Friday, 18 July 2014

Does the Canadiens defence corps stack up against the Bruins and the Lightning?

From a Helene St. James’ article in the Detroit Free Press:
They haven’t improved their scoring capability, and as a group Montreal’s defensemen don’t stack up to Boston’s or Tampa Bay’s.

I understand how an outsider can scan our lineup on a website and write this, but I think the Canadiens have a chance to make her and a lot of skeptics eat their words. P.K. and Andrei are excellent, I’m hoping the Tom Gilbert plays a steady heady game and benefits from a winning culture, and that Alexei returns to form after fully recovering from ACL reconstruction, along with now having the opportunity to play his natural left side, instead of being forced to the right side due to the roster being overloaded with lefties prior to the Josh Gorges trade.  Alexei may even take an extra step forward.

We then have four young defencemen that the out-of-towners don’t know about, but any of who can step up and play a significant role. Jarred Tinordi at 22 should be on the verge of putting things together.

I’m very optimistic that Nathan Beaulieu will have a great rookie season, I found his attitude at the prospect camp refreshing, and put a lot of hope on the fact that he’s putting in the hours in the gym.

Greg Pateryn had a surprisingly good season in the AHL, scored a few goals, and has the maturity at 24 that could allow him to play a role if injuries strike, if he doesn’t win a job outright at camp.

And I know it’s common for us to dismiss Magnus Nygren now, but based on his track record he could have the same effect on our roster that Raphaël Diaz had his first season, stepping in and contributing right away.

I saw Tampa’s defence corps get embarrassed in the playoffs. I know they signed a couple of free agents, but I’ll put my boys against Radko Gudas any day. And at the risk of annoying some, Zdeno Chara is getting on more on his reputation than his performance nowadays.

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