Saturday, March 10, 2012

Habs/Canucks preview, Leblanc, Leafs, Crosby, Top NHL players and more

Morning puck addicts!

A quiet night on the Habs front yesterday. That is except for the Habs recalling Louis Leblanc from the Hamilton Bulldogs, again.

This kid is really racking up the Air Miles!

That said, this time things are a little different as Habs center, David Desharnais, is out of the lineup indefinitely with some kind of lower body injury.

With no word yet on the extent of DD's injury, nor the length of his absence from the lineup, this could be a great opportunity for Leblanc. The Habs are going nowhere fast and I believe they should be playing the young players as much as possible.

Will we get to see Leblanc tryout at center? We'll find out as early as tonight when the Habs take on the Canucks in Vancouver.

So with the 10 PM EST start for tonight's game, the real question is, will you be staying up to watch?

Habs News - Habs Press Release: Canadiens recalled Louis Leblanc from the Hamilton Bulldogs

Hockey Inside/Out - Habs visit flat Canucks

RDS - La belle histoire de Max Pacioretty

RDS - Duel CH-Canucks à saveur particulière


ESPN - Canadiens-Canucks Preview

Hockey News




PSH - Where Did All the Goal Scorers Go?

THN - THN's Top 50 NHLers as voted by the players: 15-11

Spector's Hockey - Updates on the Maple Leafs and Flames – March 9, 2012


It seems like Leblanc is likely to end up as a winger.

I would like to see Eller center the first line while DD is out. He is big and still filling out and has loads of raw talent.....could he become that elusive big top 6 center we have been craving?

I've been a fan of Eller since he came over in the Halak trade and I'm sure he's not even close to reaching his potential and so I think it would be a great opportunity for him to play alongside Cole and Pacioretty.

However, I feel Plekanec has shown patience and professionalism throughout his season of misuse and so I wouldn't be opposed to see him get a chance centering the top line.

I would like to see Eller on the top line. He's got the size to step in with those two. We all know what Plek can do, give him some more ice time on the 2nd line. I'd like to see Leblanc get an extended showcase down the stretch. Why not?

I'll be up and out and I know the game will be on a tv at the bar, so I'll be watching, drink in hand. Keep it close and entertaining but lose, no OT.

Operation: Fail for Nail/Mikhail

Go Habs Go!

A little unrelated to the post, but I thought I would share. I was talking to a friend of mine at work yesterday. He's a Leaf fan (I live in Toronto) and he was telling me he's not surprised the Leafs are collapsing, its typical and in his opinion, the team is built to fail. What he said has pissed him off the most this season is not how bad the Leafs are failing now, but how bad Montreal is doing. And here's why:

He said the Habs are better than their record is showing. They are hurting in the goal-scoring department, but have remained competitive with a solid defensive core to build upon. They'll strike gold with a top 3 pick this year, adding a dynamic talent to the roster, plug a few holes in free-agency, figure out the front office situation over the summer and will be right back in the playoffs next season. No decade long rebuild, just a fluke season that catapults them back around. He also agreed that Carey Price is a stud and if the Leafs had him, they'd be a top 4 team in the East. Whether or not I agree with that last part, I do agree with him in regards our team's outlook.

I dug a little deeper into his theory, too. This year, the Habs have 18 losses/OT losses by 1 goal. 1 measly goal. They also have 7 2-goal losses where the 2nd goal was an empty netter. Thats a team thats right in the game until the bitter end, almost all season long. One or two scorers added (and a top 3 pick will be one of them) plus we get Gionta back healthy next season, that is another 25 goals and leadership. Factor in maybe even Markov on the PP and our record switches around. I know the NHL will add an amnesty clause because too many teams are saddled with bad contracts for the owners to shoot down the idea and bye bye Gomez. All of a sudden, we've got some solid cap space to work with again, with prospects on the horizon.

Looking at things like that, it makes it a little easier to accept such a miserable season. Still disappointing, but c'est la vie.

I don't know if you agree with me, but thanks for reading.


Ditto on Eller. GHe's another player the habs have kept on moving everywhere. Never the same linemates, makes a mistake, and he's benched. same treatment as AK and Plec. It's no wonder he has slumps. The only line they've kept together has been successful.


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