Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Your Canadiens for December 28, 2011

That one felt good, didn't it Habs fans? I posted Monday my skepticism about the Canadiens' chances at making the playoffs this season based on the likely record they'd need from here on out in order to make it. But there is no doubt that if they are going to make it, they need to start winning NOW. Let's hope that last night's offensive output was the breaking of a slump for a number of players and not just a fluky flash-in-the-pan. The third period was encouraging as, despite the team being up by 3 goals, Montreal did not let up and continued looking to generate more chances. There was no "sitting on the lead," which typified the Jacques Martin regime, even if the former coach himself claimed he would never instruct his players to do so.

Mike Cammalleri showed nice chemistry with Louis Leblanc, and Lars Eller seemed to work well with Erik Cole, so there is no reason not to give these lines at least a couple of games together to see what might develop. The game wasn't perfect; there is still lots of work to do. But it's a start. Hopefully.

- World Junior Championships update:

Neither Canada nor the U.S. were in action yesterday, meaning no news on the Habs' prospect front. The Americans play Finland at 3:30 PM EST today on TSN, after which Canada faces the Czech Republic at 8:00 PM EST (also on TSN).

Speaking of the Czechs, there is news about Daniel Pribyl. As mentioned yesterday, he was mysteriously left off the Czech Republic's roster, despite a report that he was to be made an assistant captain. As speculated, it was indeed an injury that kept him out, specifically a laceration above the knee. Apparently it was bad enough that it would bleed just from bending the knee, though the Czech coach indicated that the team purposely named only 12 forwards for now to keep a spot open should he recover quickly. If he can't go in the next couple of days, they'll fill it with another player. The Czechs won their tournament opener 7-0 over Denmark last night.

On the subject of Pribyl, check out this Q&A with him which is undated, but evidently was prior to last June's draft, where the Canadiens selected him in the 6th round:

- Despite the World Juniors getting underway, Canadian junior league play resumes. In the QMJHL last night, Olivier Archambault picked up an assist but finished a -2 in a 9-3 Drumondville loss. Archambault, Montreal's 4th round pick in 2011, now has 29 points in 32 games but is an abysmal -14.

Over in the WHL, defenseman Darren Dietz also finished a -2 in a 7-2 Saskatoon loss. Dietz dropped the gloves in both the first and third periods, resulting in 2 fighting majors.

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