Habs' preseason journey continues... more defensive changes on the way? Kovalev's Ottawa journey begins...
It's so weird to see Kovalev in a Senators jersey. Have to say that he certainly looks the part, but to see the man that basically represented the Habs these last few years go to the "enemy", well it kind of has to hurt, at least a little bit. I've never really had anything against the Sens, in fact I'd say they've always been one of my favorite teams, after the Habs, but it isn't fun to see one of your favorite players score a goal on your team.
That being said, is anyone else scared of Alex Kovalev on the Sens this year?
As a Habs fan, I know I am. I'm not that worried that the Sens slammed the Habs last night 6-1 . It's just preseason play, and the Habs were icing more Hamilton Bulldogs players than Montreal Canadiens players last night. The regulars are still looking for their flow and some were probably taking it a little easy. No reason to risk injury or give too much away for free before it actually starts to matter. It's not comforting, but it certainly isn't worrisome either. It's a 1-game losing streak, during the preseason, against a team that needed a win badly. Price may have not looked like he was at his best, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. We still have over a week before the real action starts.
But Kovalev... scary. A goal and an assist at Scotiabank Place in his debut, and, behind Mike Fisher, who had a hat trick and a total of 4 points last night, was the best player on the ice out of both teams. This guy knows when he NEEDS to turn it on, and I fully expect him to do so at least 6 more times this year during the regular season, against the Canadiens. He's out to prove something to his former team and its fans, and especially a certain general manager, and he'll certainly be someone to look out for this season, especially considering the firepower he might be playing with in Ottawa. Keep an eye out for him. I'm predicting a top 20 finish in points.
Not much to say about the rest of the game, and frankly, I'd rather forget about it...
Habs and BOOins renew acquaintances in Quebec City
Looking forward to tonight's game against the Bruins. And even though it's just preaseason, and it could very well be as forgettable as Friday's and last night's games, as I keep telling myself and everyone else throughout all of this, always good to see match-ups between the Canadiens and the Bruins. It's one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports, if not THE greatest, and the two teams get acquainted once again, tonight. Here is the line-up for tonight, for the Habs, thanks to Mr. Dave Stubbs of Habs I/O:
Jaroslav Halak and Curtis Sanford will be splitting time between the pipes.
Thoughts on line-up
Gotta say, it's an interesting line-up. Look out for Latendresse next to Plekanec and Gionta. Even though he meshes well with Lapierre, he does deserve a shot at one of the top 2 lines coming into the season, and this is his chance to prove he belongs there.
Even though I consider Latendresse, Lapierre, and who ever they might decide to put with those two (D'Agostini, hopefully), as a 3rd scoring line, Latendresse is the size and physicality that this team lacks in its top 6 forwards. Pacioretty might be big, but there are questions as to whether he can play a full NHL schedule and be consistent. Andrei Kostitsyn is big, but he's not all that physical, even though he uses his weight well, for what he does. Beyond those two and Latendresse, there isn't much size on a list of this team's forwards.
Other than that the line-up is pretty weak. Can't wait until we start seeing a more complete line-up next week.
The game's in Quebec City tonight, so expect an interesting crowd.
More changes on defense coming?
Something else of not from this line-up, something that I think deserves it's own section in this blog, is the lack of Roman Hamrlik from this line-up, or any other Habs preseason line-up prior to tonight's game, for that matter.
According to all the various sources, Hamrlik is out with a flu, but I have to question this absence of the Canadiens' second highest paid defenseman from preseason play. I understand he might actually be sick, and they might actually be protecting both him and the other players from a sickness that has wrecked havoc on NHL teams in the past, but it's a little peculiar, this being the second preseason in a row that Hamrlik has missed just about every game.
To add to the confusion and sensationalism, "anonymous" hockey blogger/"rumor specialist" Eklund recently "reported" that Scott Hannan of the Colorado avalanche may be on his way to the Habs.
No details were added to his post other than those magic words, "more to come", and he could certainly be making it all up based on speculation and a tad bit of logic and a lot of B.S., but when you think about it, it does kind of make sense. Added to the suspicious fact that Hamrlik has missed all of preseason so far, Hannan is basically a younger version of Hamrlik. He may lack a bit of Hammer's scoring touch, but at this stage of his career, Hamrlik has lost most of it. Hannan isn't a 1st overall pick, but he's a first rounder with good size and a few years of youth over Hamrlik, a guy who can certainly at least pitch in offensively.
Plus it takes over a million dollars off the books for Gainey.
If it's Hannan for Hamrlik (plus or minus whatever the teams need to fill out the trade), then I'd be all for this kind of move. The only problem is that Hamrlik would need to waive his no-trade clause to go to a team with no cup chances....
And on a lighter note.....
'Eklund 6:08 p.m Sept 18 - "No Kessel deal with Toronto imminent" Eklund 7:45 p.m Sept 18 - "TSN reporting Kessel to the Leafs" Brilliant'
That's it for now! I'll be back tomorrow with another blog, for now, enjoy our new and very talented leafs bloggers and the forums! Some of the most level-headed hockey fans you'll find anywhere, and we're glad to have both Pat and Ron on board. Thanks for visiting the site and we're looking forward to your continued support and the growth of this hockey comminity.
More to come. :)