Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Of Gomez, Subban, Price and Martin

It’s Grey Cup Sunday, and this is the one weekend all year that the Habs take the backseat to the Montreal Alouettes.

But I’m not much of a football fan, so I’m still talking hockey.

The Canadiens had a so-so weekend, falling to Atlanta on Friday (Pavelec is a heckuva goaltender) while defeating Ryan Miller’s Sabres 3-1 Saturday, beating one heckuva goaltender.

And who won the game Saturday? Carey Price. While he lost the shutout with a minute to go, he sports a GAA of 1.95, even more impressive when you consider that he has started 22 games - of which he has one 14, more than he won all of last season.

My thoughts? Well, Brian Gionta is going again. Benoit Pouliot continues to work hard on the third line, Mike Cammalleri is playing with fire, and Scott Gomez is MIA. And I don’t mean making an impression like the rapper, Gomez has actually gone missing. He is contributing nothing. I mean nothing. It’s quite astounding, really. His linemates are are scoring. He is playing on the power play. He is skating fast and making plays. But he isn’t finishing a bloody thing. I’m not sure what to say here, as I don’t believe scratching Gomez will do much.

One idea? Well, last year Bob Gainey dealt for Benoit Pouliot in an attempt, to some extent, to get Gomez going. And it worked. Gomez got hot, and he was fairly consistent the rest of the year.

Well, its as good a time as ever. Lars Eller plays hard, as every commentator has noted the past week, yet he has 2 points thus far. That’s not going to do it, and he needs more time to refine his skills. Why not send him down to develop some chemistry with Max Pacioretty, and make a deal to add a top six linemate for Gomez? I still think Bill Guerin or Owen Nolan would help, but there’s got to be someone better that could be had. Such a move might help shake Gomez loose and get the secondary scoring popping.

It’s quite something that to this point, four of the “top six” have not scored much, yet the team is where it is. And that’s due to the system of coach Jacques Martin. Everyone is talking Guy Boucher, or Scott Arniel, as the early choices for coach of the year. Uh, how about Martin? And don’t tell he he has an advantage with Carey Price. People wrote Price off before the start of the year. Surely the pundits can acknowledge that Martin has helped bring Price along. This team has a lot of good pieces, and Martin is making them work. It’s time he got some recognition from the media for the job he’s done thus far.

Otherwise, the Habs continue to tick along. Rumours this weekend that the Habs have started discussions on an extension with Hal Gill. A tad surprising, since one would logically think Josh Gorges is more important, but who knows what is going on behind the scenes. Which brings us to Andrei Markov. He has seen three specialists, all of whom have suggested surgery, yet he is still looking for a way to play. Can the Canadiens rely on him if he comes back? They clearly don’t have a defenceman talented enough to fill the void. Either way, they’re going to have to deal for someone. At least that’s my belief, and in that case it’s just a matter of time before they pull the trigger.

Another Hab I need to mention is PK Subban. He is getting flak everywhere for his “game,” especially from Don Cherry, who harps on him every week. I like Subban, A lot. He plays hard, oozes talent, and he isn’t afraid to stand up for himself. Why all the hate for Subby-Doo? He’s doing exactly what great pests like Esa Tikanen, Claude Lemieux and Darcy Tucker used to do - he gets under his opponents skin. Way under. And he’s good at it. So I, for one, hope PK doesn’t change a bloody thing. He draws an unbelievable number of penalties by frustrating his opponents, and in today’s special-teams driven NHL, that’s an invaluable asset to have.

A technological sidenote

My three year old Mac died today. Luckily, I had the Applecare package, and the good people at Apple are fixing it. For free. Yet another reason I love Apple. So, for a few days I am computerless, and borrowing off the odd loved one or friend. My posts may be a little inconsistent, but they will continue and I will be back to regular posting within a week. Did I mention I love Apple?

Oh, and what the heck. I say 34-26 Als. Go Als Go.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carey+price, jacques+martin, pk+subban, pk+subban, scott+gomez

Comments

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Price’s play has been unbelievable so far this year, but it should not preclude Martin getting the credit he deserves. Instead it should be recognized that the system Martin is getting the team to execute is helping Price by clearing the rebounds and limiting the quality scoring chances he is seeing. Price is succeeding because of Martin and Martin because of Price. Both deserve credit.

Posted by BlackXinu on 11/28/10 at 10:45 PM ET

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Gomez is as untradeable as it gets.  We’re stuck with him.

Posted by Habs fan in Nashville on 11/28/10 at 11:40 PM ET

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Glad to hear of the support for Martin - and Price. Both deserve huge kudos.

And I agree, Gomez isn’t going anywhere. There’s nowhere for him to go. So the next best solution is to surround him with good talent and try to get him going. Otherwise, he’s just a hole on the roster…which he’s been for about 23 games this year.

Posted by The Upper Canadien from Toronto on 11/29/10 at 12:11 AM ET

Oilers Rock's avatar

congrats to montreal on their grey cup win!

Posted by Oilers Rock from Edmonton, Alberta on 11/29/10 at 01:08 AM ET

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People can harp on PK Subban all they want, but every team in the league would love to have someone like him on their blueline. Sure, he’s young, raw, and still has a lot to learn. But considering the team he plays for, and the endless media scrutiny he is under, I think he’s doing just fine.

Congrats to the Als on their Grey Cup win!

Posted by Briney on 11/29/10 at 10:19 AM ET

SYF's avatar

TUC, have you seen this before?  I like it as it adds a good, clean personality to the game and the Habs.

Posted by SYF from Alana Blanchard's Bikinis and Surfboards on 11/29/10 at 06:09 PM ET

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SYF, I hadn’t seen that but it was great, thank you. They should certainly publicize those pieces more. It definitely adds some fun of being a fan when you can get a little behind the scenes.

More proof that Subban is a happy, funny, and fairly humble guy. Time for Don Cherry to give him a break!

Posted by The Upper Canadien from Toronto on 11/29/10 at 08:01 PM ET

SYF's avatar

You’re welcome, TUC.  Particularly on levels that personal between two guys who routinely help each other on the ice.  Developing that rapport between the keeper and his defensemen is sometimes grossly overlooked and underdeveloped.

Posted by SYF from Alana Blanchard's Bikinis and Surfboards on 11/29/10 at 08:04 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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