By Waldo 1947 | OSJ Staff | Montreal Canadiens Feature Writer
We have reached the Festivus break in the NHL. Before reading the blog, it is vital that you learn the ins and outs of the holiday that is Festivus:
AIRING OF GRIEVANCES (AOG) AOG #1: The Habs' Penalty Kill Ranked #27 in the league at 75.2%. AOG #2: No Star Power Their top scorer, Tomas Tatar, is 37th in league scoring and is on pace for a whopping 71 points. 47 players have a better points/game average (.86) AOG #3: Player Development See any blue-chippers anywhere on the roster or in Laval? It looks like they have hurt Kotkaniemi beyond the ‘sophomore slump’ and can someone tell me the plan with Ryan Poehling?
“I FIND TINSEL DISTRACTING” (IFTD) IFTD #1: Carey Price and the back-up situation 35th in Save% (0.906), 28th in GAA (2.86) but 6th in wins (16). On pace for 66 starts and his record of 16-11-3 gives the Habs 77 points. The back-ups (2-2-3) are on pace for 16 points. This gives the Habs 93 points - 3 less than last year. IFTD #2: Loudmouths who now say: “We should have taken Tkachuk instead of Kotkaniemi” Shut your mouth. We needed a center and we got one. Last season, Kotkaniemi looked like the right pick. Take your hindsight-is-20-20 and recency-bias glasses off! IFTD #3: Weird Numbers 0-2 vs Red Wings but 2-0 vs the Blues? 10-5-3 on the road but 8-8-3 at home? 31st in drawing penalties (2.86/game) but 24th in taking penalties (only 3.26/game). 10th in scoring (3.22 goals/game) but 19th in scoring against (3.26 goals/game) FEATS OF STRENGTH (FOS) FOS #1: Shea Weber 11 goals now and on pace for 25. The Habs’ record for goals by a defenceman is Guy Lapointe’s 28 in 1975. (Remember that season, Dad?)
+12 on a team that is horrible defensively. Great beard, lethal clapper, and the young guys get big hugs from him, proving his leadership is amazing. FOS #2: Brendan Gallagher Is there a harder worker on the Habs? If you have a son or daughter playing hockey, would you not point to Gallagher as the role model for passion and desire? He is 3rd in goals for right wingers (15 goals now - on pace for 33). FOS #3: Power Play Ranked 8th in the league after setting a franchise record for ineptitude last season. If only they drew more penalties! (31st in the league with 2.86 penalties/game. ONLY SEATTLE IS WORSE!) FOS #4: Resiliency
10 games ago I wrote a blog claiming the Habs had run into an iceberg as they were in a 0-5-3 slump. Since then, they are 7-3 including going 3-1 on the road vs the old Canadian Smythe Division! A FESTIVUS MIRACLE! The Atlantic Division sucks which means the Habs still have a chance! There are only 4 points separating 2nd through 6th. Here are the current standings, WIN% and point projections: 2. LEAFS 0.579% = 95 POINTS 3. HABS 0.568% = 93 POINTS 4. FLORIDA 0.569% = 93 POINTS 5. BUFFALO 0.539% = 88 POINTS 6. TAMPA BAY 0.571% = 94 POINTS Any Seinfeld fan knows that Festivus is a part of our heritage. Any Habs fan knows that winning “WAS” a part of our heritage. Like George Costanza clinging to his dream of becoming an architect, Habs fans are clinging to their tinsel-free aluminum pole, hoping for a Festivus miracle to get us into the playoffs. Happy Festivus, Habs Nation! Love, Waldo1947.