When a 19-goal scorer (Tyler Toffoli) and a 14-goal scorer (Josh Anderson) fail to worry the opposing goalkeeper, there is a problem.
When a player, hired to make a difference, Jonathan Drouin, has only two goals, there are decisions to be made.
When top defenseman Jeff Petry suddenly plunges into mediocrity, it raises concerns.
When Shea Weber, the team’s captain, seems unable to rally the troop with inspiring performances, there is reason to wonder.
When the auxiliary keeper fails to stop the opponent in the most strategic moments, the team fails to respond, and it becomes worrying.
When the young players, with the possible exception of Jesperi Kotkaniemi, find it difficult to cope with adversity and above all seem unable to stand out, doubt sets in.
When a player bought for a bargain price, Eric Staal, fails to convince, in a much different role, that his three-goal record at Buffalo was not just the result of playing in an unhealthy environment, we must then act accordingly.
The Canadian no longer scores in numerical superiority, should we not then assess with more severity the personnel designated to give back the momentum to training?
There is nothing to panic about, the Canadian still has a six-point priority and has three more games to play than the Flames.
However, solutions will have to be found.
The calendar does not forgive, the matches will come at a crazy pace and, currently, the Habs can they get out of the quagmire in which they have been stuck for a few games?
What to do ?
Marc Bergevin and Dominique Ducharme have concocted a new business model. The results are rather worrying, let’s face it. There is no doubt about the intentions of the members of the formation but, after having made a soul-searching, they all subscribed to Ducharme’s program.
But where is this overwhelming enthusiasm shown by regime change and a new attack and community-based formula?
Don’t we notice this lack of effort in places where you have to show a lot of energy? With the exception of Corey Perry, do we go to dangerous areas, where very often we will be rewarded?
And the veterans who were to guide this young troop, what are they doing to restore the situation? We will say that the loss of Brendan Gallagher has changed the personality of this team, it is possible.
But, that does not explain everything. And, above all, that shouldn’t be an excuse. Everyone has been given responsibilities, so everyone must assume their role rigorously.
What to do then?
A name has been coming back since Friday. Cole Caufield! Cool.
We all can’t wait to see him in action. And when a team is struggling to score two goals per game, when their five-man attack is running out of fuel, when you can’t knock the opponent out with a goal at a particular moment, what does the Canadian lose by inviting Caufield to join the team. He has everything to gain.
But beware. Caufield is a plausible solution to organizational problems. But, there is also another solution. Let everyone get involved.
Acquired yesterday from the Detroit Red Wings, Jon Merrill adds a little more depth to a defensive brigade battered for ten games. Will he play with Shea Weber while allowing Joel Edmundson to join Jeff Petry? Very plausible. Petry had his best times alongside Edmundson. Eventually Brett Kulak would reunite with his playmate from the first half of the season, Alexander Romanov. Merrill averaged almost 20 minutes per game for the Red Wings.