There’s a new whipping boy at the Bell Center, and his name is Mike Cammalleri. The shower of boos that rained down on Cammalleri in Tuesday’s loss to St. Louis could evolve into a catcall cascade by the weekend, unless and even if the Habs win tonight in Boston.
Cammalleri was honest to a fault in his post-game comments Tuesday and again yesterday after practice. He made sarcastic reference to his ice time being cut and bemoaned what he called a losing attitude in the dressing room. As Gazette hockey writer Dave Stubbs rightly points out, if those comments came from Carey Price or Erik Cole, fans and media alike would embrace the player’s passion. Whether or not he deserves it, Cammalleri has a cultivated a reputation as a diva and a whiner. Combine that with being paid six million dollars for 9 goals and 22 points in 37 games, and no amount of brutal honesty is going to generate a sympathetic response.
It’s another ugly chapter in an ugly season, and it further hamstrings the Canadiens as potential sellers at the trade deadline, when not a lot of teams will be clamoring for an overpaid underachiever with an attitude.