The roller-coaster that is an NHL season is fully upon us. We’ve had highs: A win against Ottawa last Sunday brought the Habs record to 6-2, challenging for top spot in the North East Division. Starting with a game the Montreal could have won against the leaders at that time, The Boston Bruins, we also started feeling the lows. A loss that Wednesday was the first of three consecutive which have changed the mood of the season drastically.
It turns out that when you don’t score 4 goals a game and on every powerplay, the holes in your game are magnified. Who knew.
Still, the Habs are neither as good nor as bad as the cruel lady called momentum would have you believe. The 6-0 loss to the Maple Leafs was one of the most thorough beatings the Habs have taken in decades. The fact that it happened against the Leafs certainly made it worse optically.
But if I told you at the outset of the season that the Habs would be 6-4-1 11 games in, and sitting in 7th place ahead of the Rangers, Flyers, Capitals, and Sabres – would any of you have complained? I would have been pleased as anything for that. And so I choose to remain that way.
The team for their part are trying new tactics to shake themselves free of the memory of that huge loss to the Leafs. Coach Thierrein has re-jiggged the forward lines sending Max Pacioretty to a line with Galchenyuk and Gallagher, and Brandon Prust to the wing with Desharnais and Cole. It will be interesting to see how the ultra-talented Pacioretty will complement the kids. Certainly he represents an upgrade offensively over Prust – though you can just about forget about seeing that line starting in the defensive end.
Tampa is in a dog-fight for the South East division lead – meaning that unless they win the division, they will probably miss the playoffs as the South East continues to be the saddest division in the sport. Still, the always seem to find another level against the Canadiens given the Montreal ties for so many in that organization.
Puck drops at 7:30 ish. If they haven’t given up a goal by 7:31 consider it an upgrade over last game.
Go Habs Go!