Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: Lars Eller
Or maybe a combination of both?
Montreal has looked good thus far against the Rangers. New York is only a point behind Montreal, who sit sixth, so this game is one of those “four pointers” we often hear about. David Desharnais and Benoit Pouliot have looked sharp today, while the Habs patchwork defence valiantly tries to hold off Gaborik and co without James Wisniewski, out with the flu.
We’re three weeks from the trade deadline, and one thing has been abundantly clear in this Habs game: they’re too small.
Lars Eller looked great tonight – he scored a goal! – and the Montreal Canadiens notched a victory over the Calgary Flames, albeit one that should have been easier.
A 4-0 lead dwindled to a 4-2, and then Calgary tied it up in the third period. The collapse followed yet another late second period goal, which begs an important question – what is with all the late period goals the Habs have given up this year?
Here’s a quiz for you: Lars Eller was drafted 13th overall in the 2007 NHL draft. Hyped as the “Danish Peter Forsberg,” Eller has thus far totaled 8 points in his young NHL career of 47 games. Another NHLer, drafted with much less fanfare, was picked nine spots later. This individual, who plays a quietly impressive, complete and gritty game, has 32 points in a 100 games over three seasons.
New Jersey almost always beats Montreal. It’s a pattern going back over a decade. Tonight, the Habs rolled over the Devils, 5-1, after the Devils beat the Habs just weeks ago. The difference? Marty Brodeur two weeks ago, Johan Hedberg/Mike McKenna tonight. A goal ten seconds in, and another just a minute later. Great play by Lars Eller. Extremely strong play by Yannick Weber. All this depsite a press-box seat for the Habs most talented player (arguably) PK Subban.
Oh, and Carey Price? Bang on. Yet again. Almost got a shut-out. The best NHL hockey he’s ever played has been this season.
Or, at the very least, they like playing the LA Kings. The Montreal Canadiens looked determined on Tuesday, putting in an impressive night’s work in a 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings. The Habs were led by a goal and an assist from first star Andrei Kostitsyn, and 24 saves from Carey Price.
A milestone goal late in the second period was Lars Eller’s first as a Hab, 22 games into his tenure as a Montreal Canadien. While Eller has been a disappointment thus far, he has worked hard in his meagre eight or nine minutes of ice time each game. It was nice to see him, finally, rewarded.
Interesting day on the farm in Habsland. Max Pacioretty, in a radio interview with Tony Marinaro of the Team 990, expanded on an RDS article that noted he’d rather stay in the AHL for the season than be called up to Montreal. Many interpret his comments as a slight against Jacques Martin, as he noted that former coach Guy Carbonneau gave him lots of confidence by reassuring him and working with him, yet under Martin every time he made a mistake he ended up on the fourth line.
Pacioretty commented that it is better for his development to play second line in Hamilton, even if he stays for the full year, than it is to play fourth line in Montreal. And you know what? That’s refreshing. Too often guys think they deserve to be in the NHL from the start, but as we know most need seasoning. For the record, Pacioretty and former college roommate Aaron Palushaj are tearing up Hamilton in the early going, with 12 points in ten games and nine points in five games respectively.
The Montreal Canadiens had a productive weekend, taking four points from two divisional rivals in wins over the Buffalo Sabres and Ottawa Senators. On Friday night, Carey Price was the hero, making a number of good saves against a Buffalo team that often seems to have Montreal’s number when playing South of the border. On Saturday, it was the team’s turn to bail Price out from a couple of unfortunate goals, as the Tomas Plekanec line put on a show, recording 15 shots in coming back from a 3-1 deficit. Andrei Kostitsyn, who has looked like a different player sans Sergei, scored the winner with minutes to go.
Where did Lars go?
One negative to come out of the weekend was the play of Lars Eller, who has seen himself go from a potential top line winger to fourth line scrub.
The Canadiens are all set for Thursday’s season opener in Toronto, still carrying a couple of extra players due to injuries and the suspension of Mike Cammalleri. While Ryan White and Ben Maxwell have stayed with the team, defenceman Alex Henry was placed on waivers this afternoon, suggesting that either Roman Hamrlik or Andrei Markov is ready to go against the Leafs. The money is on Hamrlik, as Markov is still rehabbing from his knee injury in the playoffs.
A few notes from Habsland as the Canadiens prepare for the Senators tonight:
- Markov’s return: Big news for Habs fans. According to RDS’ Renaud Lavoie, via Twitter, Andrei Markov will be back in October. This is great news, as Markov’s knee injury could have potentially held him out until November or December. My take? Even if he’s ready in week one, sit him against Toronto. You can’t trust that Grabovski.
- Carey Price says chill: As you’ve likely already heard, Carey Price suggested fans overreacted the other night with their booing and asked them to calm down and relax. And you know what? He’s right. It’s September. It’s the pre-season. It never ceases to amaze me how seriously people take these games. Enjoy watching the hockey, but fear not – Carey Price will be ok and the Habs will be a competitive team.
What’s this, another blogger added to KK? Yes, please help me welcome The Upper Canadien to Kukla’s Korner. He will have his own blog come sometime in September, until then, his posts will appear in the KK Hockey section.
To find out more about The Upper Canadien, click his name in the byline. -Paul
Hi everybody, I’m excited and humbled to be writing here for Kukla’s Korner starting this fall. A longtime hockey fan who has always dabbled in writing, I look forward to providing my thoughts and opinions on the goings-on in today’s NHL. While I plan on contributing a couple of pieces a week, I endeavour to provide up to date commentary when stories are breaking, both league wide and specific to the Montreal Canadiens. While my columns will often focus on the Habs, I will also be providing pieces on the NHL and adding a “News & Notes” section to most of my articles. Without further ado…
With training camp a month off, I felt it would be a good time to discuss the potential of the 2010-2011 Montreal Canadiens. While a trade or signing could still happen, the uninterrupted silence of the past month and a half suggests otherwise (unless you include the deafening roar, I mean slight ripple, generated by the signing of defenceman Alexandre Picard).
From Jeremy Rutherford at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
[T.J.] Oshie, 21, is expected to make the opening-day roster and infuse some offensive skill on a team that finished tied for 27th in the NHL in goals last season with 205.
The Blues also announced Tuesday the signing of forward Lars Eller, the 13th overall pick in last summer’s draft. Eller will be in camp but is likely to begin next season in Peoria or in Sweden.
“This is the whole program here ... this is our future,” Blues President John Davidson said. “We need our veterans really bad next year. But the kids are going to move forward as the season goes along. It’s going to be fascinating.”