Smart, passionate and somewhat biased commentary about the Montreal Canadiens (HABS) from a lifelong fan now living in Toronto (LeafLand).
Oct
18
2015

Habs Picture Perfect

Through six games, your Montreal Canadiens are 6-0. No need to plan the parade route though. Why? Because it’s already planned!!

You know what the late, great Montreal Mayor Drapeau used to say when asked the question during the last Canadiens’ heyday in the seventies: “The usual route!”

Habs Stanley Cup parade, 1966.

Habs Stanley Cup parade, 1966.

So there it is, the usual route awaits the Habs if and when they can bring home the Stanley Cup to Montreal.

Everyone’s feeling mighty good right now after the team extended its franchise-best start to a season after defeating the Detroit Red Wings last night 4-1 at the Bell Centre.

The Canadiens continue their strong all-around play, this time adding two power play goals to the mix which made all the difference.

What’s good about this year’s start isn’t necessarily all the wins — which are great — but it’s how the team is winning.

Last year, besides the fact the team wasn’t finding the back of the net enough, the big criticism was that Carey Price was relied on way too much to carry the team to victories. This year through six games, the team is keeping scoring chances to a minimum and when they do happen, Price is there.

The Canadiens have outshot their opposition every game so far, and even put 20 on Detroit minder Peter Mrazek in the third period alone last night.

They’re also playing a stronger puck possession game this year, opting to hold on to the puck as the offence moves over blue line, instead of playing the dump and chase game.

Each d-pairing now has a mobile puck mover who adds to the offensive thrust: Subban, Petry and Beaulieu. Petry scored the game winner last night and his addition to the top four on the Canadiens is proving to be one of the biggest additions Bergevin might have made to the team since this time last year.

The other might be Tomas Fleischmann who, let’s be honest, isn’t going to score thirty goals or anything, but he does bring a strong two-way game to the table, and can finish plays off started by the crafty Desharnais. And now with Double “D” centrering the third line, he doesn’t have to face opposition’s top d-pairings anymore, as he did when he played with Pacioretty on the first line. So he can thrive. This now gives Montreal scoring threats from all three lines, with the fourth line even contributing the occasional tally as well (Brian Flynn scored an empty netter last night).

New Hab Tomas Fleischmann scores the game winner against the New York Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist. JOHN KENNEY / MONTREAL GAZETTE

New Hab Tomas Fleischmann scores the game winner against the New York Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist. JOHN KENNEY / MONTREAL GAZETTE

It was revealed post-game on RDS’s “L’Antichambre” that Bergevin tried to get Fleischmann at last year’s trade deadline, but Florida decided not to move him. Kind of worked out for Montreal: they¬†got him for nothing and on the cheap.

That Bergevin is a crafty dude. Might be a bit early to start comparing this team with the 1977-78 Canadiens, whose record this year’ squad broke when it defeated the Rangers this week. That team went on to win their third Stanley Cup in a row that year and which when all was said and done, had seven eventual Hall of Famers in their lineup, as well as Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman.

But who cares about that right now? We’ll be happy with a Stanley Cup, and so far, the Canadiens are laying their claim to being the beast of the East. It’s a long season… a lot can change… so you might want to wait on staking your spot on the parade route. It’s getting kind of cold out, anyhow.

@HabsFaninLeafLand

 

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