Friday, December 7, 2007

Back on Track?

Not yet. The Canadiens always beat the Bruins. That was their fourth time beating them already this year, and seventh in a row going back to last season.

Chris Higgins is producing, that was his third straight game with a goal.

Carey Price did what he needed to do to pick up the win with 24 saves.

The Habs are better on the road then they are at home. Maybe it's the forced camaraderie, or the lack of insane fans recognizing you everywhere you go. It could be that the pressure feels a lot less intense when they're not under the bright lights of the Centre Bell.

I like they way they looked without Michael Ryder and Patrice Brisebois in the lineup. It's a lot more fun to see a guy in that position who's hungry for a spot and playing hard every shift. Granted, it's hard to accurately gauge the Habs against a Bruins team playing its third game in four nights.

Ryan O'Byrne had two assists and a very solid defensive game. He's on pace for about 110 points if he plays the rest of this year's games. Not gonna happen. However, the signs are encouraging. The key thing will be finding consistency and not letting the pressure get to him.
Easier said than done. He seems like a good kid, and there's always room for an Irishman on my blueline.

I wonder when Jaroslav Halak gets his first start of the year. Habs are home to Carolina and Tampa Bay in their next two games, both are high-powered offenses. Halak was lights-out at home last year, not sure of the exact numbers, but he was either 7-0 or 7-1.

If the Habs can pick up three points in the next two games I will agree that they're back on track. For now, let's just hope they can get it going at home and Guy Carbonneau doesn't call any of his star players out for a little while.

The coach has a mean streak that sometimes manifests itself in tirades against his players and the media. The problem is that it may not always have the desired effect. When the fans are booing you at home, I think you'd rather feel like your coach is on your side than calling you out in public. Carbo called out Andrei Markov and said he wasn't injured. He called out Saku Koivu's leadership and he called out the goaltending. If the Habs beat Carolina tomorrow night, I will have to say that it worked. Sometimes a coaches tirade can help a team, and it's not like Carbo's a jerk. He loves the guys, but like the fans, gets very frustrated when they play far worse hockey then they're capable of.


Mark Recchi's gonna be on re-entry waivers in the next few days, meaning the Penguins pay half of his salary if anyone picks him up. If you're Bob Gainey, do you pick him up, presumably to fill the void left by Ryder's demise?

I wouldn't, but Pierre McGuire says it would be a good fit.

With Scott Niedermayer coming back to Anaheim, will Teemu Selanne be far behind? Speaking of Anaheim, what's going to happen with their salary cap situation? My understanding is that they need to free up some space, and if Selanne comes back it could get even more complicated. Mathieu Schneider could be the odd man out.

Could the Habs bring back one of the key components of their 1993 Stanley Cup run?

Probably not, but stay tuned....

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