Smart, passionate and somewhat biased commentary about the Montreal Canadiens (HABS) from a lifelong fan now living in Toronto (LeafLand).
Oct
30
2016

Canadiens Still Undefeated in Regulation

Radulov and Weber have been key contributors to the Canadiens' hot start this season. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press via AP)

Radulov and Weber have been key contributors to the Canadiens’ hot start this season. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press via AP)

Should we be concerned?

Last year the Canadiens’ blistering, record-breaking start quickly went down in a burning heap of flames once Carey Price injured his knee, followed by a succession of injuries to other key players.

It was a kamikaze-style nosedive that left the team out of the playoffs. #NoExcuses

This year after nine games, the Canadiens remain the only undefeated team in the NHL, after winning their seventh straight last night against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Montreal.

We can only hope that the team has learned all the hard lessons it could from last year. Uhh, what were those lessons again?

Oh yeah!? Get a seasoned backup goaltender. Check. Al Montoya has more than adequately filled the role and should allow Price to remain fresh throughout the year.

Leadership? Got more of it. Power play? It’s on the upswing. Tougher to play against? That too.

Alexander Radulov and Shea Weber have been key contributors to the Canadiens’ hot early start.

So far Bergevin looks like he finally hit the jackpot on one of his gambles with offensively-gifted but underperforming talent. “Alexander the Radulov” is not only contributing, but looks like he’s fitting in to the unit as a whole. He gives the Canadiens scoring depth, which helps us overlook the slow starts of Max Pacioretty and Tomas Plekanec. Years previous, without these two contributing, the Habs would be in a funk.

Instead, Radulov looks like he’s having a blast playing in the NHL once again and with all the head stuff out of his head, he’s left to make sweet setups like he did on Galchenyuk’s opening goal last night; as well as the easy pass he slid right into Weber’s wheelhouse to set up his game winning blast from the point on the power play.

Yes that’s right, power play. It still needs work but at least is showing promise. Weber of course has been outstanding and leads the team in points. What else can you say? He might not have the puck possession numbers of P.K. Subban, but maybe that’s because he passes the puck so quickly and doesn’t dangle with it.

In the end, Weber has 10 points with a +12 rating and the Habs are 8-0-1.

Subban has 5 points with a -7 rating and the Predators are 2-5-1.

You tell me what was better for the Montreal Canadiens. But hey let’s not fool ourselves, it’s only nine games.

We have many miles to go before we sleep…

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