43 GP: 3 G, 8 A, 11 Pts, 26 PIM, -2, 42 Shots
Career best year – 2005-06 – Avalanche
80 GP: 10 G, 28 A, 38 Pts, 55 PIM, +1, 107 Shots
10 GP: 1 G, 5 A, 6 Pts, 6 PIM, -3, 10 Shots
Career best playoffs – 1991-92
11 GP: 2 G, 4 A, 6 Pts, 6 PIM, +3, 25 Shots
Plays of the game: 1
Game pucks: 0
3 Star selections: 0
Where he started the season
No one quite understood why Gainey went out and got the Breezer after 3 years away. His first time around with the Habs was disastrous to say the least and I think the whole city sighed a big sigh of relief when we let him walk in 2004. For some reason, however, the fans had forgotten how much they despised Brisebois and his arrogant, pretentious attitude when they seemingly welcomed him back with open arms. It was clear at the beginning of the season that the 5th or 6th defenceman's spot was open to him if he could hack it and despite a very poor preseason that is where he would start in October.
Within a month, the Habs could no longer cover up his enormous blunders and were forced to play him less and less. This allowed the emergence of both Gorges and O'Byrne, who proved that playing defence wasn't simply a way to let your goalie get a lot of shots. Breezer's play on the PP was turning out to be quite lacklustre and with Streit, Markov and Hammer all excelling at that spot there was simply no need for him. Never once during the season did he play well enough for recognition in the dome, which in 43 games is quite worrying. His 'experience' (experience of being turned inside out time and time again) proved to be less valuable than Gainey had hoped and it was in the press-box that he ended the season. In the playoffs, Carbo looked to his old friend (and completely disregarded reason or stats) and re-inserted Brisebois into the line-up. There was the odd flash of offence, but they paled in comparison to his defensive weaknesses. He played the whole playoffs and was, in my opinion, one of the big reasons we didn't go very far. Detroit proved that championships take defence - Brisebois proved that he (again) can't play defence.
If we were trying to sum up his season in one line, we couldn't do better than Brisebois' own early season quote:
"Sometimes when your partner on defense is not ready, he can make you look like a fool..."
Highlights: Brisbois' best 6 minutes set to a fittingly terrible soundtrack
Brisebois by the numbers: Canadiens.com
Lions' links on Brisebois:
Brisebois offer a mistake
Habs fans have it all wrong on Brisebois
Open letter to "Concerned Fan" on Brisebois
Now that Brisebois is injured...
The trouble with 8
Remember when you used to like reading Jack Todd?
Experiment 71: When will the Canadiens admit this is going nowhere?
Brisebois: Conclusion and Fallacy
Brisebois is a player who is living off the fact that he was on a Stanley Cup winning team 15 years ago. It proves that no matter how bad you were (or are) you will always be given a chance thanks to a ring. He offered absolutely nothing to the Habs this season and was actually the biggest reason that we didn't win the conference by more. No other single player made as many mistakes over the course of the season - a distinction he has owned for at least 15 years. I considered that Gainey brought him in more for his leadership than his hockey ability, but then I started laughing. This is a player who is French, has played for the Habs for 15 years and is our last active cup winner and never once was he even considered as an Assistant Captain – in 15 years! It was a mistake to bring him back as all it accomplished was to put doubt in my mind about just how good of a GM Gainey really is.
Where we'd have him next season
Surely anyone who has eyes will realize that Patrice has played his last NHL game. At 37 he is not the type of veteran you want to build your defensive corps around. He will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and I would be surprised if a team takes a chance on him. If the Habs really believe in the future and in youth then they must walk away from this one. Bob, the Habs have made this mistake twice, for heaven's sake don't make it a third time.