Thursday, January 6, 2011
Montreal Canadiens vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
The year is new, and so are my expectations. I kept my expectations low for the first half of the season, and the Habs excelled, well, until December. I have heard many quotes like, “As Carey Price succeeds, so will the Habs” and while this may have some merit, it should not be considered an unchangeable fact. I have been very happy with the work of Pierre Gauthier thus far. In his short tenure as GM, he has; kept the right goalie (Halak Shmalak), dealt with a horrible injury to a star player by stealing James Wisniewski for a song and a prayer, and resigned Tomas Plekanec before he even got a scent of the free agent market.
Now it is time for the boys to become men. If this team is to succeed, there are 2 glaring issues to deal with. The defense is OLD and Mister Inconsistent, AK47, Andrei Kostitsyn, is a bust. I am not afraid to say it. He sucks, he’s not cutting it, he needs to be moved. While he has improved his defensive game this year, leading the team with a +9, his offensive numbers just aren’t where they should be. His forecheck is almost non existent and I’m so tired of watching him carry the puck into the offensive zone only to turn it over immediately, creating an odd man rush the other way.
See ya buddy!
This leaves us with this question. Who, or what, can we get for him? Should we continue to fix this defense, or are we banking on Markov making a healthy return next year? Do we get the big bruising winger that is sooooo necessary for the Plekanec, Cammalleri line? Or do we just ship him out for draft picks and see what we can do from within the organization? (Aaron Pulashaj perhaps?)
Let me know what you think.
- Andrei Markov (Torn ACL-out indefinitely)
- Josh Jorges (Day to Day)
- Alex Picard (healthy scratch)
- Mike Comrie
- Eric Godard
Keys to the Game
As my expectations are running high now, I expect nothing less than domination over what is possibly the league’s best team. Last night the Pens slaughtered the surprisingly good Tampa Bay Lightning (thanks guys) and should be a little tired tonight. Coming off of several days rest, the Habs should be refreshed with that nasty road trip behind them, and ready to prove what they can do.
Speed, speed, speed. While Pittsburgh will play a tough, hard cycling down low, kind of game. The Habs will need to sit back defensively, and be ready to pounce. Speed will beat the Pittsburgh defenders to the outside and open up opportunities in the slot.
Montreal 5 – Pittsburgh 3