by PuckStopsHere on 11/22/14 at 08:07 PM ET
The first place team in the NHL right now is the Montreal Canadiens. They have a sufficient lead that they will still be in first regardless of how today's games come out. They have a 15-6 record with one regulation tie point for 31 points overall. This is a two point lead over second place Anaheim.
This result is surprising given the fact that Montreal has a +7 team +/- rating. That is currently tenth best in the league. Usually goals for and against correlate well with a team's win loss record. They do not in Montreal's case. Essentially Montreal has won their close games and been blown out in their losses. A truly top team should win their blow outs and if they lose, it only occurs in a close game. This suggests that Montreal is lucky to be in first overall and it is only a matter of time before they get caught.
One of Montreal's big strengths is goaltender Carey Price. He is a strong goalie and is posting a solid 2.49 GAA and a .917 saves percentage. These are likely slightly lower numbers than he will post in a full season, but they are not bad.
They have a solid two-punch of solid puckmoving defencemen. PK Subban and Andrei Markov are a good pair. Subban is a former Norris Trophy winner. Sergei Gonchar is a new addition who could be another significant puckmoving defenceman. When stay-at-home defencemen are needed, Alexei Emelin and Tom Gilbert are reliable. This is a good defence and is a strength for the team.
Offensively this is a deep group without a top star. Max Pacioretty leads the team with 18 points. Tomas Plekanec and Alex Galchenyuk are also solid offensive players. David Desharnais, Brendan Gallagher and PA Parenteau are also capable.
Overall Montreal is a good team. I don't think they are a great team. They may finish in the top few teams in the league. They may win their division. I doubt they will hang onto first overall. I think they have been lucky to be first overall right now. I do not think that they have the talent to maintain their current position.
Add a Comment
Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.
Most Recent Blog Posts
About The Puck Stops Here
Who am I? A diehard hockey fan.
Why am I blogging? I want to.
Why are you reading it? ???