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Mike Cammalleri had to know it was coming
TSN 990 and MitchMelnick.com
Mike Cammalleri had to know it was coming. I don't know that for a fact but when a veteran free agent signee is being shopped (Pierre Gauthier said "about a month" (didn't he say that about Andrei Markov?) but a Flames executive said three months), especially if, like Cammalleri, he has a limited no movement clause, then one can easily assume their agents keep them duly informed.
Montreal - January 13, 2012 - Mike Cammalleri had to know it was coming. I don't know that for a fact but when a veteran free agent signee is being shopped (Pierre Gauthier said "about a month" (didn't he say that about Andrei Markov?) but a Flames executive said three months), especially if, like Cammalleri, he has a limited no movement clause, then one can easily assume their agents keep them duly informed. And maybe that's what Cammalleri meant when he told Francois Gagnon & Arpon Basu to "read between the lines" following his "losing attitude" rant. It was perhaps understandable to think that Cammalleri was trying to talk his way out of town or just expanding on a recent trade request but it appears the exact opposite is true. My initial gut instinct was that Cammalleri knew the Canadiens had been trying to trade him and was hurt by it. A victim of a bad season to be sure but also the victim of a poorly constructed team.
Pierre Gauthier can't find anybody to take Scott Gomez and even if he could he would not get an NHL ready player in return. Brian Gionta is a salt of the earth character kind of player that is universally respected. Thomas Plekanec was just locked up. Max Pacioretty, PK Subban and Carey Price are not going anywhere. So, if the Habs were going to trade a top shelf player in an effort to get bigger and stronger physically I suppose it had to be Cammalleri.
Rene Bourque will score more ugly goals than Cammalleri. He'll hit more people. And maybe an old lunch pail captain like Randy Cunneyworth will get the most out of him because while on the surface Bourque's numbers look good, what's not seen on a stat sheet is work ethic. In that area Bourque has a less than stellar reputation. Gauthier might have just acquired Dustin Penner Light.
To be fair I like the money saved and I like the 2nd round draft choice but I don't think there's a scenario that will convince me that Pierre Gauthier is the right guy to be pulling the trigger for the Canadiens and their fan base. He just realized that the team he helped put together is too small? He just realized that the Boston Bruins are that rare beast in this era - a defending stanley cup champion that has actually improved? Did he just wake up to see his old team the Ottawa Senators running away from his current team? Did he really think that Chris Campoli at a salary of nearly two million dollars would help? Does he not realize that in acquiring Campoli and Thomas Kaberle for the blue line he made things so much worse for his franchise goaltender? Did he not think it might be wise, prior to introducing his new head coach that it might have been worth the effort to get him to say, at the very least, "bonjour"? Yes, Gauthier sure has been pushing a lot of buttons this season. But none bigger than the one labeled "panic".
•Yannick Weber. One day after telling reporters that he thinks he should be in the line up because he knows he's "better than some of the guys playing" Weber scored a late power play goal to give the Canadiens a chance to tie the game in Boston. It was Weber's 4th goal of the season which leads all Montreal defensemen. All four of his goals have been on the power play. Only Erik Cole (7) has scored more. Geez, if you're going to dress 7 defensemen and you have the worst power play in the entire NHL then wouldn't it make sense to dress a power play specialist?
•Carey Price. Another strong outing in Boston. Unless you believe it's Price's fault that Zdeno Chara's dump in hit a stanchion and bounced in front of an empty net.
•The Canadiens overall effort but especially in the third period when they were short a man and down to just 10 forwards after Cammalleri was informed that he had been traded. An NHL player traded during a game is something most of us had never seen.
•PK Subban going nose to nose with Milan Lucic. Let me rephrase that. Subban not backing down while continuing to play the body whether it was Lucic or later on David Krecji. The hit on Krecji brought the usual response from Boston with Andrew Ferrence grabbing Subban by the collar. And PK was naturally slammed after the game for not swinging with Ferrence but he got a Montreal power play out of it which produced a goal.
•Three big offensive wingers for Montreal - Cole, Max Pacioretty & Andrei Kostitsyn combined for 15 shots on goal but couldn't beat Tim Thomas.
•The Canadiens PK unit led by the NHL's leading shot blocker Josh Gorges was perfect again (5 for 5).
THE BAD •Carey Price named to the Eastern Conference All Star team. He's played more minutes than anybody in the NHL this season. He needs the time off.
•Twitterville exploding with erroneous reports of where Cammalleri was headed. At least nobody died.
•The Bruins can thank Montreal for turning their season around. After losing back to back games to the Habs in November Boston has gone 25-4-1. I saw them at their dumbest vs Vancouver last Saturday. But how'd they lose the other three?
THE UGLY •With everybody's favourite whipping boy now back in Calgary (just in time for Scott Gomez to return to the line up) where is the microscope on what has been a terrible season for Thomas Plekanec? When exactly did he start playing like "a little girl" again? He's now a team worst -13 while recently generating next to no offense. With the schedule and his teams' playoff hopes slipping away Plekanec has managed one assist in his last five games. In Boston he failed to get a single shot on goal, was terribly soft on Boston's second goal by Lucic and picked up a stupid, lazy holding the stick penalty in the Boston zone with just 1:12 to play and the Habs pressing for the equalizer.
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