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Title - Hockey is Canadien
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Follow Me on TwitterDean Eastman is the Montreal Canadiens' correspondent for OurHometown.ca Dean was born in Cornwall and raised in Long Sault and has been a loyal Habs fan since the days of the Pocket Rocket and the Roadrunner. He now calls Whitby, Ontario home to his wife Heather and young sons Eric and Ryan. Dean is passionate about his hockey, whether it be from the junior or professional ranks. Dean will provide current news and views on the Montreal Canadiens' organization from a global perspective. If you have questions or wish to contact Dean, you can email him at deastman@ourhometown.ca
It is in times like this I almost wish I was a Toronto Maple Leafs’ supporter
Dean Eastman
OurHometown.ca

Hockey is Canadien
It is in times like this I almost wish I was a Toronto Maple Leafs’ supporter
As I continue to recover from two successive surgeries for thyroid cancer and try my damnedest to remain positive overall, I desperately attempt to find some solace in the Montreal Canadiens’ see-saw, 2011-12 NHL season. Never before have I witnessed a roster of gifted skaters who cannot seem to stay on the right side of the win column.
PHOTO CREDIT - CTV.ca

Whitby - January 24, 2012 - As I continue to recover from two successive surgeries for thyroid cancer and try my damnedest to remain positive overall, I desperately attempt to find some solace in the Montreal Canadiens’ see-saw, 2011-12 NHL season.

Never before have I witnessed a roster of gifted skaters who cannot seem to stay on the right side of the win column. Since I wrote my last article on December 20th, the Canadiens have undergone a major transformation both in the coaching staff as well as on the Canadiens’ active roster. The current version of the Montreal Canadiens is the extreme polar opposite to the dynasty teams of the 1970s.

The Canadiens’ sport a 5-7-2 record since December 20th. Die-hard Habs’ fans have watched the Canadiens’ organization release their head coach from active duties and replace the defunct head coach with a successful AHL-experienced winning and unilingual (say it isn’t so) head coach much to the chagrin of the people of Quebec; trade a once-beloved offensive centreman; witnessed the team captain undergo successful biceps surgery; witness the team’s ‘enigmatic one’ return to play on the fourth line; and finally begin to appreciate the evolution of a gifted young forward in Lars Eller.

It is in times like this I almost wish I was a Toronto Maple Leafs’ supporter - at least I would be used to the constant losing and ‘same old story’ discussions on the dismal performance of the beloved team, year-after-year - I say, almost. Yes, Toronto is playing much better this season and have a much improved squad compared to other seasons.

The Canadiens currently sit in 4th place in their division and are tied for the 11th spot in the Eastern Conference, 10 points out of the 8th and final playoff spot. If there was ever a good time for me to sit around to watch my beloved Canadiens, it was the past month. Most nights I would start to watch Les Bleu-Blanc-Rouges take to the ice, but it wouldn’t take long before I got frustrated and angry that I had wasted my viewing time on this particular pack of misfits. What a horrible power play system! Way too many inconsistencies in the team’s performance!

How much longer can General Manager Pierre Gauthier remain in CEO Geoff Molson’s good books? If there was any one person’s neck on the chopping block, it would have to be Mr. Gauthier and not Randy Cunneyworth. It is true the Province of Quebec has been in an uproar since the Canadiens put Cunneyworth at the helm, but Mr. Gauthier needs to look in the mirror and Mr. Molson has to decide whether or not it is time to pack this season in and clean house, starting at the top, by trimming ‘the fat’.

I really want to try to stay positive so I can return to 100% good health from my battle with cancer, but the continuous ebb and flows of this once Great Canadien Empire and starting to wear thin on yours truly. For excellent insight into the collapse of this storied franchise, a must read is the January 30th edition of Sportsnet magazine. Sports writer Gare Joyce eloquently puts pen to paper, Decline of Habs Empire.

Perhaps an improved power play is the prescription I need in addition to a changing of the guard. Au revoir Monsieur Gauthier!

Until next time, play every game as if it is your last one…


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