The Habs didn’t have their franchise player but that did little to slow their hot streak as the team picked up five of a possible six points. Things weren’t as solid for St. John’s who continued to struggle on the road. The Winter Classic uniforms have been revealed and my Final Thought discusses the mistake the NHL and the teams made with their sweater selections.
Cheers and Jeers
1) Dale Weise. Yes, his scoring streak is unsustainable (just think of all the open nets he missed the first two weeks of the year) but he has come up big with the top line struggling. Don’t worry about him maintaining it but just enjoy the ride. As for the contract, that’s something that can play itself out later. From a team standpoint, you don’t want to sign a deal with someone in the middle of a hot streak.
2) Changing the narrative. With Mike Condon picking up where Carey Price left off, it’s much harder to argue that this is just a one player (Price) team. That’s something Montreal fans have known since early on this season but finally the perception should be changing league wide. It’s nice to get rid of that stigma early.
3) Michel Therrien’s line management. You’ll note in the ice time stats below that it’s the Galchenyuk line that saw the least amount of ice time, as they should have. The ones playing the best are playing more, regardless of where they’re pencilled in to start the game. Even more importantly, no one’s getting overworked up front (all forwards averaged under 18 minutes a night). That’s managing the bench well.
1) The duo of Lars Eller and Alex Galchenyuk. Saturday’s third period notwithstanding, they’ve been quiet for far too long. The other three lines are all producing beyond their expectations. That means they’re likely to slump before too long. This line needs to pick up the slack when that happens. Their play these last few weeks isn’t leaving a lot of hope that they can step up and do so though. They need to be better.
2) Three-on-three overtime luck. The Bulldogs were laughably awful in it last year. The Habs looked terrible at it in the preseason. And their first go-round when it actually counts saw them lose in a hurry. Montreal has had a lot of good fortune recently. It would be nice if their luck here could change.
3) The continued benching of Alex Semin. Evidently, losing isn’t enough to make a change but how the team loses is what’s apparently dictating his return. Semin’s linemates have struggled even more without him so perhaps it’s time to give that unit another shot? But for that to happen, Therrien will need to bite the bullet and make a change after a win. With Pittsburgh, a skilled team, as the next opponent, this would be as good a time as any to do so.
Goals: Pacioretty/Weise (8)
Assists: Markov/Subban (13)
Points: Tomas Plekanec (15)
+/-: P.K. Subban (+11) (Tied for league lead)
PIMS: Torrey Mitchell (22)
Shots: Max Pacioretty (56)
Week two of the road trip went the same way the first week did. St. John’s managed just a single win in three games.
News and Notes:
– Connor Crisp (undisclosed injury) didn’t play in any of the three games. There’s no timetable for his return, nor is there one for Nikita Scherbak, whose ‘minor’ ailment has cost him six games and counting now.
– Greg Pateryn was recalled by Montreal on Sunday afternoon as expected. With the IceCaps off until Friday, there was little need to keep him down there.
– Michael McCarron is tied for second in points by rookies, one point behind Providence’s Frank Vatrano (who played against Montreal on Saturday).
– Lines from the most recent game:
Carr – McCarron – Holloway
Hudon – de la Rose – Andrighetto
McNally – Dumont – Thomas
Gregoire – Eisenschmid – Neilson
Barberio – Pateryn
Ellis – Dietz
Bennett – Lernout
|20||Jacob de la Rose||3||0||0||-5||4||2|
Shootout – Skaters:
Shootout – Goalies:
Goals: Michael McCarron (6)
Assists: Bud Holloway (11)
Points: Bud Holloway (15)
+/-: Morgan Ellis (+6)
PIMS: Ellis/McCarron (27)
Shots: Daniel Carr (40)
November 13: Toronto vs St. John’s
November 14: Toronto vs St. John’s
The upcoming Winter Classic between Boston and Montreal is being hyped up as a battle of two iconic teams with a long-standing rivalry and lots of tradition. All of that is well and good but both teams have missed the boat when it comes to the last bit.
Part of what makes the Habs and Bruins iconic is their logos. For Boston, their logo has more or less been in place since 1949. For the Canadiens, since 1956. (The CH has been around longer but the shape has been the same since then.) Yet, neither Winter Classic uniform has the current, iconic logo on it nor is there really much history in the ones they will wear. Boston is using their first one that they had for all of two years in the 1920’s while Montreal is using an inverted colour one based on a logo that lasted three years (also in the 1920’s) and has an awfully strong resemblance to their charitable foundation. Plus, their uniform isn’t even an historic one that they’ve used in the past but a brand new one based on a few old elements. Lots of tradition there…
If you’re trying to hype up a special game between two teams that have strong brand recognition in the NHL (and North American professional sports as a whole), why are they using uniforms that few will recognize or identify with? Is the cash grab really that important? If they really wanted that ‘classic’ feel, why wouldn’t they use the current uniforms, the ones that have been in use for over sixty years and have been around for the most memorable parts of their rivalry? Not every special event needs its own special and unique uniform. This one didn’t.