I've stated recently that Jaroslav Spacek is not physically strong enough to play NHL hockey. This may not be a proper indicator of this, but Evander Kane's bodycheck on him really seemed to hurt him. Maybe any of the Canadiens players would have felt it, workout warrior or not, but he is soft and the word is probably out that he's an easy target for forecheckers.
Let's play the kids on defence. It's not like there are many other solutions, Rod Langway's not waiting for a callup in Halifax. They're not going to learn on the bench, so let's see what they have and enjoy the energy and mobility they can bring. I'm happier with Yannick Weber, Alexei Yemelin and Raphaël Diaz on the blue line than I am with last year's crew of Roman Hamrlik, Jaro Spacek, Brent Sopel and Paul Mara. We might even lose a couple of games with the youths that we would have won if we still had the veterans, but I'm happy to take a small step back for the future.
PK Subban has to decide if he's a skating offensive defenceman, or if he's a tough all-round defenceman who's got a nasty streak and can mix it up. If it's the latter, when he starts trading cross-checks with an opponent, he can't pull off halfway through because he got popped in the mouth. He can't slash or mouth off another player, then skate away and look over his shoulder to see if Hal Gill is coming in to save his butt. He could very well play a Nick Lidstrom role, with a physical but gentlemanly side and avoid penalties, and avoid getting his teammates into shizzle. However, if he decides he's a hard-nosed all-round defenceman like Chris Chelios, then he has to put up a couple times and finish what he starts. If he wants to be a pitbull, he needs to be the first one on Mark Stuart when he runs Brian Gionta, and be on him hard. And he can keep battling with opponents for the puck, but he must not stop halfway through and throw up his arms in a show of innocence, letting go of his stick and looking at the referee.
It was good to see our snipers bury some chances, the preseason had us a little antsy. Our forwards have got some wicked shooters among them, let's pull the trigger Let's also hope that Mike Cammalleri isn't out for too long, that guy works too hard to have that amount of bad luck.
It's certainly not a run-of-the-mill start to the season. All these injuries are going to challenge our lineup, and possibly cut into Mr. Gauthier's salary cap cushion.