Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Winning Streak takes pressure off Montreal Canadiens, for now.


Well the Montreal Canadiens have taken their fans out of panic mode for the time being.

After picking up two wins to start the season, the Habs went on a five-game nose dive that had some fans screaming for GM Bob Gainey’s head.

Well what a difference four games can make. The Canadiens came alive and they are on a four-game winning streak.

Yeah OK two games were against the New York Islanders, but to lose just one of those games would spell disaster. A slumping team needs a big win over a lesser team to boost morale.

Montreal also dispatched a hot Atlanta Thrashers team and overcame two 2-goal leads against the offensively charged New York Rangers on Saturday.

Many fans and media feel the team will really come together at the 15 or 20 game mark. After all, this is a new roster that didn’t really play as a complete unit in the pre-season. You have to remember the camp was split into three squads in camp and two teams during the pre-season games.  So the final roster never formed until after the last pre-season game and their team bonding trip.

The Canadiens get some real tests to end October with games against the defending Stanley Cup Champs (Pittsburgh), an up and coming western conference team (Chicago) and their greatest rival (Toronto).

Who’s Number One?: Right now it looks like Jaroslav Halak is. Halak has been between the pipes in for each of the Canadiens’ last four wins.

Coach Jacques Martin seems to be going with the hot goalie for time being but said he is taking it one game at a time, confirming the team needs two goalies to be successful this season.

Carey Price clearly was not to blame in the Canadiens early struggles, but sitting out “The Franchise” four straight raises eyebrows. Some fans question his work ethic, which his something Martin takes seriously. See: Kostitsyn, Sergei.

I think this is the first time Price has missed four straight starts without being injured….. Hmmm maybe that is where the problem truly lies. Perhaps a minor injury is keeping the Habs No. 1 pick in 2005 on the shelf?

Coach Martin will announce his starter against the Penguins on Wednesday.

Andrei, Andrei where art thou?: Not the All-Star Markov, whose shoes the other five blueliners on have filled admirably in his absence.  I’m talking about the other embattled Kostitsyn brother.

How is it that Tomas Plekanec (10 points in 11 games) has been spectacular since the departure of Alex Kovalev, yet his former line mate has floundered?

A few takes on AK46 from Eric Engels and All Habs.

Speaking of Sergei: The younger Kostitsyn missed the Hamilton Bulldogs game on Saturday against Texas. He is nursing a shoulder injury from Friday’s game against San Antonio. He is listed as day-to-day and was also reportedly fighting a flu bug. The Bulldogs (6-0-1)play Tuesday night in Houston.

Notes from Tuesday’s practice: Scott Gomez took a day off from the ice for a therapy day, as did Georges Laraque. Glen Metropolit is fighting a virus and spent the day at home.

Thanks for the chat: A big thanks to CBC.ca for inviting me as a panelist for Tuesday afternoons online chat about the Habs.

A replay of it is available here.

1 comment:

24 Cups said...

Kevin - Totally, agree. We did what we needed to do and there were quite a few bright spots to build upon for the next few games (Halak, Metro, Hamrlik). There always has to be balance between game to game situations and the overall picture.