Its the 2nd game of the season, but the first post for me. So let me take this opportunity to say welcome back to real hockey, and thank you to you guys for reading this blog, making this a great place to talk CH.
Saturday night really didn’t go as well as most Habs fans would have hoped. Things started well though. There was a very quick moment after Brandon Prust had scored what seemed to be the season’s first goal where you got the sense that this team would start out quick. Of course, that goal was cancelled by an interference penalty by Ryan White. After that, we got a lot more of the same.
Montreal led a parade to the penalty box by lazy and soft infractions which ultimately led to two Toronto goals. Montreal couldn’t get their own powerplay clicking (where is that PK guy anyway?), and as a result fell short despite a very solid third period in which they controlled most of the play.
Oh well. One game down. But just how will this team respond? A prolonged losing streak will surely be the early end of this team given how hard each point will be to gain in a compressed season. They must do something to kick start their offense. The top line looked a little out of sorts. Plekanec, Gionta and Galchenyuk didn’t overly impress. Michel Therrien has decided to bench Lars Eller going into this contest, in hopes of getting Brendan Gallagher into the lineup for more offense. Normally, I would be all over this move. I’ve been very vocal about coaches blaming young kids for mistake they forgive in their veterans. No one could tell me that Lars Eller was the main reason the Habs lost on Saturday – but I really think this is simply a case of the coach trying to get everybody game action in the season. Somebody needs to sit – and Eller makes sense from the standpoint, of constructing lines for tonight’s game. Hopefully the coach handles this well from a player management standpoint, and doesn’t make it a habit to bench players that are a part of the team’s long-term future in favor of scrub veterans like Armstrong.
Anyway.. Tonight is the return of L’Artiste. Florida got smoked last night in Ottawa, so you know they’ll be looking to jump on the Habs early.