Like every hab fan with a blog today, I feel like I need to post something because it’s a special day. The Ducks are in town, and with them, many familiar faces are making their return to Montreal.
First, I want to mention the two that will likely be forgotten tonight: Chips and Paul Mara.
Paul Mara is kind of easy to forget. He was injured most of last season, and he didn’t get to show us his wonderful facial hair during the playoffs. But I wanted him to have success here, so I’m happy he’s playing more in Anaheim this season.
Chips. Oh Chips. I really liked you. I was really sad to see you go. But let’s be honest, that trade was probably better for you…
Now the two others.
Lapierre. Well honestly, I don’t really miss you at all. You were kind of good, sometimes downright hilarious with your crazy faces. But I can’t forget the bad penalties and the embarrassing moments either. I was never a huge fan of yours. I hope you’re doing well now, but honestly, I don’t really care.
And that leaves us with the real important one.
Le (vrai) Numéro 11.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
There’s no need to say much here, everyone else will probably say much better than I ever could what this guy meant to Montreal. I’m not a Montrealer, but even for me he meant a lot, and yeah, I still miss him. Fans in the bell centre tonight better give him a freaking awesome ovation.
You’ll always look better in bleu-blanc-rouge, Saku.
Pierre Gauthier: “Monsieur Gorges needs knee surgery, he will be out for the season.”
And finally, on a different note, I haven’t had time to say it here, but I wish you all a fabulous year, with lots of fun (which might not be hockey related), success and happiness (which will probably not be hockey related…)!
I hope he brought his helicopter with him.
This is a screencap from a video I saw on the Bulldogs website (it’s the one called “My favourite thing with Max Pacioretty and Aaron Palushaj”). I found it pretty amusing. Especially the part where Palushaj screams “AAAH! AAAH! SANTA! WHERE’S SANTA?!” when he first sees the toys. What an actor.
Anyway, I hope for Pacioretty that his stay in Montreal will be better than the last one. I’ve got to say I’m a bit disappointed for David Desharnais at the same time. He can’t seem to get his chance… Called up for one day in Toronto, watched the game from the ACC press box, and returned to Hamilton the next day, just to see Max get called up. That has to suck. I realize the Habs probably don’t want to play with 3 smallish C’s (Pleky, Gomer and Desharnais), but I thought they might want to give him a chance while Gomez is out. It would have been a nice scenario for him… :/
And yes I’m a bit upset for the Bulldogs, but well that’s the way it is…
Jaro Spacek will play his 800th game tomorrow, and here at The Soft European, we think that this is an accomplishment worth celebrating. Especially because Spacek is one of our very favorite habs. So let’s pop some champagne corks! Congrats Jaro!
Jaro tells a good one.
Oh Jaro, please don’t ever change!
– Wow, Jacques, your team is doing pretty good… Your guys are doing a great defensive job, Price is doing fine, Kostitsyn finally looks like a good 1st round pick, Pleks deserves every dollar of his new contract, and Eller is starting to make it look like this Halak trade was not that bad at all. It seems like the Habs could have a great year…
“I know, right? You know I really think we’re définitivement doing a great jo…”
– Uh wait Jacques, what’s that? Your new Captain and his linemate, the highest paid guy on the team combined for 5 points in 9 games? Uhhh…. Hum, wait a second… what? 30th PP in the league, with 6,2%?? Hmmm alriiight. Oh… *checks schedule* hum, so you played the Sens twice, the Isles, the Coyotes, the Leafs, the Sabres and the Devils… Well… hum, ok.
That 6-2-1 record sure looks a bit less impressive right now…
“I hate you”
I don’t want to sound negative, there’s no reason to be, really, because the habs are playing well right now. But let’s just not get too carried away. The habs have yet to beat really good teams (they did win in Pittsburgh, but barely, and that was when the Pens still had to figure out the way to the ice from their dressing room in their new building).
So I’m still just a little cautious about the real value of this team. But obviously, there are a lot of positive signs and reasons for hope these days. The PP, probably the most disturbing and dysfunctional aspect of the habs play right now, should get better with the return of Markov. More importantly, it’s great to see that this team seems to have worked on some of its biggest flaws from last season.
Last season, that team was often giving up too many shots against (32,1 per game, 26th in the league), it was crappy at 5 on 5 (0,90 goals for/against ratio, 22nd in the league) and it was not great at providing offensive support for Carey Price, to say the least. This season, the team allows far less shots (26,8 per game, 5th in the league) and scoring chances, and it is doing much better at 5 on 5 so far (1,36 goals for/against ration, tied for 4th in the league). Also, it’s scoring a little more goals per game than last season.
Of course, it’s only 9 games, so it’s probably not very reliable or fair to compare these numbers with stats taken over an 82 games season, but still, those are positive signs.
It’s tough to know what the habs are really worth so far, but it’s enjoyable to see them playing well, having fun, and most importantly, rack up some points early. Given the way the habs clinched the playoffs the last 2 seasons, it’s probably the single most important thing right now: they’re not perfect by any means, but they’re getting points.
This might not last long, so let’s screencap these lovely standings and be obnoxious about it TODAY. (Also, ignore the number of games played. That’s a completely irrelevant information.)