Kukla's Korner

The Upper Canadien

Habs on a high heading into Wednesday and television deal thoughts

What a difference a week can make. The Canadiens were downtrodden and couldn't score, yet in a week (and a bit) they have scored goals aplenty, as the first line of Pacioretty-Desharnais-Gallagher has caught fire and provided the spark the Habs needed to get going.

Don't get me wrong though, this has been a team effort. Carey Price is playing the most consistent hockey of his Habs career. PK Subban is yet again a Norris contender. Andrei Markov is playing circa 2006/07 Markov. Alex Emelin is hitting people left, right, and centre. Josh Gorges is blocking shots like nobody's business. Tomas Plekanec is playing phenomenal defensive hockey, shadowing the likes of Crosby and Ovechkin with abandon. These are the Habs that hockey fans like to watch - fast, talented, commited. They want to win, and they're proving it.

Wednesday should be an interesting game. It's always questionable how a team on a roll will deal with extensive days off. Having last played Saturday, the Habs could come out flat, or, they could come out blazing, after four days of solid rest. The insertion of Brendan Gallagher to the first line was a needed energy boost last week, and that setup will continue. Gallagher has injected youthfulness, swagger, and energy into what was, up until very recently, a huge disappointment. Max Pacioretty had one of his best games as a Hab Saturday, after a natural hat trick earlier in the week. That's in no small part due to Gallagher's infusion on that line. 

Look for Emelin to continue to play a larger role as he gets more accustomed to game shape after such a long layoff. Brian Gionta has looked full of energy the past couple of games as well. He may break out with a goal or two soon. Price will be looking to continue his solid play, and Michel Therrien will be looking for commitment after a much needed rest.

You can catch tomorrow's game on RDS - but you won't catch any there next year. What does today's broadcast deal news mean for the Canadiens? We'll see how things develop, but on the whole, I think this is a sad day for hockey fans. The NHL has been blinded by dollars and gone with the short-term fix. Less options generally mean the consumer loses, and I suspect that will be the case here.

More than anything, this marks the death knell for Hockey Night in Canada, and whether you love or loathe it, it's a day to mourn. Not many insitutions last as long as HNIC, and they have continuously refreshed and reinvented the program. I shudder to think of what Rogers will do with a brand Canadians know and love, and I fear the quality of hockey broadcasting in Canada is about to suffer a steep drop.

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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.

Questions or comments? theuppercanadien@kuklaskorner.com