Tuesday, 30 July 2013

The Canadiens Should of Considered This Before The Centennial Season

   The 2008-2009 NHL season was a historic one for the Montreal Canadiens. The team was celebrating its 100th season in the league. Many people around the hockey world were predicting that they would win the East after finishing first place the season before. If fans alike wanted to see a 25th Stanley Cup parade happen on Rue Saint-Catherine that year, they obviously needed to get bigger as they were clearly outplayed physically when they lost to the Flyers in the second round. Montrealers did not get the wish they wanted as they were eliminated in four straight games by arch-rival Boston. Even though the GM at the time Bob Gainey tried to address this need during the offseason, he should of thought of something else that would have greatly benefited them for the upcoming season.
  That offseason, it was widely rumored that the Canadiens were going to land the aging yet productive big first line centre Mats Sundin as they had exclusive negotiating rights. Sundin decided to sit out for the beginning of the season and eventually join the Vancouver Canucks in late December. This led to Gainey having to go to Plan B and acquiring Robert Lang from the Blackhawks. Although he only played in 50 games, he proved to be a good fit as he managed to score 39 points in his role.
    Gainey should have also considered this while he was preparing for that season. Jaromir Jagr's contract with the New York Rangers had just expired which led to him becoming an unrestricted free agent. He would have been a good fit for the club based on the fact that he still had his scoring touch (25 goals, 71 points in 07-08), and great chemistry with fellow Kladno, Czech Republic native Tomas Plekanec. Imagine having Jagr and Pleks on the same line together? It would have caused some problems to opposing coaches around the league when it would come down to planning strategy.
   So if Bob Gainey did in fact sign Jaromir Jagr during that offseason, would it have made a difference? The simple answer is yes but at the same time no. The reason behind it is even though Jagr had the size and scoring touch, the Habs would have still not won the cup that year based on the fact that they were still a small team which made easier for teams like the Bruins, Flyers and Penguins to beat them based on playing a more physical style of hockey.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

MLS Midseason Report

   As the MLS All-Star Break is fastly approaching, it is time to reflect on the first half of the season. There have been many surprises and disappointments, but their are two teams that have made headlines so far in 2013.
    The biggest surprise has to be the Montreal Impact. In just their second season in MLS, the Impact are fighting for top spot in the East with powerhouses like the New York Red Bulls and Sporting Kansas City. Their surprise play can be attributed to the scoring prowess of Marco Di Vaio as he has eleven goals in nineteen games, the superb play of goaltender Troy Perkins with a 1.45 GGA, the various tactics used by first year coach Marco Schallibaum and better results on the road as they sport a 3-4-2 record. The Impact need to continue their strong play if they hope to become the second Canadian team to qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs.
   The biggest disappointment has been D.C United. After finishing second place in 2012 and appearing in the Conference Finals with the likes of Dwayne De Rosario, Chris Pontius, they are dead last in the league with only two wins in twenty-one games. United's poor record can be attributed to their poor record away from RFK Stadium as they are 0-7-3 as well as lack of scoring and poor play on defense. They have only scored ten goals and have given up a whopping 35. If D.C United hope to make improvements for next season, they need more scoring and see great improvements on the defensive side if they have any hope of making any sort of improvement for the future.

   Both these two teams have made headlines so far in the first half. One team has to keep up the good work if they hope to have success while the other teams have no where to go but up if they want to have success towards the future that lies ahead.