canadiens don't rally.
The other issue is who do you bring in? Who's better than Martin right now?
The list is always short in the Habs' case because of the language issue. When in doubt, always look behind the bench of the Gatineau Olympiques, from where the Canadiens have plucked Pat Burns, Alain Vigneault and Claude Julien over the years.
Benoit Groulx has won three QMJHL championships and has experience at the AHL level.
Whether he could -- or wants -- to leave early in a season is another question. Ditto for Bob Hartley, who's coaching in Europe.
Meanwhile, Martin, booed Saturday night, is being savaged by Canadiens fans by way of the anti-social media.
They have Facebook pages calling for Martin's head. Twitter was overwhelmed with venom. Habs fans are still lamenting the fact the club let Guy Boucher leave the organization to coach the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Many think former assistant Kirk Muller was the real brains behind the operation and his departure to be get experience as a head coach in the AHL has led to the Habs falling apart (Muller might yet be a good NHL head coach, but it's interesting that for all the credit Canadiens fans were willing to give him, none of the teams looking for coaches last summer hired him at the NHL level).
Some of those fans would now like to see the Habs hire former great Patrick Roy to turn things around. That wouldn't be boring.
Martin, whose post-game press conferences are seldom revealing, appeared to be uncharacteristically prickly Saturday night.
When asked a legitimate question by TSN 990 reporter Jessica Rusnak about why winger Erik Cole, the club's big off-season free-agent signing, wasn't on the Canadiens moribund power play, Martin chose to scold the young reporter for not doing her research.
"Well, I think if you look at your stats last year, how many goals did Erik Cole score on the power play? So, maybe I do some work. I think he's had an opportunity, and Mathieu Darche (out there on a 5-on-3) I think does a good job in front of the net. So I guess that's the prerogative of being the coach. But I think it's always important to do the research," said Martin.
The answer, by the way, is Cole scored three power-play goals last season with the Carolina Hurricanes and has had five over the last three years. Of the 184 goals he has scored in his career, 43 have come on the power play.
After the loss to the Leafs Saturday nght, fans from everywhere are piling on with both feet.
"Yo #Habs fan: close the basement door," tweeted Don_inOakville, "it's getting cold up here!!! #milkingItWhileItLasts."
The heat has been turned up on Montreal Canadiens coach Jacques Martin after the Habs' dismal start. How long does he get to turn things around? The shelf life of a coach in Montreal isn't that long. The average lifespan of the last four Habs coaches is 211 games. Here are the last five Canadiens coaches and how long they lasted behind the bench:
Coach Seasons Games Coached Record
Alain Vigneault 1997-2001 266 109-118-35-4
Michel Therrien 2001-2003 190 77-77-23-13
Claude Julien 2003-2005 159 72-62-10-15
Guy Carbonneau 2005-2009 230 124-83-0-23
Jacques Martin 2010-present 171 84-66-0-20
*Bob Gainey coached 57 games (29-21-0-7) on an interim basis during this period.