CFN – It’s hard to criticize a team that’s sitting in the standings where Montreal is, and that’s at the top of their division and conference with 81 points in 59 games.
They’ve increased their team goal differential to +26 and have given up a league low 131 goals.
That’s impressive especially as one doesn’t think of Montreal as a real defensive team.
Price has received the 6th most shots on goal, his 1.91 GAA is best among starting goalies, as is his league leading save percentage of .935.
He is a shoe in for the Vezina trophy. Montreal as a team has cut down on its shots against and that also leads to less scoring chances.
Last year though Price was hurt in the play offs. Any injury to Price would be devastating to the team’s chances of a parade in Montreal this Spring.
The team also seems to have a propensity to losing to really bad teams, or at least teams with poor records this season.
Is that coaching? Is it the players letting up? Is it opposite teams simply “getting it up” to play the league leaders?
Montreal also seems to allow other teams best players to have good games against them, even when the Habs win. There seems to be some issues with shutting down the oppositions most deadly weapons.
With less than two weeks to the trade deadline the question is can the team fill its needs and can it change its style of play come play off time?
PK Subban is having a heck of a year. He’s been quieter and and has stood out less in some ways, ways he’d be criticized for in the past and has stepped up his game and leadership. He’s eating minutes like a machine and delivering. He’s on pace for his best NHL season statistically.
Max Pacioretty is looking more and more like a captain every day, as is Subban. Pacioretty though has really upped his game. He’s still performing offensively, but he’s added a defensive side to his game that sees him teaming up with Tomas Plekanec in PK situations. He’s having a monster season and is on pace for 40 goals, over 300 shots, and over 100 hits.
Tomas Plekanec has never had as good wingers to work with in his time with Montreal as he has this year. He’s leading the team with 3 short handed goals as well. He’s also improved his face off numbers as Manny Malhotra has seen some of the tougher defensive match ups.
Montreal is seeing some good work and seasons by some of their supporting cast and a few dimmer moments. The real negatives on the team have been moved out and some may not finish the season on the squad or are hurt.
The team has a few injuries to D men like Sergei Gonchar, but that is giving some much needed looksies for Jared Tinordi and some well deserved time to Greg Pateryn.
What do you think Habs fans? Will the rely on Price strategy work in the play offs? Do the Habs need trade help?
Are they a Cup contender this year? You can post your comments below.