It’s time for the Canadiens to roll the dice with Cole Caufield – fr

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It’s time for the Canadiens to roll the dice with Cole Caufield – fr


You are not going to beat the Leafs with “a power kill and a penalty”. You need goals.

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In spring training in 2005, I was standing by the Washington Nationals dugout watching batting practice when I heard Nationals general manager Jim Bowden review the roster with the one of his flunkies, deciding who would play and who would sit.

Fifteen yards away, Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, the team manager, paid no attention. Bowden and his assistant wrote the lineup and it was handed over to Robinson, a done. Bowden is best remembered today as the guy who quit baseball after he was allegedly the target of an FBI investigation into skimming the signing bonus money of Latin American players, but I thought about the incident on Saturday night after Marc Bergevin apparently called for a replay of the Leafs’ third baseman.

Bergevin is a much better man than Bowden and interim head coach Dominique Ducharme is no Frank Robinson. But in the sticky gray area of ​​who’s pulling the shots, especially around playoff time, the call for a replay that had no chance of success reminded me of that weird incident with Bowden and Robinson.

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With Ducharme wearing that interim label and Bergevin clearly desperate to make sure his off-season moves and trading deadlines flow, it looks like the GM is making decisions that are usually left to the coach – and that without the safety of the coach. ‘a long-term contract as a head coach makes it difficult for Ducharme to push back.

In the scheme of things, the silly and pointless replay challenge was little more than a minor subplot in a game that was uglier than that smirk of Auston Matthews. But the roster is not a minor subplot and this is where it looks like Bergevin has exerted undue influence, with slow-footed veterans playing while some of the club’s talented youngsters are seated.

The Canadiens have a few advantages before Game 3 at the Bell Center on Monday night. First, there is nowhere to go but upstairs. Second, there is no reason not to accompany the children.

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It means Alexander Romanov. Jake Evans too, if he can go. Above all, it’s time to roll the dice with Cole Caufield. It’s a lot to ask, but you’re not going to beat the Leafs, as someone said on Twitter, with “a power kill and a penalty game”. You need goals.

Even if the Leafs are running the table from here (and they seem able to do it), the youngsters will at least have gained some experience.

And let’s be clear: neither a terrible referee nor a bad decision from above was responsible for Saturday night’s debacle. The Canadiens were outclassed so much that at the end of the second period they lost 4-1 and were outplayed 2-1.

The worst thing Canadians can do is get caught up in arbitration. Yes, the crossover call on Jesperi Kotkaniemi was garbage, but you get it in every NHL game. Focus on that and you just give yourself a reason to lose.

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Game 1 was enough proof that the Canadiens are capable of a titanic upheaval in this series, but that won’t happen if the Canadiens continue to play the way they did on Saturday night, in which case they will all be, young and old. old man at golf. class next weekend.

The dumbest code in sport: Here is the situation. The Warriors play the Lakers. Anthony Davis is knocked down. Steph Curry, sprinting down the court, tries to jump over Davis to avoid contact, but accidentally hits Davis with his knee and Davis suffers a concussion.

Once he’s taken on a stretcher, the Lakers send LeBron James to fight Curry. Everyone knows they’re going to fight, including the refs, but they stand up and watch as Curry takes a beating.

That never happens, right? Right. It wouldn’t happen in baseball either. That wouldn’t happen in football, which is a pretty tough sport. This would not happen in rugby, soccer or field hockey or team handball or water polo.

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But in the NHL, silly, childish code still prevails. Sheldon Keefe, who is one of the worst supporters of the code, sent Wayne Simmonds to beat Alex Edler some time ago and then did the same with Nick Foligno after Corey Perry accidentally contacted Leafs captain John Tavares, Thursday.

It was complete, outright NHL nonsense and about as mature as a bunch of fifth-year boys trying to see who can pee the furthest. This involved the very real possibility that one of the fighters, Foligno or Perry, would fall and hit his head like George Parros once did and we would have two players committed instead of one.

Yet that never changes. It won’t, until someone is crippled or killed and this League of Idiots is hit with such a massive lawsuit that they finally have to pay attention.

Hero: Carey Price, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Brendan Gallagher, Nathan MacKinnon, Nikita Kucherov, Max Verstappen &&&& last but not least, Paul Byron.

Zeros: Sheldon Keefe, Nick Foligno, Nazem Kadri, Tom Wilson, LeBron James, Kris Versteeg, Ron MacLean, Claude Brochu, David Samson and finally, Jeffrey Loria.

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