Marc Bergevin tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday. To use his words, it was the icing on the sundae at a horrible start to the season.
Struck by this damn virus, the 56-year-old man had mild symptoms.
“I had symptoms, but I feel much better today (Saturday). My back hurts a lot, I’m stiff. And I have a little cough. Yesterday (Friday) I had chills. Fortunately, I received my two doses for the vaccine. “
“I will stay away from the team for ten days, we will probably start the countdown from Thursday. I’ll be home for the next ten days. I can not go out. If I go to the IGA, the IGA will empty quickly since everyone knows I tested positive for COVID-19! ”
Bergevin keeps his sense of humor as best he can. But we can feel him being eaten away inside by the setbacks of his team. He knows the boat is sinking everywhere. This team, which was only three victories away from a 25th Stanley Cup win last July, now has a better chance of winning the draft lottery than making the playoffs.
As architect of the team, Bergevin will draw the reflectors in his direction to describe this sad departure. When asked if Dominique Ducharme remains his trusted man or if Trevor Timmins remains the draft guru, he offers a fairly quick reply.
“Dom is still a good coach, it hasn’t changed in four months. He hasn’t lost his room. And you tell me about Trevor, he’s still my man right now too. But if we are looking for the culprits, I will take all the heat as DG. I can put that on my back. ”
A future in doubt
There is another elephant in the room. And this is the future of Bergevin in Montreal. Geoff Molson, the silent owner and president of the CH, has still not shed light on this issue. As he had done at the start of the season, the former defender reiterated his love for the Habs without, however, going with a precise orientation on his future.
“My future, I don’t know where it is,” replied Bergevin. But I can say one thing and that is that I have this team and the organization at heart. I am passionate. Both the team’s success in the playoffs made me happy. I demonstrated how I felt. As much the setbacks of the team at the start of the season come to seek me.
“Even though it’s my last year, and I don’t know that yet, I want the Canadiens to succeed. Next year whether I’m at the grocery store, whether I find myself at home or working for another team, I want the success of the Canadiens since I have built this formation over the last few years. I like the players on this team. ”
Recognize the problem
On the eve of the game against the Nashville Predators at the Bell Center, Josh Anderson admitted that the team’s GM’s contractual situation was weighing on player morale. But the big winger was also keen to say that the blame was on the players, not the coaches or managers of the team.
“I like that reaction from Josh,” Bergevin said. It’s like a person with a drug problem. As long as you don’t face your problem, as long as you don’t admit to yourself that you have a problem, you remain in trouble. It’s a first step for players to admit it. They have some of the blame. These are the players who get on the ice. There are games where they are not able to pull off very simple games like a ten foot pass on the paddle. It’s still execution.
“Yes, there is a problem of trust, but also of execution. I’ve seen mistakes that you don’t often see for NHL players. Often, I have the feeling that we don’t apply ourselves, that we don’t pay attention to the details. And I’ve noticed that since the start of the camp. ”
In an interview with colleague Pierre Lebrun of The Athletic site, Bergevin described the loss of Carey Price before the first game of the season as a brick that fell on the heads of the players. He reiterated the same remarks to Journal.
“I spoke to a few players after Price left for the NHL assistance program. There is a subject that came up often. The guys were feeling bad, there was a great feeling of guilt. They would have liked to perceive signals to help their teammate, their friend. In their eyes, it was too late.
“When I got out of that game, where I announced Carey’s departure for the NHL assist program, I felt the guys stunned. I told Dom and the deputies. It’s as if we had just cut off the legs of several guys. ”
Even if Price is back in the entourage of the CH, the players still have not found their legs.