CFN – Certain trends are rapidly becoming apparent for the Montreal Canadiens early in this season. First off for those Scott Gomez haters his presence was missed. Tomas Plekanec and David Desharnais is not the one two punch up the middle that intimdates a lot of teams. Lars Eller isn’t much better although he did have a good game tonight. And what is the disconnect between big contract signing Erik Cole and the team. I like Matt Darche, but when you spend $4+ per season on a power forward why isn’t he getting PP minutes?
It was a character win for the Leafs as the Habs had to make up for not one, but two too many men on the ice penalties. This 1 man fore check also is not looking like the right fit for this squad. You just can’t spend as much time in their own zone as the Habs do with this shaky a team defense. It’s not fair on Carey Price either. Neither team gave up and there were some great moments when things were moving.
They say you win as a team and of course lose as a team, but it’s the GM that builds the team and the coach that makes the decisions that can make or break a season or career.
Jacques Martin doesn’t seem to be the man for this squad. The whole vintage Sens group of Gauthier, Martin, and now Cunneyworth just are not playing Hab Hockey and it’s starting to show. A lot of fans are suggesting that the loss of Kirk Muller on the coaching staff have hurt Montreal this season. Having worked with Kirk I can sympathize with that opinion. It might just be time for Geoff Molson to clean house and let Bob Gainey step back in to finish the season.
What I do know is this team needs to make a move or two pronto. Andreas Enggvist has to not be on this squad. I’m not sure he should be on Hamilton after watching him play tonight. There are some bright spots on this team and they should have a much better record than they do tonight.
Andrei Kostitsyn really looked comfortable with his line mates tonight. Josh Gorges is back, but he was never meant to be a top two d man. Even if Andrei Markov comes back the D corps needs some help. This line juggling has to be reduced too. Let the guys develop some chemistry and enough with the micro management. The record clearly shows it’s not working.
Ottawa beat a struggling Columbus team 4-3 on goals by Filip Kuba, Zack Smith, Milan Michalek, and Jason Spezza. Sergei Gonchar had two assists. Vancouver nipped Minnesota 3-2 in OT after pulling off a trade sending Marco Sturm and Mikael Samuelsson to Florida for David Booth, Steve Reinprecht and a 3rd round draft pick. Great deal for Vancouver.
The other Kostitsyn, Sergei, scored a goal in Nashville’s 2-0 shut out of Calgary; St.Louis doubled Philadelphia 4-2; Jordan Staal’s 2 goals led Pittsburgh to a 4-1 victory over the Devils. Tampa Bay shut out Buffalo 3-0; Washington destroyed Detroit 7-1 with Mike Green having 4 points on the night.
Winnipeg passes Montreal in the Conference standings with their 5-3 victory over Carolina; San Jose 4 Boston 2; Florida nipped the Islanders 3-2.
We’ll update as the last three games finish.
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