Wilde Horses

- It wasn't the easiest night for Galchenyuk and Radulov. The Hurricanes came into the game riding a five-game winning streak, stifling everyone and they showed why. Still though, among the forwards who were able to generate anything, it was those two who provided. Still not enough minutes by comparison to other forwards and the staff has to find some way to get the two out more when they need to generate offence. Not always, but when you need a goal, it is pretty clear which two guys you need to lean on.

- Andrew Shaw had good jump. He worked his butt off. He scored the first goal. Shaw does a lot of little things well. I like his game. He didn't come here to get 30. He came here to do what he has been doing. Shaw at the end of the game was a beast: smart decisions, hockey awareness. A huge clear with massive pressure. Coaches love that game from Shaw.

- Same positive feeling for Torrey Mitchell. One shift Mitchell had to make about four difficult decisions defensively and handled each moment perfectly. Smart, smart player. The Habs have an abundance of complete two way players. Probably one of the reasons they win so much.

- Charles Hudon has four assists in six NHL games averaging 10 minutes. His points per 60, admittedly with a very small sample size, is four. If you're not aware of the stat, it smooths out ice time to reflect what a player is doing with the usage he actually gets, and Hudon's points per 60 minutes played is top notch. Galchenyuk is top five in the league and Radulov is close behind him. They are around 3.8.

- Pacioretty scored. He created it out of nothing after a missed shot by working hard and being close to the net. It's been a tough go for Pacioretty but that was a hard working play and they weren't going to come easy against Carolina. Pacioretty earned his moment and tonight he deserves your bouquet. The late goal post ripper was also a great moment. This is what goal scorers do. You don't like them sometimes because they do the hardest thing in hockey these days - they try to score goals - and sometimes you think bad things. Sometimes though he scores the winner. Thankless job really. Pacioretty takes it on and he out of nothing, did it.

- Quietly excellent was Shea Weber. Most minutes on the ice as per usual. This was a taxing game. The Canes put all kinds of pressure on. Weber was the go-to guy all game long including at the end when his awareness was outstanding in support of Price.

Wilde Goats

- Bring on Zach Redmond. He's healthy. It's time. Everyone in the 6D role so far isn't as good as the camp he had. They have no confidence in who they have tried there. That's another story for another day because it is a shame that Pateryn feels he has such a short leash. Barberio will also feel a short leash after the late penalty.

- It's become quite apparent that the offensive skills that Plekanec used to bring to the rink are no longer there. He is stuck at one goal and I don't get the sense he will finish the season with more than eight at best. He's on pace for four. Plekanec is still useful as a third-line centre because he still handles the Kopitars and Seguins of the hockey world well, but that is his new role for the rest of his career. I feel comfortable to say it--the offence isn't coming back. He drew an assist on the Pacioretty goal but that doesn't change my thoughts overall.

- The Plekanec difficulty is putting the spotlight on Desharnais because he is the second power play centre... but what would you have Therrien do? He has no one to use. Desharnais is not the man for the job but he's the only option as Plekanec struggles. Desharnais didn't get a point as the first power play unit centre for 34 games straight last year. That Therrien has to go back to him is all you need to know about what Bergevin has to do to help the Habs get a cup. They need a second line offensive centre. For more on that, see the Wilde Cards.

Wilde Cards

The Edmonton Oilers are vastly improved but they're still too strong at centre compared to defence. They have improved. Kris Russell and Adam Larsson are better than they have had. However they can go farther and finally make the playoffs by adding to it.

The Habs on the other hand are not going far unless they add an offensive second line centre. Don't worry about what are they going to do with Desharnais and Plekanec. That comes after.

Ryan Nugent Hopkins is an outstanding hockey player. Don't let his numbers fool you. In Edmonton, he gets defensive zone starts, the toughest line match ups, little power play time, and reduced ice time as he is third in the pecking order behind McDavid and Draisaitl. RNH is a perfect fit for the Habs. They should go get this outstanding player.

What defence heads the other way? You worry about that. There are a lot of options. Those many options here in Montreal and in juniors that would improve the Oilers today and tomorrow. It's a natural fit.

Do you want to win or do you always want to be quite not there overall? The need at 2C is obvious and in October it was not. Meet the need.