Saturday, August 04, 2007

Brisebois Brings More Questions Than Answers

I dreaded having to write this post - trust me!

My IP crashed last evening, so I liken this to waking up next to that unattractive stranger of a hundred unfunny jokes and worstcase nightmares, wondering just what let my standards sink so low.

So, yikes, it's Patrice Brisebois - round duh!

Why couldn't the Habs have brought back Schneider, Beauchemin, or even Brett Clark for Godsakes.

I've tried examining the cons and pro's since this matter became rumour for fodder, and have rested terribly uncomfortable even with my most positive of spins.

I just couldn't grasp liking it in the best of scenarios, even with Brisebois a Hamilton bound defensive tutor.

Judging by the Habs press release, old 43 has a lock as D-man #6 - so let the cold sweats begin!

Never have I cheered for a Habs player to be as brutal as possible as soon as possible as I will for Brisebois. I sincerely hope he sucks it big time and gains the press box before myself and other Habs fans make the trip for the Buffalo game on October 20.

Passing judgement on GM Gainey for this move, for the most part would be a rushed verdict. I agree with too much of what he has done so far with the team, to criticize him for this move, despite my misunderstanding of its necessity at this point in time. I have always given Gainey the benefit of the doubt.

Only this time, I have no doubt!

In the longer term, Brisebois will not, and can not, help the Canadiens in the larger scheme of things (read Stanley Cup).

The experience of which he brings, despite having won a Cup in 1993, revolve more around bad memories than positive points. The move counters what experience would be gained, and more useful for the future, for a young defenseman on the rise.

Some are saying that Brisebois has much guts and balls for wanting to return to Montreal, though one has to wonder if he has left his brain in a time warp. He's being given credit and A marks because he "wants to play in Montreal". It's such crap - had any other team offered a slight raise, Brisebois would be there! No one wanted him.

It's like Eric Lindros saying he is considering retirement. An interesting and inexistant option to him, in light of 30 teams not giving him a passing glance. Too busy working for an NHLPA he will soon no longer be part of - what bunk!

Brisebois should be in the same boat.

Fans are kiding themselves buying into Brisebois' spindoctoring of the truth. A bad back caused him to 46 games on a decent team where, when actually healthy, he was a scratch from the lineup a good dozen times.

And we want this guy back because...

Character you say?

The same character that fled to Paris while on a stress leave from the team, getting jet lagged instead of resting as he was told?

I shudder because if Gainey believes Brisebois can help the Habs, then the GM's evaluation of the team is a less confident one that mine. That scares the daylights out of me.

Will Gainey have to stand up and defend Brisebois again, the first time he is booed?

Like, is there an over / under on the first boo of the year?

I say it happens on the first ocassion he touches puck at the Bell. Possibly even at the announcement of his name on the first home date.

All told, Brisebois brings more questions than answers. As inexpensive a roll of the dice his signing is, I cannot fathom it's usefullness.

The bigger picture deserves more scrutiny.


Antoine said...

I'm following your blog for a long time now and i always liked your article and your point of view but this time i have to wrote back. I'm not that happy of the return of Brisebois if i'm looking for performance but he's a quebecer that have the CH on the heart and i really think that he's happy to be back and that's what he wanted. And we cannot say that for a lot of the montreal player. I really hope that no english people gonna a boed him because the fact he might take the place of a youngster is not he's fault. Welcome back Patrice and i will cheer for you just like a did before you were ship to Colorado. A french fan from Montreal.

Robert L said...

Antoine - Merci pour ta reponse.

I understand that Patrice is happy to be back and that another french speaking player does not hurt the time. Being bilingual myself, I understand the french issues that can bond or break the team. My concerns are strickly about what Brisebois has left to offer the Canadiens at this point in his career.

I think he's a finished player. If he proves me wrong, I'll be happy to admit it.

No one can deny he bleeds red white and blue, but often you can equate guts with a lack of brains.

Since no one else wanted him, I don't put any emphasis at all on the so called "character" it takes to come back.

Did he have other choices?

For the sake of the Habs, I hope I'm wrong.


kazmojo said...

As a 7th dman, it's not a horrendous pickup. He would/should be better than Niinimaa, and at a fraction of the cost.

So I doubt that he's projected as the 6th. As a righty, that would mean Dandenault is either out or will be paired with Hamrlik as a 4th. If the latter, then Bouillon or Streit (both lefties) would play with Brisebois.

I like Dandenault, but he's no 4th. And no way he goes to the press box in favor of Brisebois. He and Bouillon form a decent 3rd pairing, leaving Streit to play alongside Hamrlik (who can play the right side). Brisebois is then insurance, esp if O'Byrne, Cote or other youngsters need more seasoning or the regular play that the AHL offers.

Could be better, but not an altogether awful plan.

Pierre_A said...

I think maybe Patrice could help the young players of the team simply with his knowledge of how hard it can be to play in Montreal. He and Gainey said that after two years away from Montreal, Patrice had brushed away all this. If this is true, then maybe he could help the younger players deal with the fan and media pressure.

At worst, the coming of Brisebois just add some depth to defense and pressure on the rookies to perform and earn their places. I don't hink he can hurt the team if the fans are not on his back. But I have to admit that there are, and will be, a lot of "maybes" with Brisebois. It's all up to him, we have to give him a chance.

Apart from this, i wanted to say "keep blogging!" I've started reading you during the last hockey season and hope your gonna continue as long as you can. You are a lot more refreshing than most of the others medias on the web!

À la prochaine.

Robert L said...

Pierre A - Merci pour les beaux mots. I'm in it for the long haul.

As for Brisebois, I hope he makes me eat my words!

PPP said...

The only thing Breeze-by will make you eat is a pack of Tums every time he is on the ice.

Seriously, did Gainey think that they needed someone to replace Souray as the pylon on TSN's Highlights of the Night?

Keep up the good work on the blog :)

Anonymous said...

I understand that many have terrible memories of Breezeby, but I don't mind having him for a 6th D-Man.

It now gives the Habs 3 mobile puck moving defensemen on each 2-man unit. Last year with Streit playing forward they had 1 player who was capable of making an outlet pass from the back end.

It also gives them an extra puck moving D-Man should an injury arise.

Last season one of their biggest achillies heels was turnovers in their own zone. They also lacked a sufficient breakout offense because nobody but Markov could make an outlet pass. One of the main reasons that having speedy forwards was almost useless last season.

If you wanted to beat the 2006 Habs you created a strong forecheck and waited for the defense to turnover the puck.

With Markov/Hamrlik/Brisebois/Streit this defense is going to be a large improvement for the offense.