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Success won't come as early as people think

The Canadiens brass held their end of season media meeting on Wednesday. First off, isn't it refreshing to have a team (Gorton & Hughes) that not only have a clear plan but are also able to communicate it in a lucid manner? Not only that but to offer some transparency into their intentions heading into the off season. And yet there are still some bozos out there that say they miss the old guard with Bergevin (notably some folks in the French media, who may or may not write- I call it angry scribble- for le Journal de Montreal).

Truly astounding, but that is Montreal after all. Take the good with the bad I suppose...

Hughes was a little less clear though when asked if the word "playoffs" was too taboo. He went on to say that it isn't but that came with some caveats: other teams in East believe the same thing, it's very competitive, we won't rush our plan, etc.

And that frame of mind is fine by me. Why rush something that could eventually not only be great, but sustainable in the long run? Have we not learnt from errors past (here and with other teams who dove too early or needlessly or even at too high a cost in the FA market? or who perhaps precipitated a trade for a veteran and gave up a promising young talent- the Erat for Forsberg trade comes to mind)

But one thing I do worry about is that we may be thinking the up and coming kids (Hutson, Mailloux, Reinbacher, Roy, even Kirby Dach or Owen Beck) will not only be day-to-day contributors but be able to sustain the wears and tears of a long, gruelling season, and keep both composure and confidence throughout. Many players go through tough times, particularly defenseman, in the early stages of a career. Not to mention we still don't know how durable (hey there Kayden Guehle and Arber Xhekaj) or mentally strong and able to handle adversity some of these kids will be.

I also feel like we are overhyping or overvaluing our goaltending. I can't say I've been a fan of Monty's performances since the reigns of the team's goaltending was handed to him (post Jake Allen trade). And fatigue certainly cannot be used as an excuse given for the bulk of the season the Canadiens were stuck with a "menage-a-trois". Primeau has improved throughout, no one can debate this, but he still looks unsure of himself more often than not, and hasn't faced enough elite teams this season to be able to form a fair opinion of him.

The Canadiens will also need to address their (lack of ) size issue, a lingering affair that has gone on for decades (yes I remember when Bergie traded for Ott, Martinsen and King but I meant size with a minimum in the way of talent). Their pool of forward prospects are frail and their current young core up front, outside of Slaf, and Dach, is certainly more on the small side.

Obviously, Rome wasn't built in one day, but expecting a turnaround in the next year or so seems far-fetched. Perhaps fans should set their sights more towards the 2026/2027 season. Heck we've waited long enough for this ship to be properly righted, we might as well wait another couple of years....

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