Two Wins, One Overtime Loss, Five Out Of A Possible Six Points, Not Too Shabby
The Habs find themselves in first place atop the Eastern Conference, with their best start in twenty years, after taking five out of a possible six points this week. Monday, a 3 – 0 win over Carolina; Tuesday, 3 – 1 over the Rangers and Thursday night, a 4 – 3 overtime loss to the Islanders, a game which was the Canadiens for the taking and would have been their sixth win in a row. After being up two goals, twice in the game, the Habs took their foot off the gas and gave the Islanders way too much room. The Habs luckily ended up salvaging a single point with the overtime loss. They are now 11 – 4 -2, their best since their 12 – 3 – 2 start back in 1992-93.
A Good Week
A lot of good things happened this week, starting with the re-emergence of the Habs top line of David Desharnais, Max Pacioretty and Erik Cole. Pacioretty scored a goal every game during the stretch, including an old-timey J.C. Tremblay flip-shot-crazy-bounce goal against the Hurricanes Cam Ward. Peter Budaj got his first shutout of the season. Alex Galchenyuk showed his elite playmaking ability and his exceptionally quick wrist shot. P.K. Subban is back to mid-season form. Brandon Prust sticking up for his teammates, taking on Islanders giant, the 6’ 8” Joe Finley. Prust, giving up six inches and fifty pounds. Prust didn’t die and didn’t go down. The defense pairing of Josh Gorges and Raphael Diaz is quickly becoming one of the NHL’s best, Diaz moving the puck and Gorges minding the house. Tomas Plekanec playing like Tomas Plekanec and winning two-thirds of his faceoffs. Carey Price is back to his laid-back, nonchalant style; totally focused and in the zone. In fact, there’s not much bad going on with the Habs right now, other than maybe tightening up on their penalty killing.
The last time the Habs had a start like this, they won the Stanley Cup, just sayin’.
Brendan Gallagher has been cleared for practice after being out the last three games with a concussion. Hopefully Gallagher will be back in the Canadiens lineup as they face the Rangers again Saturday night at the Bell Centre.