Monday, December 17, 2007

Snow Day Developments & Slacking

Montreal was so snowed in from the powder festival that happened over the weekend that kids knew school was cancelled early last night. I can't remember that ever happening to me, except during the ice storm. That was fantastic, we barely lost power at all. I great time with family and friends.

Anyway, I've been a big slacker when it comes to updating my blog. Thanks to some gentle prodding, here I am again. Even though it's my birthday today, I am hard at work.

Went down to the Bell Centre to see the Habs and the coach. Andrei Markov was downright standoffish when I asked him about his recent success compared to the period he went through in which his plus/minus stats plummeted and the Habs couldn't buy a home win. The team's success is intrinsically tied to the Russian blueliners' success. He may be the best passing defenceman in the NHL right now. Shades of Sergei Zubov.

In other news, Carbonneau announced today that Carey Price gets the nod again tomorrow night, his seventh consecutive start. Cristobal Huet is game-ready, but there's no way Carbo's taking out the kid while he rides the streak he's currently on. Huet may have the better goaltending stats, but Price has more wins, the most important stat for goaltenders.

The kids, the kids.

The Canadiens had 10 players in uniform on Saturday night currently aged 25 or younger. Andrei Kostitsyn is 22. Sergei Kostitsyn is 20. Carey Price is 20. The future seems to be hurtling towards the team at a furious rate right now, with callups like Ryan O'Byrne and Maxim Lapierre making solid contributions right after getting the call. The other guys on the list are Mike Komisarek, Chris Higgins, Tomas Plekanec, Guillaume Latendresse and of course Kyle Chipchura. Good to see these guys get plenty of ice time and for the most part, make the most of it.

The Lapierre line shut down the Sundin unit on Saturday night. That's what allowed Saku Koivu's line to play a more offensive role and that they did, as Higgins, Koivu and the Kid had some spectacular shifts and were dominant at times. Nice to see the Captain get the monkey off his back, the Habs are a hell of team when he's rolling on all cylinders and creating space.

No one seems to have called for him to be traded anytime recently, so that must be nice.

Tomorrow night's game is the last one at the Bell Centre in 2007. The Habs will hit the road with stops in Atlanta, Tampa, Washington, Miami, Dallas and New York, coming back for January 3rd. If their road success continues, it could be a very merry Christmas in Montreal.

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