Back to back nights for the Habs at the Bell Centre. Andrew Shaw is still out with a sore neck; this is basically the same symptom as many concussions so it is quite likely he is suffering exactly that. The Habs went with the Danault line still intact with Gallagher and Galchenyuk. So to the Wilde Horses we go….
- – It was good to see Galchenyuk skating. He went hard to pick up the puck in the neutral zone then fed Gallagher who fed Petry for a quality shot. It was good hockey. He had another quality chance in the third on a great feed from Danault.
- – Mike McCarron got put to the wing, which is where I always thought he should be. Let him patrol the boards and hit some people – it allows him to simplify his game with a more limited role defensively. I think playing on the wing plays to his strengths. Second shift and he was F1 – the first in on the forecheck, and he laid out two big hits. Didn’t change that moment, but they’ll remember him next time, especially Brian Strait who got rocked.
- – Eric Gelinas has to stand out significantly to earn a contract. He has not looked amazing. However, the guy has an absolute bomb from the point. He skates well too. They need him to play solid defensively and he does have a chance – play mistake free, and he will earn a contract.
- – Among the defenceman on a night where I didn’t exactly like a whole lot, Jeff Petry stood out. Just a cut above the rest. A real NHLer compared to the guys on the cusp.
- – Brendan Gallagher was his usual buzzsaw self. He had some chances, played annoying – doesn’t matter if it is the pre-season, Gallagher only knows how to be Gallagher.
- – Could Brett Lernout be moving up the depth chart to challenge for the final spot? I didn’t give him a chance but the odds are moving in his favour.
- – Jakub Jerabek is moving up the depth chart as well. Too soon to say he’s got the goods, but I’m now comfortable ruling out that he doesn’t have the goods.
- – It’s not as if he is a true goat, because usually when you’re a goat it is because you messed up. However, Jacob De La Rose just can’t seem to create at this level. He simply does not excite, nor create. Smart as a whip defensively, but that can’t be enough in today’s NHL. There is no third line or shutdown line anymore. There are four lines that play 200 feet, or at least that’s the plan. I can’t see where JDLR fits into the plan this year. He has to though, because if they try to get him through the waiver wire they will lose him. My call: He will be the 13th forward, who may play on those nights there’s a Sidney Crosby type among the opposition.
- – Andreas Martinsen needs to do something soon. He won’t make the team if he doesn’t make an impression soon. Little offence, which was expected but no physicality either. Not a good look.
- – I had Joe Morrow as my number six coming out of camp. Then he played the Devils. That was not what he needed. Second period he had an abysmal shift. Later in camp looks vastly different than early in camp, but I got Mete now as my number six. The Habs have Streit as their number six – I can almost guarantee it. He had 25 minutes and was featured a lot on the power play with Pacioretty and Drouin. Morrow now drops down and needs to be steadier.
- – Remember Zach Redmond last year? Remember how he won a job out of camp? Remember how he was a big surprise? What happened?
- – It would be nice to see David Schlemko soon. Just how bad is that bruise on his hand anyway. He hurt it first day of camp. Hard to know how the pairings really do line up without seeing what he has to bring.
- – Noah Juulsen fractured his foot blocking a shot in Québec City against the Bruins. Juulsen is gone six weeks.
- – There was only one moment that really mattered a lot in this one… when Price got bowled over by Jakub Jerabek by way of Kevin Rooney. That’s not going to fly. Price looked fine. Everybody breathe.
- – Zero and three in the pre-season and it means nothing. The best team in the pre-season last year was Colorado.