Week 23 in One Word: Timing

March 19, 2023

The Montreal Canadiens had four games in their schedule for the 23rd week of action in the 2022-23 season. On Monday, the Colorado Avalanche were in town and handed the Habs an 8-4 loss. The Habs broke a losing streak in Pittsburgh on Tuesday with a 6-4 win. A 9-5 loss in Florida featured one of the most bizarre periods of hockey you’re likely to see. Then in Tampa Bay on Saturday, then Habs managed another strong effort but lost 5-3.

Two points of a possible eight is eye candy for the Tank Wankers.

The prime of Lehkonen’s career is just bad timing, that’s all.

Artturi Lehkonen was back in town on Monday night. He received a warm welcome from Habs fans and a video tribute, which he enjoyed with the same humility we’re accustomed to from Lehkonen. Then he scored two goals and led the Avs to a win. It was enough to awaken the debate about whether Kent Hughes should have dealt him.

Lehkonen turns 28 this summer. The Habs competitive window, if we’re honest about it, is at least a couple of years away. Their timing is off. Then on Tuesday night Justin Barron had two assists, including a beautiful pass to spring Anthony Richard free for a beautiful goal. Barron’s prime is perfectly timed for the Habs window.

Timing is something Hughes will have to consider this off-season, with Josh Anderson turning 29 in May and playing the best hockey we’ve seen from him in Montreal.

Jayden Struble might be wishing his timing was a little better.

Last weekend the Northeastern University Huskies were eliminated from the NCAA playoff picture and by Wednesday Kent Hughes had inked him to his entry level contract. Left-side défense is perhaps the deepest position in the Habs organization. It probably doesn’t hurt that Struble can play right side, but I’m sure it crossed his mind that his timing was not perfect.

Nonetheless, Hughes was able to convince Struble that the Canadiens organization was the best developmental option. His arrival may be timed pretty well for when the Rocket need him to finish this season.

This week Jonathan Drouin learned that the timing of a Marty meeting is not a suggestion.

The coach had planned a meeting for the morning after an ugly loss in Florida and Drouin showed up late. He was left out of practice and the coach was transparent with the media about why. Then we all got to watch Drouin sit on the bench as the game wore on Saturday night.

Perhaps this was a message for the whole team, but it also feels like the timing might be right for Jo and the Habs to part ways. It feels like this marriage has been dead for some time and now we’re just circling the corpse.

Denis Gurianov has found the timing on his shot.

Gurianov had three goals in four games this week and a couple of them were proper snipes. As it turns out, he’s not forgotten how to score. With a couple of veteran contracts coming off the books this summer and another couple on the trade block, the timing seems right to sign Gurianov for a longer look.

Sometimes you choose the timing and sometimes the timing chooses you.

This past week Arpon Basu wrote a brilliant piece about Martin St. Louis and his use of video coaching with the team as a group, and with individual players. Habs who were interviewed spoke of Marty like he was Yoda, appreciating the quick bits of wisdom the coach imparts in brief but potent teaching sessions.

It was a little more than a year ago that pundits were joking about the bantam coach. No doubt the timing would have been better if the coaching opportunity came with a little more seasoning. No doubt some time behind behind the bench of a college hockey team, or an AHL team, or another opportunity or two would have prepared St. Louis for where he is today.

But the timing chose Marty. The Habs were in desperate need of a smart coach, with a mindset for today’s game, that group of kids and veterans on a rebuilding hockey team could all respect. It’s hard to imagine HuGo could have found a better option anywhere.

We’re down to just a dozen games left in the 2022-23 season for the Montreal Canadiens. The trade deadline is past and the draft lottery is in sight. The timing is perfect for the coach to focus on developing this group for what is to come.

Published by Lori Bennett

Hockey is my hobby. I love a respectful hockey chat or debate, but it stops being fun if we're jerks.

One thought on “Week 23 in One Word: Timing

  1. I have to agree with you on Drouin. It looks like he just shot himself in the foot again. Habs have too many players who can fill his role to give his contract too much consideration. I’ve been defending Drouin but this may be just the last straw. He may be committed to being elsewhere.


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