Road warriors or hometown losers? Which would you prefer, Hab fans? Dare I suggest Canadiens management requests to the NHL schedule makers that all home games be changed to road games. The other option would be to sequester the players to a Mont Tremblay resort during home stands where there would be no so called “distractions” which Guy Carbonneau speaks about when the media asks why the Habs can’t win at home.
All kidding aside, if only the Canadiens could bring their road game to the Bell Centre, they would be fighting for the Eastern Conference lead. As Pierre McGuire was saying yesterday to the Team 990’s Mitch Melnick, the home teams always seem to struggle during the holiday season. Whether it’s the family commitments, hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping or the overall craziness of the holiday season, there always seems to be a letdown by the home team (check last night’s results: only 3 out of the 10 home teams won their games!!!).
While the players families were busy with finishing the Christmas shopping, the Canadiens played a solid road game and cleaned up the mess that was loosely called “defensive zone coverage”.
The Habs young guns: the Flying Kostitsyns (sounds like a circus act, doesn’t it!!), Plekanec, Higgins, Lapierre, Latendresse and Komisarek to name quite a few were flying and playing a solid game. If it wasn’t for players like Tomas Plekanec, Christopher Higgins and Mike Komisarek playing incredibly well at season’s end last year, the Canadiens wouldn’t have had a chance to play for the final playoff spot against Toronto. It will be the youngsters who will make or break the fortunes of this team. Veterans like Koivu, Hamrlik, Streit and Kovalev were also hustling to pucks and setting the example. .
Let’s hope the boys can enjoy the holiday season and string a few wins together starting with the game against the dreaded Maple Leaf tomorrow night as well as the six game road trip over the holidays………..the comfort and joy of the road!!!!