Thursday, 14 March 2013

Ruminations on P.K. Subban, Lars Eller, Canadiens' depth

1)  So Marc Bergevin made a mistake by not signing P.K. Subban to a long-term contract at a relative discount this summer, when he had the chance?  You say he'll cost us even more on the next contract?  Bring it on I say.

I'd rather we pay full-value in another year or so for a multi-talented, well-coached, mature and focused defenceman who's making a strong case for inclusion on the Team Canada squad for the 2014 Olympics, rather than gambling on the flawed, beautiful, complicated youngster who  tormented and titillated us last season.  We're better served buying a blue-chip stock rather than speculating on a flyer.  Keep up the good work P.K., and kudos to the coaching staff and veterans on the team for helping him realize his immense potential.

2)  Lars Eller seems transformed.  Instead of the timid player who seemed confused so often the previous two seasons, he is now playing like he wants the puck, he fights for it, and when he has it he increasingly knows what to do with it.  It's awesome, like getting a free agent for free.  Our spare part who filled a spot in the lineup is now a frequent, significant contributor to our many wins.

I was never awed by him or a big fan, I thought Pierre Gauthier had received meager returns for our hero goaltender, and am now pleasantly surprised.  I had him pegged as a Dave Maley or Craig Laughlin type of player, necessary on a team, but not spectacular.  I now see the upside that so many on here swore was there all along.  Let's hope he continues on this trajectory, and becomes a Bobby Smith type instead.

3)  Who needs to be traded when René Bourque and Brandon Prust and Raphaël Diaz come back from injury?  Let's relax about that.  So far, we've been incredibly lucky with injuries, but it's asking too much that once those guys come back we'll sail through the rest of the season unscathed.  With the imbecilic short-sightedness of the Hockey Operations department of the NHL, the 'finish your check' mentality that reigns, and the fact that you need a cavity search to locate a ref's whistle in the playoffs, guys will get dinged and bruised and have to miss games.  Probably, one or two will be felled by something more serious.  So a full roster is a pipe dream.  Let's enjoy the depth we have now, the options and permutations that are available, as opposed to last year when we could barely cobble two NHL-worthy lines together.

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