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Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Smiles Are Back

The Canadiens seem to be getting their collective mojos back and are starting to look like the team we all thought we had.

The rhetorical question that everyone in the media is asking is "Who could have thought the week would end on such a high note?" especially after losing their sixth in a row against the Florida Panthers on Monday then with upcoming games against the Flyers and the Bruins? Not me, that's for sure.

Now winners of their last 3 after a solid 4-2 win over Boston last night in Montreal (while not giving their opposition any points either) the Canadiens now have the next few days to recharge, re-motivate and work hard towards keeping this momentum moving forward towards their next game on Friday against the surging Ottawa Senators.

Smiles were aplenty pre-game in the Habs' locker room, notably from power-forward Erik Cole, who over the last few games has performed the way we had hoped he would when signed over the summer.

The Habs are beginning to play like a team that's ready to fight for eachother. The team celebrates its 4-2 win over Boston last night in Montreal.

Sports psychology is a funny thing. Michel Bergeron on RDS was astute early on in his comments about Cole. When he first signed he was all pearly whites.

When he came to the locker room in the preseason, he was happy. After the first few games after not playing on the powerplay and averaging about 11 minutes a game, he was downright dour.

Now that Martin has seen the error of his ways, kissed and made up with big Erik like I asked him to, the powerforward is playing the powerplay, using his speed to create chances, parking himself in front of the net and playing closer to 18 minutes a game.

And the smile is back.

It's amazing what a couple of wins can do. Martin is off of the hot seat; Price is rounding into form; the powerplay and penalty kill seems to be heading in the right direction; and the Canadiens' d-corps is slowly coming into shape, buoyed by the return of Spacek who has become a shotblocking beast with 18 over the last 3 games.

Add the fact that the Canadiens are getting scoring from their entire lineup (all this without any input goal-wise from P.K. Subban) and you have a team that we all thought we were going to have when Cole was signed: 3 scoring lines that can do the job on both sides of the ice.

Lars Eller continues to keep chugging along, finally scoring his first of the season while obtaining a few more quality scoring chances. He's now playing with Kostitsyn, which worked last season as well. Although he was the victim of a giveaway on the Bruins' first goal of the game, Eller looks to be getting better and better.

Now who thinks we got the short end of that trade with the Blues for Jaro Halak?? Jaro is riding the pine in St. Louis and has seemingly lost his job to Brian Elliot. We got their first round pick and he's starting to show why he was a first-rounder. Hey the kid is still young, and he's got a long way to go still, but that's what makes me excited because I like what I see from him right now.

It's only three games but all I can say is that their tough start can only be a good thing now, if anything just to keep the team grounded and focused on what it needs to do to succeed. Now that this edition of the Montreal Canadiens has felt the wrath of the fans and media alike when the team struggles, it should now be very clear that it's not something they want in large doses.

Now what do we do with Scott Gomez when he comes back to the lineup???

Gomez on the fourth line?? Does Martin have the balls???


  1. Habs are playing with more intensity since my trip to TO when the Maple Laffs beat them in overtime. Nothing like a couple of old-time rivals (Flyers/Booins) to light a fire under their collective skates. When Gomez comes back, he's gotta be rip-roaring ready, otherwise he may douse the fire...