Habs’ Toughness… Piece of Cake

Photo: CP, Graham Hughes

Written by Habsterix, Senior Writer, AllHabs.net

When baking a cake, one needs the correct mix of ingredients: sugar, butter, eggs, flour, baking powder, milk… and all of that in the proper proportion. That’s why there are recipes out there. When running out of an ingredient, one cannot substitute it by simply adding more of another ingredient and still expect the same perfect result. Rest assured, I’m not going to give you a baking recipe, although I do make the best “Pouding Chômeur”.

Photo: CP, Graham Hughes

PENTICTON, BC. — Building a hockey team is not much different from baking a cake, come to think of it. There is such thing as a recipe for success and the best teams have a mix of players filling certain roles and all ingredients must be at the right level in order to make it a successful combination. Goal scorers are great, but you need to have someone to give them the puck at the right place, at the right time. Tough players will ensure that your team won’t get intimidated when the going gets tough, but you better have some skills to generate some offense and keep the puck out of your net. Even trying to ice five defensemen on a line is no guarantee to prevent goals against.

Many fans and members of the media were criticizing previous management for the style of play and the mixture of players on the team. Marc Bergevin and Michel Therrien have reassured many of those critics when they both confirmed that this team needed to get bigger and tougher. It was astonishing to read and hear the player’s comments when Ryan White came back from injuries and Brad Staubitz was claimed off waivers from the Minnesota Wild. The unanimous feeling in the room was an overwhelming sense of relief, with players feeling bigger knowing that someone had their back.

While the 2012 unrestricted free agency market is slim picking when it comes to top end skills, it is a good year for teams looking to add some toughness in their line-up. Let’s have a quick look at who’s available through free agency at the time of writing those lines:

It was reported that the Canadiens have started negotiating with Travis Moen’s agent, Don Meehan, about the possibility of a new contract. Moen, who had to do all of the dirty work under Jacques Martin and Pierre Gauthier, was injured when Ryan White came back from injury himself, and when Brad Staubitz was claimed off waivers. It must have felt refreshing for him to see other guys put the shoulder to the grind in that aspect of the game. Let’s face it; Moen had his biggest success in Anaheim, where the wolf pack mentality was in order.

Looking at this list, there are a lot of interesting candidates and it would be preferable to look at guys who can play hockey, even in a limited role. Ideally, Travis Moen would re-sign. Then add a guy to look after the heavy weights, in a role similar to what Staubitz played at the end of the season. I would also add a tough defenseman and any of the three names on that list at that position could do the trick.

It goes without saying that there are many different kinds of cakes and all can be excellent. Some people prefer chocolate cake, others will only eat vanilla. But all of them will contain that balance in ingredients. The Habs simply had too much sugar under the last management. It’s time to add some baking powder to the mix in order to make the cake rise as it should, and so we can all share a piece, hopefully one shaped like the Stanley Cup.

En français: Le Canadien… c’est du gâteau

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J.D. Lagrange
J.D. is a Senior writer for All Habs as well as Associate-Editor for the French version Le Magazine All Habs, while one of three Administrators of the fan forum Les Fantômes du Forum. He has created the handle Habsterix as a fictional character for the sole purpose of the internet. It is based on the cartoon Asterix of Gaule and his magic potion is his passion for the Montreal Canadiens. How old is he? His close friends will tell you that he’s so old, his back goes out more than he does! He was born when Béliveau lifted the Cup and remembers the days when seeing the Habs winning was not a wish, it was an expectation. For him, writing is a hobby, not a profession. Having moved to beautiful British Columbia in 1992 from his home town of Sherbrooke, Quebec, he started writing mostly in French to keep up his grammar, until non-bilingual BC friends pushed him into starting his own English Blog. His wife will say that he can be stubborn, but she will be the first to recognise that he has great sense of humour. He is always happy to share with you readers his point of views on different topics, and while it is expected that people won’t always agree, respect of opinions and of others is his mission statement. || J.D. est Rédacteur-Adjoint sur Le Magazine All Habs et il est un Rédacteur Principal sur le site anglophone All Habs, tout en étant un des trois Administrateurs du forum de discussion Les Fantômes du Forum. Il a créé le pseudonyme Habstérix comme caractère fictif pour l’internet. Celui-ci est basé sur Astérix de Gaule et sa potion magique est sa passion pour les Canadiens de Montréal. Lorsqu’il est né, Jean Béliveau soulevait la Coupe Stanley et il se rappelle des jours où gagner n’était pas un espoir, mais une attente. Pour lui, écrire est un passe-temps, pas une profession. Ayant déménagé dans la superbe Colombie-Britannique en 1992 en provenance de sa ville natale de Sherbrooke, Québec, il a commencé à écrire en français pour garder sa grammaire, jusqu’à ce que ses amis anglophones ne réussissent à le convaincre d’avoir son blog en anglais. Son épouse vous dira qu’il est têtu, mais elle sera la première à reconnaître son grand sens de l’humour. Il est toujours fier de partager avec vous, lecteurs et lectrices, ses points de vue sur différents sujets, et quoi que les gens ne s’entendent pas toujours sur ceux-ci, le respect des opinions et des autres est son énoncé de mission.