Good, Bad and Ugly - Is Eller pissed about line demotion?
By Mitch Melnick
TSN 690 and MitchMelnick.com
TSN's Pierre LeBrun told us earlier in the day that both the Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers management types appeared "anxious" heading into this tilt. Was Lars Eller pissed about being moved away from Gallagher and Galchenyuk? Dumb penalty. Should have been a major.
Montreal - October 11, 2013 - TSN's Pierre LeBrun told us earlier in the day that both Montreal and Edmonton management types appeared "anxious" heading into this tilt. While the Habs even their record at 2-2 the Oilers drop to 1-3. And Dallas Eakins should concentrate on what's really important. Like trying to fix his hair.
- Alex Galchenyuk. Who's number 1? First ever NHL meeting between Galchenyuk and his Sarnia Sting teammate Nail Yakupov was a mismatch. Galchenyuk is rapidly approaching I-have-to-watch-Habs-tonight-just-to-see-what-he's-going-to-do status. In rarified air atop NHL scoring lead with Ovechkin and some kid named Hertl.
- Brendan Gallagher. Totally in step with Galchenyuk. Anxious to see how he'll do back home in Vancouver.
- P.K. Subban. Michel Therrien came to his senses and played Subban over 25:00. Set up three of his team's four goals. And provided something that's been missing since Alexei Emelin went down - a physical net presence, especially on the PK unit. He aggressively knocked Ryan Smith to the ice, only to watch helplessly as Smith somehow managed to direct the puck into the net for Edmonton's lone goal. If a smaller Erik Karlsson can play 27-28:00 a night shouldn't Subban?
- Brandon Prust. Back to being the Prust of a season ago - a key goal, a fight (responding to challenge from a much bigger opponent) and a blocked shot.
- Michael Bournival - Travis Moen. Important bounce back night for the 4th line. Bournival provides virtually no physical presence but makes up for it with speed and smarts.
- Josh Gorges. Big bounce back night as well.
- Andrei Markov. Looked a lot better playing alongside Subban.
- Max Pacioretty. Looked a lot better playing alongside Lars Eller.
- Daniel Briere. First point as a Hab. Yawn.
- Peter Budaj. Looked sharp, in control.
- Michel Therrien. Give him credit. Shook things up early. Paired Subban & Markov against skilled Edmonton forwards. Inserted Bournival & Nathan Beaulieu (see GBU Take Three). Limited Francis Bouillon's ice time (12:17). Leaned on Subban (was that so difficult?). Increased ice time for his best forward as Lars Eller played over 20:00 (only 3rd time in his career, first time since 2011-12 season). On the other hand, he took Eller away from Gallagher & Galchenyuk. And his line shuffling didn't help everybody.
Tomas Plekanec. Big winner to get the kids as line mates but still didn't have much jump to his game. One of only two Montreal forwards not to register a shot on goal. (You can guess the other.) Won just 39% of his face offs.
- Brian Gionta. Like Plekanec the captain seems to be missing a gear right now.
- Rene Bourque. Took his blanket off to take a penalty 26 seconds into the game. Then he hit the snooze button again.
- David Desharnais. Now what?
- Lars Eller late third period hit on Taylor Hall. Was Eller pissed about being moved away from Gallagher and Galchenyuk? Dumb penalty. Should have been a major.
Mitch Melnick is the host of Melnick in the Afternoon on TSN 690 - Montreal's Sports Authority. Mitch also has his own website at MitchMelnick.com where you can find his blog, music links, upcoming events, neat photos and more. Listen Live to Melnick - weekdays from 3:00 - 7:00 pm. If you have questions or wish to contact Mitch, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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