It’s amazing the places the sun will shine…
Congratulations to Montreal’s Georges Laraque for notching his first goal since the ’50s.
It remains to be seen whether he is out for two weeks with back spasms after that body check on the glass once he’d scored. Incidentally, that was easily the biggest hit he’s laid in two seasons. Maybe he ate a steak.
Is anyone else in awe as to how Gui Latendresse became Guy Lafleur when he got to Minnesota? I know they say it’s hard for French-Canadians to play in Montreal but that kid’s results in La Belle Province were NOT pressure-related. He couldn’t even skate. At all. He was the smallest 230-pound man in the world. Now he’s Cam Neely. I’m so confused.
As if I wasn’t already perplexed, Benoit Pouliot comes back in the trade and also catches fire. Pouliot scored again tonight and looks like everything he’s proven not to be since the Wild took him fourth overall in 2005. So far, this is as classic an example of both teams winning a trade as you’ll ever see, though with all due respect to Latendresse, I simply can’t imagine he shares the same upside as Pouliot. So one has to think Montreal took the least risk in this move. Also kind of confusing.
I saw a rumour on Hockey Buzz citing the Habs’ interest in acquiring Gilbert Brule from Edmonton. I don’t necessarily endorse, nor do I denounce the possibility of the acquisition but it would make for an interesting note. The Habs would be left with the fourth, fifth and sixth picks of the ’05 draft in Pouliot, Brule and Carey Price. Unless they actually trade Price to Edmonton in the deal, in which case this blog will be about decorative stitching for the rest of my career.
The same blog included a good-as-done deal between the same clubs, sending Jaroslav Halak (.927 Sv%, 2.46 GAA) to the City of used-to-have-Champions for Andrew Cogliano (4G 6A 45GP though I kid you not he just scored as I was writing this). I’m sure Cogliano has a bright future and this isn’t to insult his ability but that move does nothing good for Montreal. Halak is better than a lot of starters in the NHL and some team is bound to be desperate enough for net-minding they will offer someone who helps the Habs this season and not in four years.
I’m not going to deny I am a Habs fan, seeing as I link to their homepage from this site and the CH has been tattooed on my face since I was a kid – metaphorically speaking – so I worry my opinions of Les Glorieux will seem bias unless they’re negative. However, every once in a while, I simply have to call it how I see it and right now I believe the Habs should be concentrating on this season because they have a better chance than they’ve been given credit for.
After a year of injuries, in which their top-six have yet to all play one game together and their best player had his ankle tendons severed as a season-opening how-do-ya-do, the club has managed to hang around. Now, almost healthy (Andrei Kostitsyn out until after the Olympics), they definitely have to be in the back of other clubs’ minds.
They’re No. 1 on the powerplay, which if they held on would be the third time in four years, and No. 7 on the penalty kill. Both goaltenders are legitimate starters and one can only assume a bidding war has begun for one of them. After the Olympic break, the Habs will have two very formidable scoring lines and they have one of the best – and most underrated – defencemen in the league.
Those are all characteristics of a contender and so the front office should try and act like one before the trade deadline. That all being said, I’m not delirious. I know the Habs are not winning squat this season and several teams are much more talented. The Habs have no fourth line whatsoever, which is why none of them ever play, and that will tire out the top-three. And after Markov, the blueline is not worth discussing because then I’d be reminded Hal Gill is on it.
I just think you have to act like anything can happen once the second season starts because it’s entirely possible for a team with no business being there to make the Finals. I can prove it with recent examples but I don’t want to say them in front of Oilers and Flames fans.