A couple of words on the hockey elements of last night’s home and season opener for the Montreal Canadiens, and a couple more on something that is definitely not hockey.
As I mentioned in the season preview, Lars Eller is due for a breakout year, and boy did he look like he’s going to have one. The Great Dane had two goals and an assist and finished +2 with six shots on net and looked every bit like a player who was worth trading Jaro Halak for.
The EGG line (The Kid line?) combined for all three Habs goals – a combined six points and 10 shots – and is going to be a force to be reckoned with if they click this quickly.
Awesome, awesome hockey from those three.
The penalty kill also looked sharp killing 6/6 chances, the lone goal allowed on a 5 on 3.
Carey Price is a good goaltender, and if he’s as sharp as he was last night the Habs are going to have a good season. Even after being hung out to dry early on the 5 on 3 Price stood tall for much of the night with a number highlight reel stops.
Yes, he could have put in a better effort on the breakaway goal, but then Andrei Markov could have remembered he’s a top line defenseman too.
Which brings us to the not so good.
Too many penalties. Not enough discipline. I’m sure it won’t be the last time that comes up.
The power play was bad. Really bad. So bad that the other guys scored on it more than we did. Hopefully this isn’t a sign of things to come, but it could be useful for PK Subban to learn how to make a pass off of that cross-ice one-timer setup to help catch goalies off guard.
And now a word on fighting.
As soon as Parros was cleared to play in preseason, everyone in hockey knew that he and Orr were going to fight.
First of all, none of this was Colton Orr’s fault. He didn’t jump Parros, he didn’t sucker punch him or drive his head into the ice.
All Colton Orr did was what he’s paid to do, just like Parros.
It’s their job.
There is absolutely nothing natural about a hockey fight.
It’s two large men wearing skates throwing haymakers with their eyes closed as they clutch at the jersey of their opponent.
When one goes down, so does the other. Every time.
Two big, tired, disoriented men falling, their hands engaged.
What could possibly go wrong?
The thing is, this fight should never have happened.
Jared Tinordi and Carter Ashton had just fought, fulfilling the ridiculous “code” that the mouth-breather analysts are always talking about. It was done.
And while Orr was tangled up with PK Subban, one would like to think (hope) that Subban would have been smart enough not to engage, so it’s not like he needed protection.
The fight served no purpose.
And Neither Orr, nor Parros should have been on the ice, because neither of them should be in the league.
What purpose does either player serve?
From what? Who needs protection when all these guys do is go after and fight each other?
Really? Does the fact Colton Orr might fight George Perros stop Phil Kessel from taking a whack at Price’s pads as the whistle blows?
Just look at their stat lines.
Orr: 2:47 TOI, 1 hit, 20PIM
Parros: 4:17 TOI, 1 hit, 20PIM
How do they contribute to the game?
Even for entertainment purposes, no one can say that the crowd benefited from their presence.
I’ve watched the Habs get blown out at home and crowds were more excited and into the games than they were last night.
You couldn’t just hear the referees last night, you could hear the echo.
Fighting needs to go. It’s pointless.
And it shouldn’t take a man smashing his face on the ice and being carried off in a stretcher to realize that.