The Canadiens are off to a strong 3-1-1 start, and all is well in Habsland, right?
Going in to the season, the biggest question marks surrounded whipping boys Carey Price and Andrei Kostitsyn. So much for easy targets. Both have been outstanding thus far, and ought to be quickly converting the many haters that seem to delight in trashing them on a nightly basis. But this being Montreal, there has to be a whipping boy somewhere. It just wouldn’t be right otherwise – afterall, we find things to complain about even after a hot start. Enter Benoit Pouliot. For the most part he has been underwhelming at a time when he needs to show that the belongs, and more importantly – wants to be here.
Any way you slice it, the start to the season has been a positive one, despite the sputtering powerplay, without Andrei Markov, and the relatively easy schedule.
Enjoy the moment, Habs fans! With the struggling Devils and Senators on deck, it’s entirely possible that your Habs can shoot out to a 5-1-1 start. That’s in stark contrast to the roller coaster that were the 2009-2010 iteration of the Canadiens.
Some other reasons to be happy about the quick start:
- 5-on-5 play is greatly improved (the downside is that the powerplay has suffered greatly, but both should get better with #79′s return),
- Goals are coming from unexpected places: Jeff Halpern, Alex Picard, Dustin Boyd, Josh Gorges and Max Lapierre have all found the scoresheet to supplement team scoring,
- Mike Cammalleri has not been his lethal self. He scored twice vs the Penguins, and fired 8 shots at Ottawa netminders, but he’s been out of sync. Once he gets rolling, look out!,
- When was the last time Montreal and Toronto battled for first place? Even at this early juncture?
- Tomas Plekanec looks like he’s ready to prove he was worth the long term deal and the big money,
- Max Lapierre doesn’t look like he’s going to be the liability that he was all year last season,
- With Ryan White, Max Pacioretty and Aaron Palushaj waiting in the wings, there seems to be real depth for once,
Are there reasons for concern? Absolutely, there are several. But I’m not going to touch on those in this post. One of the oddest things about being a Habs fan is that when they struggle and stink, we as fans rant and rave and call for heads. When things are going well, we nitpick and look for something to be wrong. We can’t leave things be.
For the time being we ought to just enjoy what we’re looking at: a team that is finding ways to win games.