Your team is dangling by a thread in the Stanley Cup playoffs and trailing the Washington Capitals 3-1, with Game 5 set for the U.S. capital on Friday. Montreal has a chance to rally but not what you would call a realistic chance.
You can't go into the dressing room and deliver one of those motivational speeches because GMs really shouldn't visit the dressing room in the post-season. It is, as they say, bad karma. Besides, firing up the players is the coach's job, in this case Jacques Martin.
There's really nothing you can do to change the fate of this opening round playoff series. You just watch, hope for the best, and take notes -- lots of notes.
And for Gauthier, some things have come into focus since the eighth-seeded Canadiens squared off against the Capitals, the NHL's best team.
For one, it's becoming clear Jaroslav Halak's days as a Hab are numbered and Carey Price is still Montreal's goalie for the foreseeable future.
Price played as well as you'd expect a goalie to play in front of the Capitals' unmitigated onslaught in Game 4 Wednesday night. You can only hold off Alex Ovechkin for so long before he breaks through, and he did just that, scoring two in the Capitals' 6-3 win. It didn't help matters that Montreal's defence hung Price out to dry on several plays -- a recurring theme throughout this series.
Halak, on the other hand, is set to become a restricted free agent in July and could return a player and a couple of draft picks on the trading block.
The Habs clearly need to get bigger, both up front and on the blue line. Size matters in the NHL, and the Canadiens are practically Smurf-like in average stature. Acquiring bulkier -- and meaner -- players has to be a priority for Gauthier this off-season.
For proof of what difference size can make in the playoffs, Gauthier need only look at the Capitals' veteran Mike Knuble. If there is anyone who has epitomized how bigger can translate into better it is Knuble. He has used his size to his advantage, crashing the Montreal net, distracting whoever is in goal, and creating plenty of space for his teammates.
Come to think of it, Knuble is exactly what the Canadiens need. Montreal lacks a six-foot-three, 230-pound forward who can hit, score and provide leadership.
While Ovechkin is the face of the Capitals, Knuble is arguably its soul. Teams are always looking for guys who have the experience of winning the Stanley Cup to help guide teammates who haven't. Knuble is the only member of the Capitals to have lifted the Cup, having won it twice with Detroit early in his career.
And Knuble clearly had an impact in Game 4.
The Habs were nursing a 2-1 lead late in the second period in Game 4 and were on the power play when Knuble scored short-handed with seven seconds left before the intermission. It was a back-breaking goal by a key player.
"Especially short-handed, that is really hard for them," Knuble said after the game. "The timing of the goal, more than anything. To get one in the last 10 seconds, it was tough on them."
If you are Gauthier, you hope you can find a guy like Knuble in the summer free agent market - a forward who leads on and off the ice - although the pickings will be slim.
When the Canadiens left the ice at the Bell Centre, it marked the sixth straight time Montreal had lost a playoff game on home ice. Once upon a time, heads would have rolled. But those days are over.
Gauthier is probably already hard at work on plans to make sure the streak comes to an end soon. He doesn't have an easy job ahead of him.