Call of the Wilde: It's time to stop judging Pacioretty
Published Tuesday, October 18, 2016 10:52PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, October 19, 2016 7:51AM EDT
-Max Pacioretty. He couldn't hope for a better start than the first shift when Pacioretty is in position to snipe one. Next shift, two glorious chances again. Second period, a gorgeous behind-the-back pass to set up Desharnais for the second goal. The criticism in the city that Pacioretty faced over the first two games was obscene. He's a Hab. He's here. He wants to compete. He wants to win. Last year is done. It was horrible for everyone. You can't make one man wear it all season this year when everyone didn't get it done last year. And he's not a fighter. Quit getting upset when a goal scorer out of college where they don't fight at all doesn't fight now. It is particularly smart for Pacioretty to not fight after worrying two years ago that his career might be over after he suffered so badly from a concussion that he lived in the dark for almost a week. So stop the judgment, because he doesn't fight. He's here to score goals and he's damn good at it. He's a great hockey player. Don't drive him out of town.
- Jeff Petry made the sweet pass to Pacioretty on the first goal. He put dominating shifts together. Smart choices to get shots through. He set up Pacioretty again in the first period right after his shift. Third period and it is Petry with a perfect pass for Desharnais to slide home ever so easily. Petry back and healthy is a massive addition from last year where he said that he was ailing many weeks before the actual surgery.
- Lehkonen has some great instincts. Smart little play killing a penalty earning a faceoff as he shot on Fleury from a great distance. He made sure that it was high so Fleury had to catch it then skated in hard to the goalie. Not the biggest thing in the world, I know, but it was just a guy who was thinking the game. That works for coaches.
- Al Montoya is putting together a start in a Habs uniform that is making the GM look very smart. Montoya has been the best player for three games and mostly responsible for the Habs positive start. How does a 962 save percentage, a shutout, and five of a possible six points from the backup sound to you?
- Brendan Gallagher never cheats his effort. We all know this but sometimes it's still so damn impressive and is so noteworthy even if it has been said so many times before. Great work driving to the net on the Radulov marker.
- Paul Byron with about as much speed more than your opponent as you're ever gonna see at this level when he earned a second-period breakaway. Byron with mad wheels as he made three to four strides on two Pens but could not beat Fleury. He should play 3-on-3 overtime more. You can't contend with that speed with that much ice.
- Amazing to see the growth of Nathan Beaulieu this season. He is the player that they hoped he could be when he was drafted in the first round. He seems to be slowing the game down so well. Always believed he could be this good.
- Desharnais with the goal and then a sweet set-up to Markov shortly after, then third period and a second goal for Desharnais. The way Plekanec is finding Radulov, dare I say Desharnais with the Russian and Plekanec moves into a classic third-line centre role. Desharnais does one thing really well: He's got amazing vision. Let him see if he can find Radulov.
- Alex Radulov finally got a sweet pass and scored the most beautiful goal of the year. Galchenyuk and Radulov I believe would have mad chemistry together. They have had two shifts together accidentally and they scored a beauty in the pre-season and then this one.
- Did I mention, Tomas, that the season has started now? Your team has two wins and an overtime loss. Why don't you join them in the cause?
- Fans always say keep the player up because he has nothing to learn in juniors. Keeping Mikhael Sergachev up in Montreal would hurt him because he wouldn't learn fast enough. I think instead he would get rattled. He's not ready. He needs to dominate in juniors. He needs to slow the game down in his head there so confidently that when he comes up here next time his heart won't be racing so much and the game won't be moving so fast. He's going to be amazing but it is an adventure right now. Frankly, it can't help, either, being partnered with Emelin.
- The best ovation for the opening ceremony was reserved for Carey Price who was there in street clothes. Good for Montreal that the second loudest ovation was for Shea Weber. That's excellent, Montreal. Well done. It's not Weber's fault that he is here now in a trade for a popular player. Weber is playing great and being a true professional. Superb to see the fans not deflecting their frustration Subban is gone onto an innocent.