… and sitting comfortably in first place by now.
Ok that is a stretch. Still, it burns to think of how much of this season is being squandered needlessly for the second time in 8 years. Absurdity does not even begin to describe what this situation is when you consider all of the things that were said following the last lockout.
“The game will be better”. “The system was broken”.
What a line we were sold. 8 years later and things are so bad that the two sides can’t even agree to meet. How do you all feel about this because if I’m honest, its beginning to piss me off to the point that I’m becoming one of those people making threats about ignoring NHL hockey altogether when it comes back. There is other hockey to watch. There is football, basketball, football (the euro kind) and baseball offseason to occupy our time. There is no guarantee that we all come crawling back once the rich and the super rich have divided up the pie that the fans have baked for them.
Speaking of other hockey: we’re 7 games into the AHL season and there are some interesting stories shaping up.
Robert Myer is having himself a dandy start to the season. Through 5 games he has a .923 save percentage, and has a couple 30+ save games to his credit. If he can have a good season this year he could provide some key organizational depth at goaltender, which doesn’t seem important while Carey Price is healthy – but you never know.
Through 7 games the names that are leading this team are exactly the ones you want to hear with this young squad: Aaron Palushaj, Patrick Holland, Brendan Gallagher, Louis Leblanc, Blake Geoffrion, Michael Blunden, Michael Bournival. The forwards are scoring by committee right now, which is a good thing when you consider that all of those names figure to play a role on the Canadiens at some point in the near future.
Through 7 games, the guys struggling a little are Jared Tinordi and Nathan Beaulieu. This is to be expected of course, given that defenders are often at a severe disadvantage when they move up a level. They go from defending 17, 18, 19 year olds to grown men and tend to adjust more slowly than their offensive counterparts. Tinordi is a – 5 while Beaulieu has no points through seven games while putting up a +3. Again, neither one has been bad – but are going through the natural struggles that come from moving up a level of competition. Tinordi in particular has shown how great the difference in his game can be once he is used to the pace.
Overall, 8 points through 7 games is a good haul for a young team that is largely still finding its way to the AHL game. It is very good to see all of the young forwards have made an impact early on, particularly guys like Holland and Bournival. While Habs fans wait for Galchenyuk, we shouldn’t forget that there is some pretty good organizational depth getting ready for the NHL this season. In a few years time we’ll be seeing a squad with Price, Pacioretty and Subban bolstered by Gallagher, Leblanc, Bournival, Holland, Tinordi, Beaulieu, Palushaj, Geoffrion and Blunden. There is a lot to like in that group.