MONTREAL – “Just look at my interviews for the last 10 games, it’s the same f—;ing thing. It’s a joke.”
I’ve interviewed Montreal Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty many times.
I’ve seen him after wins and losses.
To say that this quote raised my eyebrow is an understatement.
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The Habs captain summed up the past two weeks perfectly after Saturday night’s loss.
The Dallas Stars had just brutalized the Canadiens 6-2, dropping the Habs down to winning just two of their last ten meetings.
Pacioretty, of course, has the spotlight on him – he’s the captain, the team leader in scoring, the one who is supposed to score those clutch goals.
So, he’s frustrated.
Pacioretty is the obvious one, but not the only one.
Think way, way back to the end of the last season.
The Canadiens were tagged with being a team that was a one-note.
They were a team that depended so heavily on their Hart Trophy winning goaltender that a night where Carey Price wasn’t in superstar form meant a sure loss for the Habs.
The beginning of the season seemed like a turnaround for the team.
Scoring was coming from unlikely sources.
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Now, that’s dried up.
Perhaps more than just a team that is defined by a single player – they’ve become known for being streaky.
Starting 9-0 doesn’t sound as good when you’ve dropped seven of your last eight games.
Dale Weise‘s goal streak has dropped off.
P.K. Subban‘s never started.
That’s only part of the equation.
There are plenty of fingers to point at why the Canadiens can’t seem to win: injury, puck luck, tough schedule.
Good teams deal with it, great teams are able to rise above that.
Right now, the Habs face a difficult test for a team in a slump: a long road trip.
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They aren’t back at the Bell Centre until Jan. 6.
In that time, they’ll play seven games on the road.
That’s enough time to turn it around and starting their upward trend.
If not, Max better get used to being frustrated.