Habs 1-1-1 Through Three

Through the first three games of the regular season, Montreal has experienced highs, lows, and heartbreak, setting the tone as to the cacophony of emotions to be present throughout the remainder of the season. Losing to the Leafs, scoring a comeback win against Pittsburgh, and having the roles reversed against the Bolts, there was a mix of opinions pertaining to the performance of the team. The one constant positive has been the incredibly reassuring play of netminder Carey Price, who on most nights has been playing incredibly solidly, and in the case of the game against Pittsburgh, flat out stole the win for the Canadiens, robbing Crosby on multiple occasions to keep the score close, giving time for the Canadiens to tie and ultimately win the game late. Cammelleri and Plekanec, keeping the chemistry from the playoffs last season have started off strong. Cammalleri with two goals already, and Plekanec with a goal of his own and adding a dominant offensive and defensive presence while on the ice. Halpern and Boyd have payed beyond expectations, and Lapierre is still playing playoff hockey, which is good to see.

With all these positives however, there are still quite a few negatives. The defense is practically non existent. Quite the concern when the system relies on defense. Hamrlik’s return to action did little to stabilize the defense, as dumb penalties and defensive breakdowns cost the Habs a late one goal lead and the game in overtime. Gill proves to us all that a man of 35 years of age doesn’t magically get faster, and continues to be beaten by speed to the outside, giving added workload to his partner Gorges, who himself has looked solid, along with Subban on a shaky defensive line-up. Gomez and Gionta also have to start playing better, with Gomez getting a goal on a fluke shot that fooled Fleury, however the team needs its newly appointed captain to step up and start adding some secondary support to relieve some of the burden off of the Plekanec line.

Over all, through three games there has been a lot to consider, and it’s far too early to pass real judgement, however one would hope that Markov’s return would help the powerplay, which has been abysmal, and the defense, which could use the presence of the general back on the ice.

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