Price bashing, Gomez dumping and linking up with the rest..

OK so I was working on a post-game wrap up of the Montreal Canadiens 3-0 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, but something got me distracted.

Typically, since TSN usually drops straight to SportsCentre as soon as a game is over, I flip to CJAD and catch my friend Abe Hefter's post game show.

The Canadiens have lost two straight for the first time this season, and have only managed to score a single goal on 70 shots. Not to mention the power play continues to flounder, at a 3 for 42 pace. As the Montreal Gazette Dave Stubbs said to me today, "The Habs PP sucks beyond description!"

So what is the first caller's concerns? That they made a mistake in keeping Carey Price. .....

Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz sorry, but thanks for trying...How can Price be possibly blamed in either of these games?..Winning regularly, when your team averages .5 goals a game just isn't going to fly.Hefter agreed, as did CJAD's colour man Sergio Momesso, and several others who, unlike many of the Price-bashing callers, actually watched the game.

Plain and simple, you don't score, you don't win. It doesn't matter who you have in goal.

Defensively his team didn't give him much help either. A pair of odd-man rushes bookmarked Derick Brassard's power play goal that had Hal Gill with his back to the play and left him wide open.

Don't even get me started on Jaroslav Spacek. Please, don't.

The topic alternated between Price and the lack of production from Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta. While most of the targeting in the latter argument targeted the Habs center, one text message felt that Gionta named captain was a mistake for the Canadiens. That remark doesn't even dignify a response, and Hefter side stepped it nicely.

Many of the comments on Gomez was the fact he is not producing on the scoreboard. Unfortunately many don't realize that Gomez is barely a career point-a-game player, with his career best 84 points coming immediately after the lockout. His defensive play is valued just as much, or even more, than his offense by many GMs, hence the salary he is paid. Nobody complained about his play in the playoffs, did they?

They also overlook the fact that his starts over his career have fluctuated over the years. The chart below shows Gomez's numbers through the first 10 games, and how he finished offensively in his career that year.

First ten games and season end stats
Season G A P GP G A P
1999-00 1 8 9 82 19 51 70
2000-01 2 4 6 76 14 49 63
2001-02 0 3 3 76 10 38 48
2002-03 1 6 7 80 13 42 55
2003-04 1 6 7 80 14 56 70
2005-06 2 6 8 82 33 51 84
2006-07 3 8 11 72 13 47 60
2007-08 2 1 3 81 16 54 70
2008-09 2 6 8 77 16 42 58
2009-10 2 5 7 78 12 47 59

 

The scoring slump of the snake-bitten Gionta also factors into Gomez's lack of offense. Chris Boyle, EOTP's analyst extraordinaire observed that Gionta, a career 11% shooter, is at 2% so far this season. "If he was at his career average, he would have five goals and nobody would be complaining," he said. "If you correlate Gomez being the beneficiary of extra assists, the lynch mob would be ignoring them totally."

Bottom line, if Gomez finishes in the 55-70 point mark, and can play the game at both ends, then it's money well spent. We have  still have 70 games to prove both Price and Gomez wrong.

They'll get another chance Friday against the Buffalo Sabres at the HSBC Arena.

 

So what else is going on ??

Habs legend Patrick Roy blames Guy Boucher or the QMJHL's lack of offense. Speaking of Boucher, Hamilton Bulldogs coach Randy Cunneyworth is the same power play system Boucher used, and it's working. The Canadiens AHL affiliate leads the league with a 30.3% efficiency rating going into tonight's game.

Elmer Lach and Butch Bouchard give back to the community

Max Pacioretty wants to play the whole season in Hamilton.

Wild put Guillaune Latendresse on IR

Vincent Damphousse named to 2011 QMJHL Hall of Fame

Road Runner signing at Indigo: Meet Sports Illustrated hockey writer Michael Faber and Yvan "The Roadrunner" Cournoyer, both Hockey Hall of Fame inductees, as they sign Sports Illustrated The Hockey Book. The two will be at Montreal's Indigo at Place Montreal Trust this Friday at 5pm.

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