All entries by this author

GAME #7 – A Point The Hard Way – Ottawa-4 Canadiens-3 (Overtime) Oct. 20, 2018)

Oct 21st, 2018 | By

The Canadiens played their style game for maybe ten minutes. After that it got away from them and it cost them an overtime point.

Admittedly it could have been worse. And a road point is nothing to sneeze at in today’s NHL. Still, the result could have been better.

GAME #6 Gallagher Comes Through – Canadiens-3 St. Louis-2 (Oct. 18/2018)

Oct 18th, 2018 | By

Never discount Brendan Gallagher who is one of the league’s best whistle-to-whistle competitors. Julien had him on the ice for in the final 30 seconds of regulation time. Gallagher’s forecheck forced Colton Parayko to throw the puck blindly out from the corner. Gallagher hustled to the side of the net in time to chip Tomas Tatar’s intercepted shot over Jake Allen for the game winner with 9.7 seconds left. Goals in three straight games for Gallagher. Tatar now has seven points.

GAME #5 – Plekanec’s Night – Canadiens-7 Detroit-3 (Oct. 15. 2018)

Oct 16th, 2018 | By

What a night. One thousand games. Pro athletes will tell you it’s only a number to consider after a career is over. Plekanec didn’t play like it was “only a number”. He scored a goal. If he still had a shot he might have scored another one.

GAME #4 – Return to Form – Canadiens-4 Pittsburgh-3 (Overtime) Oct. 13, 2018

Oct 14th, 2018 | By

All four lines chipped in, but Danault/Gallagher/Tatar were outstanding.

Age old question; was there anyone thing you could point to that suddenly turned that line from the ineffective trio we saw against LA into tigers against the Penguins. It was clear Danault was on a mission starting with his first shift. Gallagher quickly got on board along with Tatar. Together Gallagher and Tatar produced 12 shots on goal; 6 apiece. Tatar scored two goals and added an assist, Gallagher a goal and assist.

GAME #3 – NO EXECUTION – Los Angeles-3 Canadiens-0 (Oct. 11, 2018)

Oct 12th, 2018 | By

In his postgame news conference Claude Julien said “We were not on top of our game and it showed.”

After that long pre-game ceremony, the Canadiens never got into the game, certainly not in the first five minutes where they found themselves down 2-0 against a veteran team that knows how to protect a lead.

GAME #2 Speed Wins Out Again – Canadiens-5 Pittsburgh-1 (Oct. 6/2018)

Oct 7th, 2018 | By

The Canadiens have always been noted for their speed. This version of the team has made teams that have their own speed look slow.

Team speed accounted for four of the five goals, two of them by the original speedster Paul Byron. But the early success is not only based on speed but quickness. Pittsburgh could find no solution for the way the Canadiens’ puck movement from their own end and through the neutral zone.

GAME #1 – A Satisfying Point – Toronto-3 Canadiens-2 (Overtime) Oct. 3, 2018

Oct 4th, 2018 | By

The Canadiens did everything they had to do to beat the Leafs in Toronto in the season opener but one thing. They didn’t score enough goals. It’s not an unfamiliar problem.

Still, the game showed a vast departure from the disinterested and ill-prepared Canadiens team that started last season with a backbreaking eight losses in it’s first ten games and bottomed out from there.

Ultimately, it became a 3-2 overtime loss because Toronto has the scoring talent to overcome the reality of being outplayed for most of the night.

PRESEASON #7 – A Flat Finish – Ottawa-3 Canadiens-0 (Sept. 29/2018)

Sep 30th, 2018 | By

For the veterans in the lineup what happened against the Senators meant little or nothing. They’re going to be part of the 23 man roster that will be announced on Monday come rain or come shine. But there were six players in Julien’s lineup Saturday night who were fighting for  one or two available jobs.   Not one of them asserted himself enough to break free of the mediocre pack.   

PRESEASON #6 – “Can’t Keep KK Off The Team” – Julien on Kotkaniemi (Sept. 26/2018)

Sep 27th, 2018 | By

This was the game where we going to find out the level of Kotkaniemi’s play. After being protected and hothoused for four games, against the Leafs he was faced top NHL opposition.

Five-on-five Kotaniemi went up against Leafs centre Austin Matthews and he more than held his own. Once again it was his sixth-sense that stood out – his ability to make the right accurate pass at the right time. The nicest goal of the night was a three-way that went from Kotkaniemi to Mete to Gallagher.

PRESEASON #5 – Minor Leaguers In Abundance as Canadiens beat Toronto 5-1 (Sept. 24/2018)

Sep 25th, 2018 | By

Once again Claude Julien was careful about handling the 18 year old Kotkaniemi. For the fourth time he matched Jesperi Kotkaniemi up against American League calibre opposition, in this case Marlie-bound centres Colin Greening and Trevor Moore. Kotkaniemi had another good night which included an assist on Artturi Lehkonen’s first goal and, he was plus-three.  He was named the game’s third star.

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