I came home late, Canadiens Express-ed the game on RDS.
1) Davis Drewiske, Greg Pateryn, Jarred Tinordi, Nathan Beaulieu, Darren Dietz as the five d-men along with regular Yemmy. I wonder if that's a statement.
2) Magnus Nygren is not part of that group. I wonder if that's a message.
3) I want Davis Drewiske if we use a clear #7, and it needs to be a leftie who can play a little on the right. Not Francis Bouillon, Davis Drewiske. Let's see what he can do. Let's get a return on that 5th-round pick we spent on him.
4) Kind of a surprising bush-league hit in the back by Patrick Sharp on Sven Andrighetto. I don't know what it will take for players to learn you don't push someone in the back near the boards. Stupid NHL. Make it a strict liability offence, with escalating penalties for repeat offenders, whether someone is injured or not. You see the numbers, it's a no-fly zone. Dead easy, if the stupid NHL means it.
5) Generally though, Chicago is a clean team, no scrums or nonsense after whistles.
6) Alexei Emelin having a good game, hitting hard and passing the puck well.
7) Both these observations are overtaken by events later on, when he tries to put a choke hold on Jonathan Toews, flips away his stick, and basically starts a free-for-all. Alexei, you can't start sh!t if you can't finish it. We'll accept that you can't fight because of previous facial fractures, but then don't pull cheap stuff like this and back away from a rampaging Brent Seabrook, you provoked him. It's not someone else's job to deal with him.
8) René Bourque flashed a couple of times, on a partial breakaway, got off a few shots, and then created and cashed in a goal. Easy, easy... no one go near him, lest we upset the apple cart. Don't nobody say nothing to him.
9) Same with Lars Eller. He seems to be on the same streak as during the playoffs, and taking Marc Bergevin's comment to heart, that he should play like a powerful player with skill, rather than a skill player with some power. He's taking the puck to the net, and lurking around there constantly, instead of stickhandling around the periphery.
10) At one point, he blocks a shot with his foot during a penalty kill, and limps along for a minute. You kind of wish that he'd let those go in the pre-season, but I guess a player can't de-program himself like that. We saw Brandon Prust among others do that too, sacrifice himself during a meaningless game, but they can't let that stuff go.
11) Marc Denis explains that Carey Price appears fully ready, completely healthy, his knee injury long behind him. Late in the game, he observes that Carey doesn't 'flinch' any more, doesn't drop to his knees needlessly on high shots, as he did when things were not rolling for him.
12) Jiri Sekac continues to impress, he's always fast, always skating, he doesn't shy away from contact, and he seems to want the puck. When he has it, he goes right for the net and shoots, he doesn't noodle with it.
13) Youngsters going in opposite directions: Greg Pateryn getting a chance on the power play, walks the line and tried to feed the puck to his partner, but muffs the pass, which is intercepted and ends up in his net. Meanwhile Michaël Bournival races around the neutral zone in the dying seconds, is first on a loose puck and immediately fires it into the empty net. Greg will probably start the season in Hamilton.
14) TV analyst Eddie Olczyk teasing his former roommate Marc Bergevin when they show a shot of him in the skybox: “I asked him if the batteries came with that suit.”
I was impressed that the Chicago team of play-by-play man Pat Foley and Mr. Olczyk had a good handle on the Canadiens team, they’d just done a brief intro of Jacob de la Rose. It makes sense, they know Marc Bergevin pretty well, they got the info they needed to do a professional job with this game.