CORNWALL ONTARIO – After going through one of the worst seasons in franchise history, Montreal is once again riding high to kick off their season.
Carey Price is back and playing well. There have been few surprises from this squad although not too many expected them to be playing as well as they have after losing PK Subban.
Shea Weber has been playing like someone who has something to prove. He’s leading the team and league with a plus 12 to go along with 10 points in 9 games. His 25 hits are second only to Alexei Emelin’s 31. He’s also showing that veteran leadership that was lacking.
Subban isn’t exactly struggling, but Nashville as a team isn’t off to a strong start either. Clearly Hab fans are starting to dig their new D man.
Having Carey Price and Jeff Petry has been a huge impact for the team and Paul Byron seems to have carved himself out a role for the squad and playing some effective hockey.
Being the first sports writer to suggest that Alex Radulov was exactly what the Habs needed has been poignant as the team signed “Rads” who’s been everything and more. He’s found chemistry with Alex Galchenyuk and the two need to play together and not have Michel Therrien mess with said chemistry. Both are playing for their next contract so stay tuned for an amazing season from the two.
Of course, as we saw last season, you can be one injury from tanking it for the year, but Montreal has the depth and ability to roll four NHL lines which many teams can’t claim.
Tomas Plekanec has struggled this season as far as posting up hard numbers go. The vet only has 3 assists to show for 9 games and is under 50% on face offs. He’s actually losing some ice to David Desharnais who only has one more point on the season.
Max Pacioretty seems to have been cursed since being named Habs Captain. After taking heat for his leadership for last season he only has two goals early this season. It should be interesting to see where “Bergy” goes with his captain who’s up for a contract soon and has strong trade value. Should Montreal lock up “Patches” or move on.
This writer thinks that Max may be heading to other pastures before next season starts.
The only real negatives have been Andrew Shaw, who I’m still confused why we gave up two seconds for someone who was a free agent and then gave him the contract the team did. While not Scott Gomez cray cray, it still was excessive. Brian Flynn also looks like someone that will be leaving the squad soon too.
Al Montoya gave the Habs what they needed last year; a goalie that could stabilize the team after Carey Price was injured. His three early season wins for the squad help set the pace which Price has continued since his return.
The team sports a league leading 17 points after 9 games, but more importantly has a +17 goal differential as they pad their early success.
The team can’t continue at this pace, but barring catastrophic injury is well on its way to the play offs.
What do you think Hab Fans? Is this year’s team the real deal?
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