Saturday, 26 September 2015

Pre-Season Game 4: Canadiens 1, Blackhawks 5

Random thoughts and observations on tonight's pre-season loss, as viewed on RDS' "Canadiens Express", the full game being blacked out.  Thank you Gary Bettman.

1)  Were Jeff Petry and Alexei Emelin really on the ice for all three of the Blackhawk goals in the first period?

2)  Charles Hudon clanged two shots off the post so far.

3)  When Ryan Johnston gets plastered face-first in the glass by Ryan Garbutt, who rushes in to exact revenge but le bouledogue, Gabriel Dumont, who doesn't get out the tape measure or check his opponent's number and prior fight card before engaging.  That kid has got heart, gets short shrift from Habs fans.

4)  Hard to get a sense of Zack Kassian's game.  Pierre Houde mentions that he refused invitations to fight, but then immediately gets a hooking call.  Zack can turn down opportunities to tangle with the gloves off, but must not try to compensate by being extra frisky in other areas and give up cheap minor penalties.

5)  Mark Barberio moves well and looks the part, but he has to be hoping that Marc Bergevin had gone to the bathroom when he tried to thread a pass from his corner cross-crease through two Chicago players, who did intercept it, and were left in front of Carey Price with the puck.  Don Cherry will have an aneurysm, don't ever show him that tape.

6)  Nathan Beaulieu's take-chargeiness increases to fill up the available space left by the absence of P.K. and Andrei.  He's a pleasure to see skating around out there, head high, just flying.  The couple of hiccups we'll beat out of his game.

7)  Still very impressed with Brett Lernout's game, the kid has moves, and moxie.  I kind of wished the Canadiens had drafted Alexis Vanier instead in 2013, but maybe Trevor Timmins has a better handle on the draft prospects than I do, no matter how many scouting reports I glean.

8)  Great crash-bang bodycheck by Devante Smith-Pelly in the Hawks' zone.  Guy Carbonneau was saying that to play physical today in the NHL, you have to have speed.  So far in camp, Devo has shown a little more zip.

9)  When Gabriel Dumont gets run himself by Christopher Desousa, Jeremy Gregoire takes it upon himself to avenge him.  RDS broke away from the fight midway, but did I see Jeremy fighting leftie?

10)  We scoffed at the no-name roster of the 'Hawks when we first saw it, but now I'll admit that kid Garrett Ross for one is pretty good.  And our kids didn't quite rise to the occasion like Chicago's did.

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