One of the long-running problems with the Montreal Canadiens is the franchise's impossible association with its past. 24 championships from a time where championships were easier to come by has come again and again to haunt the organization throughout.
Not least among the component problems there is that players once part of such championships take on the belief that championships are easy, and if everyone would just take their advice, they'd tell the team how to get back at multi-year runs. I'm not sure if that comes from honest belief or verbal diarrhea, but whatever it is, RDS's fatal requirement for 12 daily hours of hockey commentary leads the conversation to places that are not useful for the current group of players trying to deal with games every other day.
Today is the third morning after a game this season. The Canadiens have won a single game, but were in close contention in the other two efforts. There has not been a disaster yet, but you might not know it from this coverage:
PK in the clip explains why the team might have come out to allow an 0-3 deficit to accumulate (other than "It sometimes happens, you know?") and that's all. The PK clip runs a few seconds, before several minutes of analysis on his mutterings.
Of course most know that this is mountain from molehill stuff. But in covering it in this way, and in editing the coverage as they did, RDS skewed the argument for me.
Taken on their own, I think many of us would be prone to saying: "No kidding PK." and "Aren't all your practices just going through the motions?" It was pretty innocuous.
RDS seemed to take this as an attack call. Pointing the question to their commentator (but also former Habs and championship secret holder) Guy Carbonneau), they guided him to his rant:
"Was PK's statement a criticism?" could so easily have been "What do you make of PK's comment?" (which incidentally is their question to us in the link)
When his answer does begin (without hesitation) with Yes. RDS edits in two instances of PK taking penalties in the game (but neither of his goalmaking plays) as if to say: This guy has some nerve calling out a former member of l'Antichambre. And Carbo goes over the top from there. He cites questions on PK's character (now apparently widespread in the past in his revision of events) and claims that the doubts still linger.
This is nonsense.
What this team desperately needs is less Carbonneaus in its Antichambre and more Subbans on the ice. The 1980s are gone and to win a Cup nowadays requires the kind of dynamic skater and star that is PK.
It would be refreshing one of these days to hear a commentator consider the possibility that honesty to the camera outside the room, calling one's self and team the spade they were in the first period, a nice bit of progress. If never speaking one's mind in public is good team-building, I ask why would we want PK to seek this kind of camaraderie with players who are clearly not ready for the season?