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Habs lose to Sens, fall to 1-2 in pre-season

The Canadiens had a good first and it went south from there during Saturday night’s game against Ottawa. However, any worries are likely unnecessary, given that the Senators dressed a fairly NHL heavy lineup, while the Canadiens were a bit lighter on the talent side. Regardless, one would have hoped for a better showing from Carey Price after his game against the Bruins on Wednesday. Against Ottawa, Price again proved off, surrendering six goals on 30 shots. While some of these goals were not his fault (Jaroslav Spacek gets a nod here), and there were clearly defensive errors, Price still needs to stop the puck - you can’t win giving up six goals. But it is the pre-season, and many a team have come up empty in September only to blaze out of the gates in October.

Who’s impressed so far, and who’s a step behind?

Two players who have surprised me so far are Aaron Palushaj and David Desharnais. Palushaj always seems to be involved in the play, moving his feet and using his body, while Desharnais is arguably one of the top four or five most talented forwards on the roster. Yes, his size leaves much to be lacking, and yes he is much more useful in power play situations, but Martin St. Louis has made a career with his speed, eyes and hands, and perhaps Desharnais, given the chance, could do the same. Also of mention is Lars Eller, who looked great on the wing on Friday night, and Tomas Plekanec has turned in two solid performances.

Who has not impressed? Given the lopsided scores in two of the games, I could name many – but I’ll keep it to two. Jaroslav Spacek certainly looked a step behind on Saturday, almost as if something is physically wrong. Probably just cobwebs, which will disappear quickly. People are pouring scorn on Price, and while he has let in ten goals through 100 minutes of hockey, he hasn’t had the best support in front of him. He will improve as the talent on the team takes shape.

Take a deep breath, Habs fans. The team may look rusty, but it’s not even October. Once the final cuts are made, this will be a well coached, defence first hockey team.

Let’s see how Carey Price handles the media over the next few days, and how the fans welcome Price back in his next start. I for one hope he is not greeted with the resounding boos I fear are inevitable.

One more week without a captain?

The Team 990’s Tony Marinaro noted on Twitter that the captain may be named October 1st, before the Canadiens depart to play in Quebec City. We’ll soon know if the Brian Gionta rumours were indeed true.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: aaron+palushaj, carey+price, david+desharnais, jaroslav+spacek

Comments

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I think Gionta would make a decent capatain, but what about Markov? How are the “magic beans” that the Habs got for Halak working out?

Posted by Etterbeekers on 09/26/10 at 01:14 PM ET

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Different sources suggest Markov declined the captaincy last year, or at least told management he wasn’t interested. He’s certainly a leader through performance though, and as we know from last year’s reports of dressing room occurrences Markov clearly speaks his mind to his teammates. He’d be a solid choice - if he wants to do it.

As for Eller and Schultz, both look good. Eller had a good game on Friday playing wing on one of the top lines. i still expect him to end up the third line centre, but if Pouliot has a disappointing camp Eller could end up shotgun to Gomez and Gionta.

Time will tell! Still five or six games to go. While most of the roster spots are set, there is still much jockeying to come for line positions. The next couple of weeks will be fun to watch.

Posted by The Upper Canadien from Toronto on 09/26/10 at 03:21 PM ET

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Markov for captain?  The guy’s practically a mute!

Looking forward to seeing Schultz again tonight.

Posted by Habs fan in Nashville on 09/26/10 at 05:12 PM ET

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I’m also looking forward to seeing Schultz again, and I am buoyed by his performance thus far. I really think he could be a difference maker in the future.

Of note, a few pundits have commented his conditioning is way behind, and focused on the fact that this is odd for the brother of a current NHLer (ie he knows what he needs to do). They theorized in the same segment that it could be laziness or a lack of commitment - hopefully it’s just youthfulness.

I’m also curious to see how the fans welcome Guillaume Latendresse back. Should be an entertaining game.

Posted by The Upper Canadien from Toronto on 09/26/10 at 07:25 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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