The Habs have shown in the past few games that when the style of play is up tempo, they can compete with the best teams in the NHL. They have also shown (against Boston, and for stretches of the Washington game) that they are still vulnerable to a pressuring forecheck by big bodies. The question on a day-to-day basis is which Habs team will show up? Lately we’ve enjoyed more of the team that outworks its opponents for loose pucks and turnovers, although most Habs fans will tell you they don’t trust it. I’m hoping that the inspired play of the younger Habs continues tonight, and that we can find a way to beat a team that is breathing down our necks in the standings with games in hand. Tonight we begin and home-and-home series with the Flyers that could be a huge set of points for either squad. As we said earlier this month against Boston. Sweep and you leave the team in your dust. Get swept and watch them leap well past us. Split and you prolong the misery.
Yesterday Pierre Gauthier made the first deal of his reign as Habs’ Tsar. Consensus on the web today is a resounding epic “huh?”. The Habs traded their 2nd rounder in the 2011 draft to Florida for Dominic Moore. Florida is officially in blow-up mode. With a proclamation that noone on the roster was untouchable and other desirable names on their roster like Booth, Horton, and Seidenburg – many fans are left wondering what the heck is up? My only caution to those fans is that when Gainey blew up the roster on July 1 last season many people called for his head (including myself) for bringing in Brian Gionta. Gionta is the smallest player in the league and we all desperately wanted this team to get bigger. Gionta has since become one of my favorite players on the team and has on many occasions put the team on his back to win.
The deal for Dominic Moore doesn’t necessarily seem like a bad one to me. Is a second rounder steep? Sure, but that draft is still a year and a half away. There is all kinds of time to replace the pick with another. Given the timing of the deal, I’m also not so sure that Gauthier is finished dealing. One thing is for sure – We now have too many centres with the club which will fuel speculation about the movement of Lapierre, Metro and even Plekanec through the Olympic break. Whether or not Moore was brought in to facilitate another trade, he is an affordable cog in the wheel that can give us NHL quality play on a team that struggles to have NHLers in the lineup on any given night.