Kukla's Korner

The Upper Canadien

Thoughts on Habs camp thus far

So the Habs are a week in and have a couple of games under their belt. A few thoughts thus far:

  • Daniel Briere does not look comfortable with David Desharnais. I'm no expert on line combinations, but I'm not sure their line with Max Pacioretty is going to work. Hopefully a little more time and some additional pre-season games will get them clicking.
  • Louis Leblanc deserved better. He was hurt most of last season, and he proved the year before under Jacques Martin that he can play at the NHL level. Leblanc should have gotten more of a look, and I'm disappointed he was sent down so early. 
  • The Canadiens defence isn't fast. Douglas Murray adds depth, but he seems to have the speed of a mid-sized tractor. With injuries to Francis Bouillon and Davis Drewiske, the Habs are only getting thinner on the back end. Perhaps this is an opportunity for Nathan Beaulieu to step in and make a statement. He's got decent wheels and can make the first pass as well as anyone not named Subban or Markov.
  • Alex Galchenyuk and Lars Eller are ready to break out. I could see either or both hitting the 55-60 point mark this year. Should Eller get to 60, all of a sudden it is reasonable to ask the question most considered a foregone conclusion: who won the Jaroslav Halak trade? 
  • The Boston Bruins are very good. But if the Habs play a team game, they can outstake them and they can beat them.

We'll see if there are any surprises to come through the rest of camp. I still believe the Habs could use more depth on the 3rd line, along with more grit and leadership. The answer could be Brenden Morrow, who is still a free agent, but the Canadiens have little to no cap space available. We'll see what GM MB has in store as we rapidly approach October 1st. 

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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