Ok I cheated. I watched about 6 minutes live.

THE GOOD

  • Carey Price. This is getting ridiculous. Put on yet another clinic, especially for the family watching back home in B.C. Forget Crosby, Ovechkin, Kane or Connor-come-lately. The most dominant player in the National Hockey League is Carey Price.

  • Alex Galchenyuk-Brendan Gallagher-Alexander Radulov. Got Habs on the scoreboard and finished it up. Galchenyuk had his second straight good night in the face off cicrcle (64%).
  • Torrey Mitchell-Brian Flynn-Phillip Danault. Anybody still think Danault is just a fringe player? Habs leading goal scorer through the first 12% of the season is Torrey Mitchell.
  • Nathan Beaulieu. As noted previously Beaulieu does not possess a strong enough shot from the blue line to beat NHL goalies. His goals will have to come via joining the rush as he did to open the scoring.
  • PK Unit. We know who their best penalty killer is. But overall the Habs PK efficiency rate has hit 90%. Only Minnesota (96%) is higher.
  • Ryan Miller. For the longest time he was my favourite goalie in the NHL. Probably because he was skinny with long hair, as I was as a teenager. During the 2005 World Cup in Montreal I got the chance to talk to Miller at length one night when the entire hockey world (or so it seemed) was hanging out at Hurley’s Irish Pub. (This was pre-lockout. Bill Daly and Ted Saskin moved proceedings to the terrace where some members of the media convinced themselves that they were going to witness some kind of  denouement instead of what was actually going down-two important hockey dudes getting to know each other over a few pints.) Anyway, Miller was sitting at the bar and I told him how much I liked him as a goalie – which started with his look. But by then he had cut his hair. He told me he was “tired of looking like a heroin addict”. This might have been Miller’s final career game in Montreal.
  • Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Cubs Win!

THE BAD

  • David Desharnais-Andrew Shaw-Max Pacioretty. Generated next to nothing. When do they kick it into gear? Can they get it going or is Michel Therrien going to have to mix up his 2nd and 3rd lines again? At least they have enough time to figure it out.
  • Power Play. Were those boos I heard with Desharnais leading the first unit?
  • Tomas Plekanec. Torrey Mitchell has five goals in 10 games and Plekanec has none.
  • Vancouver Canucks. Who are they? What are they? 1970 and counting. Could be worse. Ask those Cubs fans.

THE UGLY

  • Instead of looking refreshed after getting a breather following five games in eight nights the Habs looked flat, slow and listless. Those weren’t the 80s Oilers coming at them in waves. The 4-5-1 Canucks fired over 70 shots in the direction of Carey Price. “Maybe the guys were shooting a little too fine, knowing who was in net. They thought they had to be perfect on their shots” said Vancouver coach Willie Desjardins. Welcome to Price’s world.

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8 Responses

  1. Elijah

    Maybe it’s worth noting that if lack of leadership played a major role in last season’s meltdown – with much criticism directed at PK – the ‘leadership’ of Pacioretty and Plekanec has now produced fewer goals than Torrey Mitchell. Plekanec is picking up right where he left off last year, and with few exception, Max is proving that Tortorella and sections of the Habs fan base are right to criticize his listless efforts most nights.

    • Mitch Melnick

      I believe the Habs would have seriously considered trading their captain – whether they moved Subban or not – if it wouldn’t have cost so much to replace his goals.

      • Elijah

        It is still so bizarre that they chose Max as captain – a guy who can’t take criticism, who still does not bring it every night, who refuses to play physically even though he’s one of the biggest on the team, doesn’t elevate in playoffs – over PK, whom you can describe by inverting those statements! PS: thanks for these reviews every night, btw 🙂

  2. Rick L

    Thanks Mitch … bang-on synopsis … not sure what the problem has been over the past few games, but I find myself hoping they lose a few if only to give them a wakeup call … good to see Daniel Carr back up with the club … he’s like a Tasmanian Devil around the net … I see Al Montoya is confirmed as the starter against Columbus … maybe his team will do better on the road … thanks again …

  3. dra58

    Don’t shoot the messenger but having DD as the power play pivot is like playing 4 on 4 because he won’t shoot. Funny thing excuse for game against the Leafs was too many games in short time now excuse for last night is too much time off. What gives?
    Can’t the coach get these guys up for games or does his magic wear off after 12% of the season. Yes you guessed it I am not a fan of the coach.

  4. Kevin Smith

    Man, they suck at breakouts. Been one of the biggest problems with the Habs under Therrien ever since his return, and while the Weber-Subban deal is good in many ways, it really doesn’t help puck movement. The backline is just too slow and (other than the Markov-Petry pairing) completely useless as puck movers. No wonder Bergevin is rumoured to be seeking another top 4 defender.

    As for Vancouver, so far this season they have only led in 1 game, for ~30min, against the injury ravaged Buffalo. So even though they’re 4-5-1, it’s pretty clear they’re destined for a lottery pick.

    • Mitch Melnick

      Montreal has played 10 games. In how many of those can you state, without hesitation, that they were the faster team?

  5. Michael Nixon

    I’m not sure I would criticize Shaw. I thought he was, by far, the best of that line but trying to get these other two listless, useless players to show any kind of intensity is a lost cause. Again, why is Desharnais on this team? As soon as he faces even secondary checking, he disappears. As for Pacioretty, I keep hearing what Torts said at the World Cup…welcome to our world. A trade out of Montreal would not bother me in the least regarding 67.