In three games, the Canadian sent out a loud and clear message: it’s going to stir! He will be dangerous and he gives off a great confidence.
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We have already seen great starts in Montreal in 2015 and 2016 under Michel Therrien with fragile teams, but it was almost a sham. Today, the training is solid and it promises.
In 2015, the Habs won their first nine games. In 2016, he was 13-1-1 after the first 15 games, including an eight-game winning streak. Unfortunately, things turned sour in both cases afterward and it was almost inevitable.
Well, there was some bad luck in 2015-16 as Carey Price’s season ended on November 25. The 2016-2017 campaign took a bad turn after Price’s famous glance at Therrien, on December 16, 2016, in a loss against the San Jose Sharks at the Bell Center. On February 14, Therrien was fired.
At the time, everything was on Price’s shoulders and despite his brilliance, we felt that the team was not going to resist, especially in the second half when the game got tougher and the heavyweights prevailed. The puzzle pieces were missing.
Today, all the elements are in place. Claude Julien leads a team that has speed, weight and relief in all positions. Depth will be the key to success in 2021. Despite all their talent, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl would certainly like to be better surrounded in Edmonton.
After three games, it is clear that the Habs have no real weakness, apart from perhaps the absence of a star center player. Julien has all the assets to lead to his liking and play with his combinations, whether on attack, at the back and even in front of the net. We’re going to see Julien at his best.
I was worried about a bumpy start to the season while everyone adjusted, but I’m impressed and the team is progressing game after game.
In the overtime loss to Toronto in the opener, we saw some great things, but the penalties hurt. It was better in Edmonton on Saturday, and even better Monday night in the second win over the Oilers. The Canadian have been the best team in their three games.
I also have the impression that the Habs will be the best team on the ice nine times out of ten this season. That would be new.
As much as the Canadian was surprised to be at the top of the standings in 2015 and 2016, I feel like he believes it is his place today.
It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a power winger like Josh Anderson and even Tyler Toffoli in Montreal. At the back, the young Alexander Romanov is amazing. He is confident in his means and he is not afraid to dare. He has quite a shot and on his goal on Monday, several youngsters would have switched to a veteran rather than shooting. He is already very strong physically.
I also liked the response from Ben Chiarot who threw the gloves in Toronto against tough guy Wayne Simmonds. Canadians will no longer be
Solid Price and Allen
And what about goalkeepers?
After his superb performance in Edmonton, I would have returned with Price on Monday, but it’s good to have given the chance to Jake Allen, who was able to break the ice with the CH. Nothing to do with Keith Kinkaid. He will win his share of matches.
Allen behaved like a first goalie. He was always balanced and in a good position, while Oilers number one Mikko Koskinen was all crooked.
With Price, Allen, improved defense and Claude Julien at the helm, the Canadian will be in the fight for the Jennings Trophy. Even the massive attack works. I am already looking forward to the next game.
-Proposals collected by Gilles Moffet
Sad soap opera
It’s a shame to see what is happening in Columbus with Pierre-Luc Dubois. His trainer, John tortorella, isn’t easy and I don’t always approve of his methods, but he knows how to get the best out of his players. In my opinion, the biggest problem is not Tortorella. You should look at GM Jarmo Kekalainen, who doesn’t seem to want to pay the price to keep the star players in Columbus. I think we wouldn’t be where we are today if Kekalainen had given Dubois a seven or eight year contract, like the Buffalo Sabers did with Jack Eichel. I give credit to Dubois, however, who shows up every night and scored the game-winning goal against Detroit on Monday.
Dubois in Montreal?
In my opinion, Pierre-Luc Dubois will not end the season at Columbus. The sign “for sale” is planted. I would like to see him with the Canadian and Marc Bergevin will make his offer. He has ammunition to trade, but what will the asking price be? I think it will take some time before Dubois changes address. Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen will have offers, but at the same time, if he didn’t give Dubois the concession contract, that doesn’t strengthen his position. Will he ask Bergevin more because Dubois is a Quebecer? To be continued…
Varlamov on fire
My former teammate at the Washington Capitals Semyon Varlamov is all fire all flame. He had two shutouts in a row with the Islanders in his first two games. The Islanders will be in the race for the Jennings Trophy again and it’s coach Barry Trotz signing. Varlamov must have missed Saturday’s game after being shot in the face before the game by a teammate. He couldn’t be happy. I rarely got a shot higher than my leg warmers during warm-up sessions. Today, players are looking to score in these moments. This is not the point of the exercise.