The State of the Habs

Updated: February 8, 2010 at 4:35 pm by Alexander Monaghan

At 4 PM EST the Montreal Canadiens will announce their GM Bob Gainey stepping down.  According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, Pierre Gauthier will take over as his replacement.

What does this mean for the team?

The Habs will play without top goal scorer Mike Cammalleri and fourth goal leading scorer Andrei Kostitsyn until after the Olympic break.  Coach Jacques Martin lists both Benoit Pouliot and Marc-Andre Bergeron as day-to-day which makes the lineup miss its fifth and seventh leading goal scorers as well.

With the pressure to find extra scoring as well as the constant critique over which goaltender to start or even keep, Gainey must have felt too uncomfortable to make a pivotal move.  Now the remainder of the season as well as these critical decisions lie on the shoulders of Gauthier.

After losing Cammalleri, most Habs supporters felt pessimistic of their season’s chances.  They currently sit sixth in the East holding a one point lead over Tampa Bay with only four points separating them and 11th place Atlanta.

With Ben Maxwell or Mathieu Darche playing on the top two lines and the fourth line consisting of Hamilton Bulldogs, their playoff chances look somewhat grim.  Should Gauthier swing a move for added scoring depth Les Blue, Blanc et Rouge stand a chance in the extremely weak Eastern Conference.

FANTASY OWNERS: If you are still looking for help on the left side with Kostitsyn and Cammalleri on the shelf, take a flier on Sergei Kostitsyn, Guillaume Latendresse, Jussi Jokinen, Jamie Benn or Marco Sturm.  All of the aforementioned finished the week strongly and play a fair amount of minutes for their team.

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