The joy of coming to play for the Montreal Canadiens should be worth bearing with all the media pressure and circus.
Put aside the love provided by endless numbers of fans, it is a team with history and pride.
But when controversy shows itself, knocking on the door, every hockey player's dreamland can turn into a real nightmare. '
That is when popularity bites back, bites hard, and hurts.
Adding to the already enormous pressure that the players endure, their not-so=fine behaviour off the ice becomes more dramatic with every loss. And Jean Perron was not going to let that one go.
“Those guys are partying without limits. The Organization should control them more. They are having problems.” (Free translation, pardon the dialect)
Among others, he named Carey Price, Sergei Kostitsyn, and Chris Higgins.
With such a comment, Coach Perron is tied with Pat Burns and Guy Lafleur for the he-dared-to-say-it contest. In fact, figuring in the same league as Guy Lafleur in this particular discipline is already an accomplishment in itself.
From “they are a team of fourth liners” to “if they don’t perform, change them,” Lafleur has earned himself a name in the domain of controversial comments. But we have to give him credit for the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Guy Carbonneau’s noble response reflected his loyalty towards his players. “I find it really misplaced. I lost a lot of respect for Jean Perron.”
However, between us, who are we kidding? Who has ever believed that a 21-year old, who earns around a million per year, would stay home wisely with daddy and mommy?
We are used to wars of words whenever the team has troubles. However, it makes us always grin to hear actual names—unless it is about Alex Kovalev. He got used to it, and so did we.
This does make Perron more credible, granted. But it also sounds cheap.
Everyone has been through that. Coach Carbonneau once admitted that he got caught past curfew, and has been sitting for the next game.
It happens even to the greatest. Guy Lafleur wasn't an angel.
Once again, Price did not hold his emotions for himself. “I don’t care, it is my personal life.”
Jean Perron wouldn’t care either if you hadn’t lost seven of your last nine games.
Meanwhile, rumours are intensifying regarding Alexei Kovalev’s possible departure from the Bleu, Blanc, et Rouge. But just like all rumours, some parts aren’t logical.
According to La Presse, Bob Gainey has been trying to shop Kovalev for about two weeks now—which times perfectly with the current situation.
But then, if you shop a player and try to get the best deal for your team, announcing publicly that he plays so bad that he doesn't have the right to be around the players doesn't really fit in the picture. “Here, he is a bad player who earns $4 million, please take him.”
Notes from aside:
According to RDS, Mathieu Schneider will play with Andrei Markov.
A psychologist said on La Presse that “Price needs someone who comes to him and tells him that he is there to help, and not to steal his job. Halak is not going to do that.” Let’s speculate about trading Halak, and have a veteran goalie to assist Price. Is Marc Denis the man for the job?
The latest rumor: the Flyers are reported to be willing to shop Martin Biron. Any takers?
*Still on the party theme, I will leave you with the advertisement of the moment. Go Habs!