Updated: Jan 23, 2021
You know the drill, its December 31st, you are surrounded by family and/or drunk friends and someone with a strong lisp will ask THE question "ssssoo what is your New Years resolution?" (actually it doesn't usually end up that way the person asking is often just interested in having everyone in the room hear about THEIR plan for the upcoming year and they tend to drift off when you begin revealing your own....oops did I say too much?).
Resolutions are important folks, don't get me wrong. They are often tied to specific goals and having goals, as many successful people will tell you, is a roadmap to accomplishing things in life. So, with that in mind, what resolutions would we expect or hope for from our beloved Canadiens organization in 2021?
First off, as a fan of the bleu, blanc, rouge, I would love it if they stopped overselling their prospects. The point here is not to debate whether the Canadiens have made judicious picks these past few seasons (though in my mind many of their first round picks have not even come close to materializing into significant contributors to the organization...y'all know the names). It gets tiresome on us fans to hear all the fairy-tale hype about players that were drafted and how great they could become (for example with players like Scherbak, McCarron, Juulsen or Poehling.) only to realize a couple of seasons in that they were grossly overrated.
In the last few months, the hype surrounding the picks made by Timmins has been surreal. Some in the media are constantly raving about how deep the Canadiens pool of prospects is. Are we so sure? Is Caufield really going to be a star based on what we saw at the WJC? What have players like Ylonen, Olafson, Brook, heck even KK shown to convince us that they will be an integral part of the Canadiens roster for years to come (fact: the Canadiens roster is primarily composed of players acquired via trades or free agency whereas the lifeblood of a successful organization should be the players they drafted)?
So please stop. One of the organizational resolutions us fans would greatly appreciate for 2021 is to follow the "under promise and overdeliver" mantra.
Another resolution I believe fans would appreciate is if management pledged to stop setting such a low bar year in and year out. "Our goal is to make the playoffs" "It won't be easy, we are in a very competitive conference" "We will need to avoid injuries and a little Lady luck (what is this the casino) " etc etc. I mean imagine if you acted like this with your clients?
Frankly, Canadiens fans are sick and TIRED of hearing the same rhetoric at the start of every training camp. Aim high this year (and in future years). Be ambitious, Now you're probably thinking "bbbbut you're talking from both sides of your mouth saying they shouldn't overpromise. I get it. I just want a happy medium. Overselling or hyping up prospects has been a persistant "thing" with this organization forever and ever (anyone recall their slogan of a few years back "La Force des jeunes" yeah when the jeunes were players like Tinordi Nathan Beaulieu and Louis Leblanc) and its only made for disappointment, not to mention putting undue pressure on the prospects. Setting a higher bar for an upcoming season would give hope to fans and would certainly send a message to the players in the dressing room: we are committed to winning, we expect to win, and we will do what it takes to reach these stated goals.
So, let us raise a glass to 2021 and hope that Les Canadiens will also commit to a few resolutions of their own. Hopefully their resolutions won't force fans to roll their eyes to the sky and say "oh here we go again....".