The Canadiens had a lackluster start to their season, dropping the season opener to their bitter rivals the Toronto Maple Leafs. Although they dampened the Jets second first game ever in Winnipeg by pulling out a “W” (win) they went on to lose 6 straight. That record however was very deceiving. The Canadiens were not necessarily playing bad they just needed to work out some kinks. Their Special Teams was a big problem; cue in the controversial firing of assistant coach Perry Pern. Since the Pern firing the Canadiens are 19.6 % on PP and 96.2 % on PK killing 31 straight penalties and have gone 8-3-1. The Habs are alright in a Post-Pern era.
The Canadiens haven’t had the start that they wanted or were projected to have. They do however have a few players that will be game changers this year. Max Pacioretty is a real standout this season although he was something of a question mark coming into it. Pacioretty’s season ended early last year by the infamous Zdeno Chara hit. Being the top scorer on the team and 18th in the league Pacioretty has the second most points on the team behind Plekanec. He is the big bodied physical power forward that the Canadiens were in need of. There are no longer any questions about Pacioretty and his ability; no doubt he will be a major difference maker this season.
If I asked you to guess who on the Canadiens has the second most goals on the team, the only shorthanded goal, is +6 and has the highest shooting percentage; who would you guess? If you guessed anyone but Travis Moen you’d be wrong. Moen has been making a big difference this year. He has surpassed his total goals from last season already. Moen is on his way to beating his career high of 11 goals. Moen isn’t necessarily a fighter but he isn’t afraid to drop the gloves either. A trait that can prove to be useful on this vertically challenged Canadiens team.
Price becomes a restricted free agent “ RFA” at the end of this season. Pekka Rinne’s 7 year 49 million dollar deal with be on the mind of his agent during contract negotiations with Gauthier. The question on the mind of Habs fan and media alike is what is Price’s worth? What is the organization willing to pay to keep the goalie that they made clear is their franchise? Every team has a franchise player and Price is it for the Habs. Price has had a shaky career with the Canadiens, but he seems to have it together and is establishing himself as a top notch NHL goaltender. While the Canadiens rarely offer up big ticket long term contracts; I say expect a Markov-esqe contract coming Prices way. Something in the field of 5.5 to 5.75 Million and for about 3-5 years, could be probable. If the Canadies aren’t willing to give Price what he’s worth, he can easily find it elsewhere. Is Price really worth his price? Most defiantly, this kid is a winner. When it comes down to it Price wins: gold medals, silver medals, Calder cups and one day he will heist the biggest win of them all, Lord Stanley’s Cup.
Growing up in Montreal has taught me a thing or two about hockey fandom. Loving your hockey team is not something to be taken lightly. The Canadiens are a religion here and the Centre Bell is the place of worship. There is no experience quite like a hockey game at the Centre Bell. The Canadiens are the be all and end all in this city. They have streets named after them, people riot when they win in the first round of the playoffs, major political debates are scheduled around their playoff appearances. Although they have not won a Cup since 1993 we have not and will not lose faith.
I have been a hockey fan since I was a little girl; I have been defending my hockey fandom since the start. I am from Montreal, arguably the most hockey obsessed city in the league. This city lives and breathes hockey. You’d think that love would be gender neutral, but it’s not. I have never let it affect my love of the game. I fancy myself something of a hockey addict, my drug of choice: The Canadiens. I can never get enough of them. My addiction has brought me to where I am today; an aspiring Hockey beat writer. I have been observing and obtaining as much knowledge about hockey as I can. I hope to share this with all of you. Stick around for the ride; it’s going to be a great one.