Kukla's Korner

The Upper Canadien

One step forward, two steps back

The Canadiens came out flying against Anaheim earlier in the week, playing arguably their best team game since the season began. Then, last night against San Jose, the Habs appeared flat footed and intimidated, as a faster, bigger Sharks team had them for dinner in a 2-0 win.

So which Habs are the real Habs? Well, don't forget that Montreal is currently quite banged up, missing some key players and most of their bigger bodies. Michael Bournival has been the best story thus far, as he shifts between the 2nd and 4th lines, providing solid two-way play and an indication that the future is bright. My money is on Louis Leblanc being called up soon, as the former first round pick appears to have turned a corner in the AHL, with a couple of game winners this week and, by all accounts, his best stretch as a pro. While it has been 4 years since the Habs drafted Leblanc, and many see him as a bust, let's not forget that sometimes players take a while to mature. One that comes to mind is Nazem Kadri on the Maple Leafs, who spent multiple seasons, and played over 100 games, in the AHL. He's turned out quite fine if you ask Toronto fans. Habs fans can only hope the same comes true with Leblanc.

Two decent tests to come this week, with the Rangers on Monday and Dallas on Tuesday. If the Habs want to stay in the playoff race, they need to keep winning. It's tough to make up points as the season goes on, and injuries or not, they need to keep winning to stay in it. Much of this will depend on Carey Price. Let's see if he's up to the task. 

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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