The storm by Marc Bergevin

It doesn’t always happen, but there are times when late-night press conferences allow us to learn things and better understand what’s going on.

Richard Labbé

Richard Labbé

We had one of those moments on Friday night in Buffalo.

After Ben Chiarot casually rushed past the media, Josh Anderson sat down in the same chair. The forward was not in a great mood – the club had just lost 4-1 to the Sabers – and he escaped these few words which perfectly summed up the Canadiens’ situation in 2021-22.


Josh Anderson

“The players, we have already held several meetings this season, he explained. Last season, all the guys knew their roles. Everyone was working hard. Seems like this season a lot of times it’s only one line per game that works, maybe two. We don’t have that consistency. It’s only happened a few times this season that we had the four lines that started working at the same time. ”

Interesting, isn’t it?

On the one hand, there is a commentary on the work, which may not be everyone’s prerogative. There are, in fact, some players who give us the impression of not giving a damn some nights. It’s never a good sign for a coach, that. Except that in the immediate future, it is not the work of Dominique Ducharme that will be called into question.

To find out where things are wrong, and why this season is almost already in the trash, we must rather climb a little higher in the management ladder, and look in the direction of general manager Marc Bergevin. Because several of his decisions can be used to explain the present situation, and the very modest 6 victories in 23 games.

Thus, Anderson approached in Buffalo the question of roles, and in our humble opinion, it is in this chapter that the present version of the Canadian is weakened compared to the previous one.

In the 2021 playoffs, the club’s four most important players were a goalie (Carey Price), a defender (Shea Weber), and two forwards (Phillip Danault and Corey Perry). Three of the four are no longer here, and the last one, Price, is still being delayed for health reasons.


The absences of Carey Price and Corey Perry hurt the Habs.

These four starts resulted in a tumble in the formation of the Canadian.

In net, Jake Allen found himself having to take on a role of first goalie, which he is no longer able to do. As of Sunday, his save percentage (.902) gave him the 26e rank in this chapter in the NHL. Since it was necessary to find a reserve in Allen and since the draft did not allow to prepare a relief for Price, the Canadian had to turn to the waiver to obtain another goaltender, Samuel Montembeault.

In defense, Weber has not been replaced, and his departure means that Jeff Petry, suddenly faced with new responsibilities, is on his way to having his worst season, by far, since being a member of the Canadian. Always a defenseman with an offensive flair, he has just 2 points this season, having obtained a minimum of 40 points in each of his last four seasons, including 42 points in 55 games last season. David Savard is also one of those who must play a more important role, with very mixed results.


Without Shea Weber in the roster, Jeff Petry struggles to assume his role as first defender.

In attack, Corey Perry will have only passed, but his leadership, his aggressiveness and his intensity are sorely lacking at the club. As for Phillip Danault, his departure from the free agent market risks forever marking the reign of general manager Marc Bergevin. Whether Danault’s contribution to the Canadiens was so stupidly underestimated remains an enigma that could plague the team for a few more years. And it is not Christian Dvorak who will make the Quebec player forget. Truly not.

In July, barely a few weeks after the grand final, Marc Bergevin had offered this warning: “With the expectation of the results of Carey [concernant sa blessure à un genou], with the loss of Shea and the future of our center line, there are a lot of question marks right now. ”

Bergevin had predicted rainy days. But he certainly hadn’t foreseen such a storm.

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