So near and so far at the same time

So close and so far at the same time


Three losses in a row. Kaiden Guhle returning to the infirmary and for how long? No one knows.  

Furthermore, one would be led to believe that, by consulting the schedule of matches between now and the end of the schedule, perhaps the prospect of seriously entering the derby Connor Bedard takes on another dimension.

So, between now and the end of the season, here is the Habs' roadmap:

  • Caroline .733
  • NY Rangers .627
  • New Jersey .705
  • Colorado .608
  • In Pittsburgh .573< /li>
  • To Florida .531
  • To Tampa Bay .637
  • Tampa Bay< /strong> .637
  • To Boston .831
  • Columbus .365
  • At Buffalo .557
  • At Philadelphia .460
  • Florida .531
  • Caroline .733
  • Detroit .524
  • Washington .531
  • In Toronto .667
  • To NY Islanders .554
  • Boston .831
  • Matches to be played: 19
  • In Montreal: 11
  • Away: 8
  • Against Team: .800 (2), .700 (3), .600 (5), .500 (7), .400 (1), .300 (1)
  • Against Metropolitan: 9
  • Against the Atlantic: 9
  • Counter Pacific: 0
  • Center Counter: 1

That promises to be a tall order.

So close and so far. But beware, this team knew how to deal with adversity, in a very particular context, while we are trying to get the company back on track.

A calendar suggesting that the Canadian could increase its chances of winning the lottery, it is a probability, while being well aware that this team never gives up, it will end the season respecting the instructions of coach Martin St- Louis.


“We don't think about the end of the season,” he said. We think above all of competing at a higher level, of going further in our development. We are improving, we are playing with passion. The players will listen and apply the instructions of the coaches and I tell my assistants that everyone's response must be appreciated. 

For example, Sunday against the Vegas Golden Knights, St. -Louis didn't like the start of the game at all…but his team bounced back. She turned a game that was one-sided, with the Golden Knights leading 3-0, into a competition that had the home team downright scared.

Jack Eichel, the leader of the formation, underlined: “ We should not be surprised by the reaction of the Canadian. It is a formation that progresses, it constantly struggles with the energy of despair. See what she accomplished today, all despite the many absentees. 

Mid-April is fast approaching. Barring a miracle, the infirmary will remain busy. But the players and senior management have a mission to give a new culture and there is no question of deviating from the business model of Jeff Gorton and Kent Hughes.

And the highest quality of the team is that it competes. Sometimes it's not fancy. On the other hand, can we talk about a lack of effort in the most difficult moments? Not really.

It doesn't matter who the opponent is, she measures her progress. She will have another big challenge starting tonight when she successively faces the Hurricanes, the Rangers, the Devils and the Avalanche, four games at the Bell Centre.

Diminished chances

You could easily say that their chances of success are almost nil… but that's precisely what makes the Canadian a team that will go to the end of its resources to obtain convincing results.

Finishing dead last is unthinkable. But since the 2023 draft promises to be the most exciting in recent years, the Canadian risks being in the race to obtain a player capable of climbing the ladder quickly.

However, the objective, as it should be, is not necessarily the ranking but rather to allow all the players passing an audition and those who have gained the confidence of the decision makers to continue their learning. 

Courteau at his wit's end

Gilles Courteau deserved a more attractive outing.

But OK. He made a decision for the well-being of his family and also for his well-being. Before the parliamentary commission, he clearly neglected to prepare well to answer the questions.

Failing to read the document describing the events that occurred several years ago in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

He left a year earlier than expected. However, the highlights of Gilles Courteau's reign at the head of Quebec junior hockey should not be classified too quickly. He steered his boat by respecting the objectives of the owners, he proceeded to expand his circuit in the Maritimes, he sought to meet the demands of his bosses.

However, I would have liked that Gilles Courteau seeks to revive junior hockey as it once was in Quebec. With teams in cities like Sorel and Trois-Rivières. Should efforts have been pushed to provide the Longueuil, St-Hubert, Greenfield Park, Brossard, Saint-Constant, Sainte-Catherine and Saint-Rémi sectors with a team?

A new image

But owning a major junior team these days is a huge challenge. The amphitheaters are less frequented than several years ago.

Despite everything, Gilles Courteau can leave with the satisfaction of a job well done. It is certain that he would have preferred to go further in the objectives he had set for his circuit, but sometimes the owners can quickly intervene for different reasons…

And, I fully agree with my colleague Marc De Foy's comment, sometimes, after so many years, perhaps too many years, you need a new voice, you need new ideas, you need leadership that is perfectly suited to the today.

This will be Mario Cecchini's next challenge. His track record suggests that he will surely be able to give the QMJHL a new image. 

So near and so far at the same time