Wow, 3 posts in 3 days. Craziness.
Ok, to begin, just a little wooooooo for the first win of the season. I only watched the first two periods yesterday, so I’m not overly enthusiastic. Let’s face it: if the Leafs had better forwards, Montreal would have lost this game. 46 shots to 27? Ouch! I think the main conclusion that can be drawn from yesterday’s game is that there is a loooot of work ahead for the habs. It’s not really a surprise, and frankly, I’m not really expecting them to start the season with a huge series of wins. I think it’ll take time for them to get used to each other. Yesterday we saw that they don’t always know where their teammates are on the ice, which led to missed passes and turnovers. But once again, that’s ok, and I’m not too worried about that, because they have lots of time to work on this.
So it wasn’t a blowout, but there were good things about the game nevertheless:
- Obviously, beating the Leafs at the ACC is pretty much the best way to start a season.
- The guys I liked the best: Price, Moen, Metropolit, and Gorges.
Those 4 played a very good game. Of course, Price deserves a lot of credit for his performance. It’s way too soon to say if it’s a good omen of things to come, but it’s nice to see him confident and efficient. Travis Moen definitely made his presence felt yesterday, with 2 fights and a goal. He was pretty close to the famed Gordie Howe hat trick… Moen was true to his reputation yesterday: he played hard, and did not hesitate to defend himself or his teammates.
And then, two of my favorite habs, Metro and Gorges, each got a goal and an assist. WOOOOO! Those two probably won’t get many accolades this season, because they’re not flashy. But it’s nice to see them on the scoresheet and under the spotlights for once. Metropolit is almost never talked about in the media covering the habs, but I think he’s an important part of the team. He’s a good penalty killer, and I’m sure he’s a respected presence in the dressing room. And Gorges… Well I’ve already said many times that he’s probably my favorite hab (especially now that Koivu is gone). So it’s really nice to see that he collects honors this morning: he was named first star of the game on nhl.com, and first star of the night overall (all games included) on Puck Daddy. Well done Josh!
Habs scoring leader this morning: Gorges.
- Team toughness. From what I saw, I don’t think the habs were really outmuscled. They did not refuse to fight when they were challenged, and they certainly did not look ridiculous. Much had been said about the habs lack of size, and the risk to see them crushed by the big and tough Leafs. I don’t think it was that obvious yesterday. Of course, it was just one game, so it’s too early to completely dissmiss the thought that the habs are too small. But it’s a good sign.
- Komi had a bad night. 15 minutes in the penalty box, and half the habs goals scored on PPs caused by him. This pleases me, and probably 99% of habs fans. But to get over with this, I’m going to say that frankly I find it a little ridiculous when some habs fans now call him a defensive liability, and pretend that the Leafs got screwed when he signed with them. Honestly, when he plays like he did 2 years ago, he’s a hell of a defenseman. I’m pissed at him for picking the leafs too, but I’m not blind: he did not suddenly turn into a bad defenseman the moment he signed in Toronto. He’s going to get booed like hell when he’s back at the bell centre, and that’s fine, but let’s not pretend he’s an awful player now, because this is just ridiculous.
- Gionta scored. The Ookies (from Interchangeable Parts) who watched him every night since he began his career, think he’s much more likely to score 20 goals this season than 48. But there’s a tiny hope in my heart that he will benefit from playing for a different team, and score around 30 goals a year. The Ookies are crushing those silly notions every time I bring this up in the comments of their blog, but still, I hope. Come on Gio!
- and finally, the best thing: the offseason is over! For real! :P I was completely giddy last night when the game was about to start. It felt great!
Now back on the bus. Next stop, Buffalo!