Friday, 6 January 2012

Fail for Nail: the next step for the Montreal Canadiens

Fail for Nail should be Montreal`s mantra
Okay, destiny was delayed Wednesday night with a big win over the Jets. But let's not get distracted from the goal. Fail for Nail is still the mantra. A chance to finish dead last and get a chance at the first overall pick and a true franchise player. Let's dispense with this "Play .700 hockey to MAYBE make the playoffs." Do you know how ridiculous that sounds? Let's bust our butts to possibly finish in eighth and go out in five games. Stupidity. Chances of finishing last overall don't come around every day. Seize it and select Nail Yakupov.

Remember the year the Flyers stunk it up and then got right back on the postseason horse the following year? That's what can happen here. They finished with only 22 wins in 2006-2007 and selected James Van Riemsdyk second overall. Nothing wrong with that! They haven't missed the postseason since.

And this whole notion about Habs fans not tolerating a losing season or two. Who the hell do you think you are? You haven't won the cup in 18 years and counting and you've been the epitome of mediocrity over the last two decades. Get your collective heads out of your asses, realize the limits of this abysmal season and support Fail for Nail. It's the only sensible thing to do.

So here's what the Canadiens can do. At the trading deadline, trade your free agents-to-be:
  • Hall Gill and a third round pick for a first round pick and a depth AHL defenseman 
  • Travis Moen for a second round pick and a young player fringe prospect
  • Andrei Kostitsyn for a first round pick
Depending on what the market dictates, I think these are all real possibilities. For once, it would be nice to see the Canadiens set the market value at the trade deadline and pull the trigger first on some of these deals.

If a contending team feels like they're a good penalty kill unit away from winning the Stanley Cup, then Gill will command a strong price. He is arguably a top five league defenseman on the PK. He also has size and a cup ring.

Moen is headed for career highs in points on a non-scoring team. He also has a cup ring. Many believe he'll only fetch a mid-level pick, but if the demand is there for him, then one team may up its offer.

Kostitsyn has tantalizing talents but has never really delivered on them consistently. Still, there's always the possibility he gets hot for the next ten games. If that happens, coupled with a team needing one more top six forward, in their eyes, to win the cup, then AK could fetch a king's ransom. We'll find out. 

In effect, by following this trading path, what you do is give yourself a chance to fall even further down the standings with less depth on hand, and you stockpile some nice assets for June. Now, those assets could either be cashed in as picks or they could be part of trades prior to the draft. Either way, this is the only route to go. 

So while it may be all well and good that Lars Eller had a big night for the first time in his career, Montreal fans have to take off the blue-blanc-rouge sunglasses and see the team for what it is - a lottery pick team. 

Say it all together now - Fail for Nail, Fail for Nail.....

Game Points with Matthew Ross is on this Sunday on TSN 990, right after the Steelers-Broncos playoff game. Follow the show or Matthew on Twitter @gamepointsradio @matthewrossmtl

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