The Upper Canadien
A few thoughts regarding the pre-season on a sunny Sunday afternoon. And these are general thoughts, not Habs-centric.
1) Head shots and suspensions: I see that Brad Boyes has been suspended for pre-season games. Folks, this is the equivalent of me not having to go to work this week and getting paid ridiculous money to do so. Here’s an idea: any intent to injury or headshot suspensions during the pre-season that results in a suspension must result in a regular season suspension, not a pre-season or combination pre-season/regular season suspension. Wouldn’t that deter much more than being told you get a few days off?
A few quick hits after two pre-season games:
- Nathan Beaulieu is the real deal. This guy is fast, crafty, and he did not look out of place against a roster made up largely of NHL players. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still a long shot to stick, and it’s only one game, but I think the Habs got a diamond in the rough with their 2011 first round pick.
- Jeff Woywitka was a good signing. He provides steady depth with some offensive upside. Looked good in his first game as a Hab. Should be a solid number 7.
- Peter Budaj is better than Alex Auld. I like his positioning, his steadiness, and I think he’ll be a more solid bet in 15-20 games spelling Price over the year.
Sure, it’s pre-season, and sure, it means absolutely nothing.
But it’s still fun, isn’t it?
Canadiens training camp is underway and lots of questions - perhaps more than expected - greet Montreal as they gear up for the 2011-2012 season. Will Andrei Markov’s knee stand the grind of an 82 game season? Will it hold up to 10 games? Can Carey Price build on his best season to date? Will PK Subban continue to develop into one of the game’s premiere defencemen? Is Scott Gomez really a 40 point centreman, or will he return to his pre-Montreal scoring levels and post a 60 or 70 point campaign?
We’ll know the answers to these questions as the season progresses, but some may be answered sooner. Serious concern is building around Mr. Markov’s knee, after fluid was removed due to a workout-related setback, as discussed last week. Scott Gomez has done many an interview already, saying the right things after, apparently, doing the right things in the off-season. But words only tell part of the story - will he live up to his contract and deliver offensively the way Montreal fans have expected him to since his first game as a Hab?
A tweet this afternoon from Tony Marinaro of the Team 990 has Montreal Canadiens fans concerned over the state of Andrei Markov’s knee. Marinaro’s sources report that Markov suffered a setback weeks ago due to overtraining, and had his knee drained by doctors in the United States.
Should Habs fans be worried?
In the summer of grief, some welcome good news for hockey fans everywhere, and particularly Habs fans, as today’s Gazette reports that Michael Farber’s cancer is in remission. Farber, a longtime Montreal of Gazette, Sports Illustrated, and The Reports fame, has been fighting the disease since the spring.
Michael Farber represents, to me, the best of sports journalism. If he isn’t the best hockey writer out there, I don’t know who is…maybe Red Fisher? Also one of the greats, Fisher is the author of the great news, linked below from the Montreal Gazette’s website:
A fitting place to note once again my quest to raise $2,000 for cancer research in October when I do Run for the Cure. I’ve already had a couple of donations from Korner readers, along with wonderful emails of support. Any and all contributions are welcome. It’s a great cause, and one close to my heart as my mother recently battled breast cancer and beat it.
As the film festival rages in Toronto, a little bit of controversy yesterday, as stars Keira Knightley and Viggo Mortensen sported Canadiens sweaters before their movie premiere.
Ok, it wasn’t so much as controversy as a little bit of fun. The names on the sweaters? Lafleur and…
With one week to go until rookie camp, hockey really is in the air. Cool and crisp here today. I am starting to get fairly excited. Have to pick up McKeen’s this week.
On that note, a few fantasy hockey thoughts that pertain to the Habs:
PK Subban - Anchoring a power play that has a big, proven body up front, I suspect Subby Doo will top 50 points. Call me crazy, but I think he’s going to break out in a big way.
Max Pacioretty - People forget that he led the Canadiens in scoring after the all-star game before his injury. 20 goals and 50 points aren’t out of the question.
According to QMI and various other sources.
How many enforcers have to die before the NHL recognizes that post concussion syndrome is a serious, serious issue?
Rest in peace Wade. You were one of the good guys.
Hurricane on the East Coast, state funeral in Canada. Best wishes to all those hunkered down in Irene’s path, as well as those mourning the loss of Jack Layton.
As for Les Glorieux, it’s August 27th. Six weeks to hockey that means something. My musing for a Saturday morning: the Habs could use one more forward. A second or third line guy, preferably someone who can chip in 15-20 goals, play a little bit of power play, and is responsible defensively. A few names spring to mind off the list of remaining unrestricted free agents. They are, in no particular order:
About The Upper Canadien
The Upper Canadien is your one stop shop for all things Montreal Canadiens. Since the summer of 2010, I've been providing Habs related news, notes, and most importantly, opinions. As a blogger, I don't believe it's my job to report the news, it's my privilege to comment on it. You may disagree with what I suggest. In fact, you most likely will. But that's the great part about blogging: it spurs opinion, comment and engages all involved. I've really enjoyed all the debate and commentary from readers thus far and I encourage everyone to respond with ideas on lineups, trades, logos, sweaters, mascots, whatever. The Upper Canadien is a conversation for all hockey fanatics.
I've come to Kukla's Korner with four years of campus radio and three years of sportswriting from my time at Mount Allison University on Canada's East coast. Not only do I not have any professional journalistic training, after five years in the corporate world, I've spent much of the past two years completing an MBA. Business by day, hockey by night, I'm a Canadiens fan through and through. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I do writing.
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