This was supposed to be Montreal's year. They were celebrating their 100th anniversary. They had hosted the All-Star game. They were going to win the Cup this year. But slowly the season has begun to unwind.
Last season's top powerplay unit is 25th overall this season. Key players like Carey Price and Alex Kovalev have been in slumps. There have been rumours that Canadiens players like to party. Chris Higgins, Carey Price and Sergei Kostitsyn have been singled out. It didn't help that the picture above has been circulating on the Internet. It is apparently from a trip to Mexico that Price and a few other Habs youngsters took last summer but they have caused quite a buzz with Montreal fans (who can often make Leafs fans appear comatose in comparison).
So this past weekend the Canadiens gave up some draft picks to bring back an aging Mathieu Schneider to help the powerplay. But the shit hit the fan today. Kostitsyn was demoted to the AHL today. Later in the day star Alex Kovalev has been given a leave of absence and will not be travelling with the team this week to Washington and Pittsburgh. As of now, the team is saying the reason is that he is tired and not playing well. This is a team that has already lost Alex Tanguay and Robert Lang to injuries.
I don't expect to see Kovalev ever put on a Habs jersey again. Bob Gainey is likely going to try to salvage the season so we may see a rare blockbuster trade real soon. This is what happens when there are 100 years of expectations placed on a team.