By waldo1947 | OSJ Staff
The Habs are exactly who we thought they were (or at least how I think they are). This 4-game skid should not come as a surprise to anyone who follows this team closely. In fact, this season is, to quote Yogi Berra, “Deja vu all over again.” As of 2000 EST on Monday, November 25, the Habs are 11-7-5 and fresh off a disastrous 6-5 home loss to the Rangers. The Habs are 0-2-2 in their last 4 games. To make matters worse, all of the losses were against teams not currently in a playoff position. The Habs, however, are still in a playoff position. So it begs the question: Is your Habs' glass half-full or half-empty? (I recommend Canadian Whiskey - it takes on whichever mood you want to be in while watching the Habs!)
“Glass Half Full Math” 1. The American Thanksgiving holiday is only 4 days away. The likelihood of making the playoffs is greatly enhanced if you are in a playoff position at American Thanksgiving (or so the legend goes). If the Habs can win the next 2 games (Boston and New Jersey) they will retain a playoff spot and gain a statistical advantage towards making the playoffs. 2. The Habs are doing very well versus teams currently in a playoff spot (6-2-2) including 2 impressive wins over the Stanley Cup Champs and a 5-2 win over the Capitals. 3. The combined winning percentage of the teams they have beaten is 0.585. 4. The Habs are 8th in scoring at 3.39 GPG. “Glass Half Empty Math” 1. The American Thanksgiving threshold is an old wives’ tale. In both 2017 and 2018, 11/16 teams in a playoff spot still held one by seasons’ end. In fact, the Habs had a wildcard spot at American Thanksgiving last season! A 69% chance of holding a playoff spot isn’t exactly a lock. 2. The Habs are 5-5-3 versus teams not in a playoff spot including an embarrassing loss this Saturday to the Rangers and a 5-2 thumping to the CBJs. They even lost to the Senators (The Little Engine That Can’t™). 3. Carey Price makes $10 million and is 14th in GAA (2.89) amongst goalies with 15 or more games started. 4. The Habs are 26th in penalty killing at 73.6%.
The Hard Truth This is who the Habs are. Some people are clamouring for a trade or a coaching change. Go ahead and rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic if you must, but the core of the team isn’t going anywhere. In my last blog, I was very complimentary of the job Julien and Bergevin had done so far (11-5-4), but I was not about to go all-in. I still maintain they are composed of two second lines, two fourth lines, and shaky (and overpriced) goaltending. The Habs missed the playoffs last year with 96 points. They are currently 11-7-5 which is a 0.587 win percentage (Half Full). This would give them 96 points...the same as last season (grab the whiskey!!!). I can hear Yogi Berra… “Deja vu all over again!”