Monday, 14 April 2014

Monday Mornings with Mitchy

Sometimes the season concludes with a storybook ending.

On the night that captain of the Canadiens Brian Gionta was presented with the Jacques Beauchamps Trophy awarded to the "Unsung Hero" hero of the team, Gionta played hero.

A penalty shot in overtime, beating Cam Talbot of the Rangers with a backhand move to win the final regular season game of 2013-2014.

"We can't finish a regular season on a better note than Brian did," said Canadiens' coach Michel Therrien. "Same for his teammates and the fans as well."

Having voted on the award, I was quite content with the outcome. Media members are given a ballot with three selections and Gionta was my first. The other two players I voted for were Alexei Emelin and Francis Bouillon (who also showed his worth for the award in the game, dropping the mitts with Derek Dorsett who went knee-on-knee with David Desharnais)

Final break down for trophy: 
Brian Gionta: 66 
Brendan Gallagher: 64 
Tomas Plekanec: 51 
Josh Gorges: 45 
David Desharnais: 33 

Nobody is going to suggest that Gionta should come back next season at the same cap number. But 18-goals is nothing to snicker at and the Canadiens should undoubtedly bring back their captain. There's no weakness to his game and he still remains a rock-steady player. If  he's willing to take a small pay cut to move forward as this team continues to grow, Gionta will be back next season. 

It's character guys like Gionta that are the difference between finishing the season like this, or like the Leafs did. 

And when the moment is big and you haven't really noticed the Canadiens captain, he'll step up and deliver. 

Expect at least one more storybook ending from this guy. 

The hires of Brendan Shanahan by the Leafs and Trevor Linden of the Canucks leaves me dumbfounded. I realize that nobody in the mainstream media will throw either under the bus. But please, just tell me what qualifies these guys to be good front office personnel. 

It's one think to jump into a city like Tampa Bay and make good hockey decisions. It's another to be the head figure of a Canadian franchise where expectations are sky-high and the margin for error is razor thin. 

Maybe the Leafs make a few acquisitions on defense, change the coach and add a couple character guys. And maybe that's enough to get them into the playoffs. The Canucks meanwhile are in no man's land and are going to be bad for a very long time. 

But eventually, hires are going to work out as well as Wayne Gretzky as the head coach of the Phoenix Coyotes. Oh yeah... didn't the Leafs want to bring in The Great One at one point? 

Who's not looking forward to the playoffs. Especially the first round. It looks like it's shaping up to be a tremendous post season, where almost every series seems like a pickem'. 

I'm most excited however for the LA Kings vs. the San Jose Sharks. But unfortunately for San Jose, they might empty the tank and have nothing left once the seven games are over. 


Unsung Hero: Brian Gionta
Doomed to fail: Brendan Shanahan,Trevor Linden
Jack Adams: Patrick Roy, Mike Babcock, Jon Cooper
On the hot seat: Randy Carlyle, Barry Trotz, Adam Oates, Paul Maclean, Kirk Muller, 

No comments:

Post a Comment