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Game 25: Habs/Penguins

  • At the beginning of this season most of the knowledgable pundits agreed that only after a period of 20 or so games would the Montreal Canadiens truly know what they were. Those pundits aregued that Montreal fans would need to show patience while the coaches and squad figured out exactly what their personality was. That 20 game mark has come and gone, and while we do know some about what kind of team we are, there is still much to learn. Here are some things I think we know at Game 25 about our Montreal Canadiens.

    1. This team battles. I can’t think of a better way to say it. At no time during this season has Montreal displayed the type of cohesive effort that anyone could confuse them with an upper-echelon team. That said, they have suprised almost everyone with their ability to find ways to win hockey games. I love this team’s guts. I love that our lineup was missing $26 million in elite players last night and found a way to win against legitimate competition. I love that our defense has been decimated with injury – and yet, they have found a way to not only compete, but excel in front of Carey Price.

    2. Carey Price is legit. Last year there were so many times when all of us questioned whether Carey Price was capable of being an elite goalie in the NHL. Carey has bailed out the Canadiens time and time again to start this season. I personally believe that he (and Jaro for that matter) are the reason that Montreal can continue to hope for the playoffs while the Maple Leafs are playing for the draft (Boston’s draft that is).

    3. Mike Cammalleri. What can you say about the little guy?  Its been a LONG time since the Habs had a pure scorer like him. He is already well on his way to becoming a legitimate superstar on one of the biggest stages in the sport.

    4. I’ve been saying this since last season, but for Montreal to succeed the youth have to step up. Last night we saw fantastic games from Ryan O’Byrne, Andrei and Sergei K, Ryan White, Tommy Pyatt, Max Pacioretti and Maxime Lapierre. The result was a huge Montreal win. Consistency will be key. If the young players can fill gaps when the big guys falter, it will make the Canadiens a dangerous team to play.

    5. Hold on. If the Habs can hang on by playing within Jaques Martin’s system until Andrei Markov returns they will be a force to be reckoned with this post season. Markov is second only to Lidstrom in points as a defenseman since the lockout. He is among the most dynamic and solid defenders in the game. His addition to this roster will be the most important factor in this season. The only question is can the Habs make it?

    Pens tonight. A huge test on back to back nights. Go Habs Go!!!

  1. Well you may recall I said that if this team could play 500 hocket until Markov comes back we have a chance to make the playoffs. I agree with Matts that the young Kids are starting to step up to the plate, if they keep this up then we may be able to unload some of the higher priced talent we have along with laraque and create some cap space at the trading dealine. I would like ot be buyers but at the same time be in a position to also be sellers. I hope my positive attitude is not boring every one but I still believe that this team is better than a top eight. It may not be a cup winner but this team is not as bad and our earlier record indicated. All we needed is some time, some chemistry and to find another winger who could provide us with the stronger #2 line that we need. It seems just when it appears we found some help from within, and we loose 2/3rds of our top line. Gainey probably must wonder why he has had such bad luck with the players he has picked up the last two years? Really if we could just stay healthy I think we could move up in the standings.
    Look who is gone, Gomez, Gionta, Spacek, Gill, Pouiot, just to name the players that he picked up in trades or free agency. Last year it was the same thing. Wouldn’t it be nice, if we had Tanguay to play with Plex. If we had Laraques 1.5 and Gill’s 2.5M we could have signed him. Oh well, the kids seem to be picking it up just in time.

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