Geoff Molson Must Act Immediately to Fix Key Problem in the Canadiens Organization

Elias Edmonson
December 23, 2023  (2:22 PM)

Photo credit: CTV

The annual holiday season trip of the Montreal Canadiens has been a feature of most seasons since 1987-88. At that time, Jean Perron's team played the four games after Christmas away from the Forum. The following year, Pat Burns had to leave town for five games.

Since then, the Canadiens play five to ten away games at the worst time of the year, while events ranging from the Ice Capades to Cirque du Soleil to Disney on Ice take over their building.
This trip has historically been a disaster. The last few weeks for the CH have been no exception to the rule. Since the 1996-1997 season, the first at the Bell Centre, the Canadiens have an away record (unofficial and calculated by Jack Todd in January 2023) of 60-88-9 during the holiday period, including the occasional solitary home games. During the same time period, since 1996, the club's away record is 415-450-38.
If we remove ties and ignore games won or lost in overtime or shootouts, the winning percentage during the holiday trip since the move to the Bell Centre is 0.405. On the other hand, the winning percentage on the road is 0.480 since the 1996-97 season.
One wonders if this trip is still relevant in the current situation of the club. Knowing that the CH aims for evolution and consistency in the coming years, is it relevant to voluntarily, let's remember, put this trip on the path?
This trip is indeed a request from the organization that prefers, as we mentioned earlier, to fill the Bell Centre with events during the holiday period at the expense of a few games of its team. The profitability of the building is then much greater, much to the delight of Geoff Molson and the shareholders.
However, the effects of the trip are much greater than the simple record of the club during it. The disaster continues upon the club's return home as it has taken on the habit of its defeats and has especially lost a lot in confidence. The first home games are therefore, as we can currently see, quite difficult.
This is without counting the fact that players and organization members are always away approaching Christmas, which can generate certain stress of not being there on time with their families. Last season, two flights were delayed, one due to weather conditions and another due to a mechanical breakdown, after the CH game on December 21 in Denver. Discussions then took place between the NHL and the team's management who feared not being able to return to Montreal on the night of the 23rd to 24th to come back and celebrate Christmas with their family.
Returning to this season, the current CH trip has started well. However, that doesn't guarantee it will continue this way.
If he really wants his club's success, Geoff Molson will sooner or later have to think about changing his philosophy and no longer demand from the league that his team leave for days during this period.
While some have already started talking about the playoffs in Montreal, let's wait for the conclusion of this long journey before really getting excited.
Geoff Molson Must Act Immediately to Fix Key Problem in the Canadiens Organization

Do you believe Geoff Molson should change his philosophy for this trip?

Yes23039.5 %
No, the players need to play better.35360.5 %
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