Paul Byron (Photo by MARTIN CHEVALIER / LE JOURNAL DE MONTRÉAL)

by Chris G, Digital Radio Producer, All Habs Hockey Magazine

LAVAL, QC. — The Habs season is winding down with just two games remaining this week. I’m sure coaches, players, and management are all looking forward to the end of the season on Saturday night in Toronto.

Here are my top 5 takes of the past week:

      1. Byron on effort – Following Friday’s practice, Paul Byron spoke about an aspect of the game that he doesn’t struggle with, effort. In French, he was mentioning that the player contract was for 82 games in a season, and not for 75 or 76 games. He continued by saying that it’s frustrating playing when teammates aren’t working (audio below). Byron’s quotes were quickly spread by mainstream media and on social media with the mention that Byron was trying to send a message to teammates. In my opinion, I think that Byron’s quotes were blown out of proportion (are you surprised that happened in Montreal?), and that too much was made from nothing. When Byron spoke to the English media, he made nothing near those comments. I believe that this was a language issue. Byron isn’t very comfortable in French and I don’t think he was trying to say what the media understood.

      2. Captain drop the gloves – Recently in Winnipeg, Jets captain Blake Wheeler fought with teammate Ben Chiarot. Wheeler was portrayed as a leader that was sending a message to his teammates that they need to practice hard in order for them to be ready for the playoffs. Imagine that would have happened in Montreal? You can watch the video below and imagine what happened next.
      3. Beauchamp leaving the Canadiens – The Canadiens announced that Donald Beauchamp will be leaving the organization on May 15th after 25 years of service. The Habs have faced a lot of criticism when it comes to how they have handled their communications over his tenure. I would think that Beauchamp executed what his bosses have asked him to put in place. I have always believed that the players, coach, and General Manager should be more accessible to the fans. It will be interesting to see if things change with someone else in charge and following a disappointing Habs season.
      4. Fans doing the wave – During the Habs loss against the Capitals, fans at the Bell Centre were doing the wave and even cheered sarcastically after routine saves. It is sad that the fans in attendance need to find ways to entertain themselves because the product on the ice isn’t entertaining. I understand that this doesn’t help the players perform at their best, but I understand that fans pay a lot of money to spend a night the Bell Centre, and they deserve to watch a good quality game.
      5. World Championships – Carey Price and Brendan Gallagher announced that they declined Hockey Canada’s invitation to represent their country at the World Championships. I have been on record saying that Price should have taken the remainder of the season off to completely recover from his concussion and get his mind off hockey after his bad season, therefore I’m happy he decided to take time off at the end of the season. Gallagher will not be playing because his body is banged up and wants to give his body a rest. A well-deserved break for him. Alex Galchenyuk received an invite from USA Hockey but will make a decision at the end of the season. I’d like Galchenyuk accept the invitation and have some kind of success at the tournament in order to help put the Canadiens’ season behind him.

Leave your comments below. I am looking forward to interacting with all of you.

Here is a reminder that you can catch me on the Habs360 podcast LIVE every Saturday at 2:00 pm. ET. Visit the podcast section to listen.