There are more than a few Habs fans out there who would like to push the RESET button on this young season through 4 games. Some are already complaining about the blue screen of death… or at least the fact that the Leafs have 7 points through 4 games while we have 3. Its certainly not a comfortable feeling sitting in 12th place – even if it is ridiculously early. Although it is entirely reasonable to be concerned with the play of the team thus far, you can at least take solace in knowing that there are other teams who are going through the same thing.
Through 5 games the Stanley Cup Champions have only 4 points. Their opponents in last years final – the Canucks hold 5 points through 5 games. Guy Boucher’s Tampa Bay Lightning have played 6 games and only earned 4 points. Prior to the season, many pundits selected the San Jose Sharks as serious contenders for a long Cup run, and they have only managed to earn 2 points through 4 games.
What does it all mean? Can we expect the Colorado Avalanche to continue to earn 84% of all points available? Will Washington go 82-0 for the season? Clearly no.
Small sample sizes are just that. Its why I don’t really like to make judgments about any team or player prior to the 10-15 game mark. We have no clue how Eric Cole will fit with this team yet. We haven’t seen enough to make a call on Alexei Emelin (he dropped the Y on his jersey!). For good or bad, we’re simply too early in the season to know anything about this team – although there are clues that are emerging.
A few things are certain. The defense will need to be better. The sooner Andrei Markov is back – the better. The sooner PK Subban starts to “keep it simple” as he so often eluded to during the pre-season – the better. The sooner Hal Gill starts playing like the shut-down guy we need him to be – the better. The sooner the veteran core of this team starts producing – the better. Most importantly, the sooner Carey Price starts playing like last season – the better.
The Sabres are one of a few teams who have started out of the gate quickly. They have a 3-1-0 record to start this young season. So far they’ve looked as improved as some thought they would be. As I said before though – the jury is out. It is way too soon to make any judgments about who is good and not.
Puck drops just after 7:30. Go Habs Go!!!!