On a night when both the Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs lost their respective games, any hope for the playoffs dictated that the Montreal Canadiens must beat the Detroit Red Wings. Mathematically, it remains a possibility even with the loss, but said loss should at least confirm that their path to success is through selling.
It should confirm with the utmost certainty that Marc Bergevin will do so ahead of the trade deadline next Monday.
This team has now earned zero points of a possible eight against the worst team in the NHL. A historically bad team that holds an iron grip on the best lottery odds. A team that could have a hard time competing in the AHL. A team that even the mediocre Canadiens should be able to handle with ease.
Bergevin may not be the man to steer this team through the void, but given that he moved Marco Scandella for pick(s) earlier in the day, perhaps he finally sees the writing on the wall. A win on Tuesday could have caused him to pump the brakes on his selling, but this loss should allow him to put his foot on the gas and do what needs to be done.
Bergevin has shown he’s far better in trades than anything else as a General Manager. Whether you’re on the side of keeping him with the organization or not — I personally would like to see some new blood in his position next year — it is hard to deny his ability in trades. Even if he’s not long for his job, I think fans can have some confidence in the fact that he knows how to find good deals.
The Scandella trade was brilliant. He cost a fourth-round pick and turned into a second-round pick in no time. If names like Tomas Tatar, Max Domi, and Jeff Petry are being circulated, I’d love to see what Bergevin could add for those players with considerably higher value to playoff teams.
Losing to Detroit, particularly in typical 2020 Habs fashion by blowing two different leads, isn’t fun to watch. It’s brutal, but at least it should remove any hesitation on the part of management to do what needs to be done.
Marc Bergevin can now dive straight into selling, and maybe the team will see better days next year.