Call of the Wilde: No sign of early season dominance as Habs' slide continues
Published Saturday, January 9, 2016 10:01PM EST
Last Updated Sunday, January 10, 2016 12:09AM EST
- Galchenyuk dangled at times. He seemed to have a fast stick and caused some havoc. He has all these skills but oh boy, he had very little support. They have to get this kid some wingers. Some NHL wingers who can play the game now. Carr and Andrighetto could become good NHL regulars one day, but right now, they’re not second line material to complement Galchenyuk.
- Byron, with a burst of speed to create a chance, was respectable for a moment and then in the third, Desharnais, Flynn and Byron put together a nice shift.
- Subban finally got his second goal of the season. His first came during the baseball season so that was good. A big weight was lifted until it got dour again due to a Pateryn error. Subban had a dominating night pulling big minutes. Imagine where the Habs would be without his 26 minutes a night. I shudder to think how this would go if he got injured. During one four minute shift late in the game I even think I may have seen PK actually tired.
- Beaulieu is really coming of age now. He is adding consistently smart decisions to his skating, first pass, and puck winning. And that skating, wow. He is a hell of a defenseman. It would be a giant mistake to trade him.
- Barberio broke up a 2-on-1 beautifully. He made a soft play or two though, as well. He then had one hell of a challenge when Crosby dangled up to him. He did pretty well. Barberio is one of the good surprises of the season.
- Condon found his better self in the last couple weeks. This one isn't on him. In fact he helped keep away the ugly because it could have been seriously ugly if not for him. Condon's glove save on Crosby could be the save of the week. He's learned a lot this year. A lot of technical skill from Waite but even more than that he has learned what pressure is and how to handle it. I am sure there were dark days and sleepless nights and it seems as if he has really come out of them nicely.
- Pateryn on the second Pens goal had some serious errors in judgment. He is in his lane and defending a simple rush, then he goes hit hunting and abandons his post. Quite a bizarre play. Quite a costly play. You can't leave your lane on a line rush. That's pretty basic.
- Markov with PK. I am just not sure about that anymore, ever. Markov is doing so much now at half speed. It is hard to watch. Subban pushes 30 minutes, so how can you possibly think a player pushing 40 can keep up with that, especially a guy with so many knee operations? Jagr is a special, unique talent not to be emulated. Jagr is Jagr. No one else is. Markov has to be second pair. Beaulieu is first pair. Only he can pull 25 minutes with Subban.
- A lot of forwards with absolutely nothing to say about them. That's not a good thing.
- Earlier this year, Ken Hitchcock described the Habs as a bear that just pressures everywhere on the ice. I have zero idea where that Habs team went. When the club was dominating games like the one in Nashville but losing because of poor finish and poorer goaltending, at least you could say that it was going to change for the better. However, now they have stable tending and the finishing is respectable per chance attained, but their play is abysmal. They used to drive the run of play the entire game. They dominated even when they lost. Right now, the coach better do something. If he got all the praise for the system he employed when they were winning, then he needs to take the heat for what is happening now. The club kept this close because of Condon. They should have been blown out. The Pens were superior and they're not exactly tearing through the league this season, but they tore through the Habs.
- My source and I have been in contact on the Drouin coming to the Habs matter. It is status quo. There is nothing to add nor subtract to it at this time. However, from the Habs point of view, when Marc Bergevin looks at the wingers that he has for Galchenyuk, it is not hard to see which way the wind blows.