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Game 81: Habs/Hurricanes

  • At game 81 its easy to look back at this season as an utter failure. It was in many respects.

    From the firing of coaches on game-days, to terrible panic trades, to the trading of players in games – the season was a bit of a sh!t show.

    Still, 81 games ago did you think it was even remotely possible that Eric Cole would have 11 goals on the powerplay and rank 13th over-all for goals? Having played in all 80 games to date, the former Hurricane has destroyed his critics who said he couldn’t play away from Carolina and Eric Staal – putting up the best numbers of his career next to an undrafted centreman who stands 5’7″ tall, and a guy who less than 5 months before the season began – broke his neck.

    David Desharnais was considered as the thrid (possibly fourth) line centre when the season started. While every one focused on the duo of Scott Gomez and Tomas Plekanec, there is literally none among us who could have imagined that lil’ Davey could muster 60 points this season. Hands up if you thought he would score on pace with Lucic this year. Keep them up if you thought he would outscore Daniel Alfredsson, or Thomas Vanek, or Rick Nash, Johan Franzen, Ryan Getzlaf, and Bobby Ryan. Its a testament to Desharnais’ talent that he has continued to score at every level of hockey – long past most expected him to fail.

    Desharnais owes a good deal of his 44 assists to the guy who has ridden shot-gun since their time together in the AHL РMax Pacioretty. When Zdeno Chara smashed him into the stanchion at centre-ice in that fateful game last season Рmy first instinct was that Pacioretty might be dead. The impact was so great, and the angle so treacherous that  until we saw Pacioretty move a few moments after regaining consciousness, the entire Bell Centre and millions watching at home held their collective breath. For a moment the brutal rivalry that had boiled over between the Habs and Bruins ceased to matter, as the gravity of such an uncommonly devastating impact ripped all of the noise form a normally boisterous crowd.

    Since then, all that Max Pacioretty has done is gone on to be in the top 20 in the NHL for goals scored, Top 40 in points (tied with Alex Ovechkin), and finally emerged as the young power-forward of the future that Montreal has pined for since John Leclair left for the Flyers. It is almost uncompromisable what the Two and a Half Men line has been able to accomplish this season.

    And so – rather than complain about how that line has single-handedly ruined our shot at Nail Yakupov , my cap is off to them. With two games to go in one of the worst seasons I can ever remember – I remain encouraged abut the future of the club. With Cole, Desharnais, and Pacioretty – I know we have some good years to look forward to in the future.

    Go Habs Go!!

  1. #1 Senet1 says:
    April 5, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    I really like the work ethic of David and that entire line. He has to be considered out #1 center at this point. I stated in the blog, that we have one line so it is important in the off season to creat a strong #2 line. Isn’t it funny we thought at the first of the year that we actually had three pretty good scoring lines. But through injuries and poor performances, by the end of November we had no offensive lines. When Gomez went down and David got his chance that line started to gel. Had Plekanec’s line come around we still would have been in the playoffs. However, that is to me the most disappointing part of this team, Plekanec, Cammy and Gionta. Personally, I did not expect a lot out of Gomez but I was hoping he would find his form. The other disappointing part to me was that Management expected the young kids on Defence to carry the load. To me that was asking too much of these kids, on the other hand by playing as much as they did they improved a great deal. PK is much better now than he was say at X-mas time. Emelin has shown his strengths and improved some of his weaknesses. A lot of people were down on Diaz, but I think he came alot just find and although not as big as I would like a D-man to be he is learning to handle himself at the NHL level. He certainly moved pass Weber on the depth chart. One thing I have also noticed in the last month is Camponi, he is quietly coming into form and playing much better and actually is now a better defenceman than Kaberle. If I had to choose between them I would take Camponi. Unfortunately, we are saddled with a $4M contract for two more years. Whereas Camponi is FA, so he will be gone.

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