Smart, passionate and somewhat biased commentary about the Montreal Canadiens (HABS) from a lifelong fan now living in Toronto (LeafLand).
Oct
26
2014

Habby Times in Montreal

"Hmm, it's true what they say about Montreal." Dale Weise showed that his input in last year's playoffs was no fluke, potting two assists against his former squad in last night's 3-1 win against the Rangers in Mtl.

“Hmm, it’s true what they say about Montreal.” Dale Weise showed that his input in last year’s playoffs was no fluke, potting two assists against his former squad in last night’s 3-1 win against the Rangers. Montreal is undefeated at home so far this year.

It was a relatively slow week for the Montreal Canadiens.

They had a solid outing against Patrick Roy’s Colorado Avalanche squad, beating them 3-2. Then they beat the Red Wings in comeback fashion, tying it late and winning in OT 2-1. So they could have brought their 6-1, 3-0 home record into last night’s game against the New York Rangers and had all the excuses in the world to provide a subpar effort.

But that, they did not.

As written in this space last week, the Canadiens were waiting for their best players to still be their best players and since then, it’s exactly what’s began to emerge.

My man Carey Price has now stopped 93 of 97 shots in his last three starts, 34 of them coming in last night’s 3-1 win against the blueshirts.

PK Subban’s defensive game is starting to round into form while his offensive prowess continues to flourish. And the defense as a unit is also beginning to come together after a bit of a shaky start to the year. Of course, great goaltending helps, but as the games go on, the young Craig Ludwig to-be Jarred Tinordi will grow more and more confident in his game.

Michel Therrien has to be pleased.

One thing that is striking about this year’s Montreal Canadiens is its depth. There’s a lot of guys who can put up points on this team. Lars Eller finally got one last night, a nice dirty goal from the result of a goal mouth scramble in front of Henrik Lundqvist; while Lucic-target #2 (Emelin is #1) Dale Weise tallied two assists. I still feel there needs to be a lot more consistency in a guy like Max Pacioretty’s game, but he also scored last night and as he goes, so goes David Desharnais — which is worrisome and thrilling all at once.

It’d be interesting to see what could happen if the two top lines could get going offensively at the same time. Nevertheless, it takes contributions from everyone to go deep in the playoffs and it looks like the Canadiens are constructed that way.

The Habs sit atop the Eastern Conference with a 7-1 record; their best start since the 1961-62 season.

But it’ll all mean nothing come April 2015.

Until then, it’s one shift, one pass, one save, one play at a time. The Canadiens hit the road out west to play the Oilers, Flames and Canucks. Somehow no matter how bad the Oilers and Flames are, they seem to get the better of the Habs. Let’s see if the team can shake off those demons. Have a habby week.

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