In any professional team sport, the first long road trip of the season is always important. It’s a time when the players can bond, build chemistry and, most importantly, get to know each other… and as a Hab, you just can’t do that at home.
After the Habs’ first win of the season, nos habitants hit the road on Sunday, October 7th. Michel Therrien awarded his players with a day off the next day and had his team go bowling at a local rec-bar in Calgary. Bowling is a great bonding sport; heck, even I love to bond with my boys by smashing some pins and having a few brewskis and just shootin’ the shit. Apparently PK Subban was the big winner of the night.
With boys night out of the way, the team started game one of the trip with a loss to the Flames. However, the Habs did end on a positive note as they dominated the Flames in the 3rd period, which led them to dominate their next three games. Edmonton had no gas in the tank and lost to the Canadiens 4-1 and Luongo gave a gift to the Habs as they won by the same score. Luongo’s gift-wrap own goal blooper was the gamer winner. Guess he has a soft for his hometown. The Habs then finished off their trip by taking down the Winnipeg Jets, 2-0.
The Habs’ first road trip showed the good and the bad and, as we say here in Quebec, I’ll give you le bon (the good) and le pas bon (the bad).
Character: Coming off a loss in Calgary, perhaps PK’s comments on not practicing hard put a spark in the team’s butt as they never looked back.
Carey the cowboy: Price showed that he got his game back; being in his home side of the country probably brought back some of his cowboy roots.
The shuffle: Michel Therrien had a chance to shuffle his line-up and proved to be an effective strategy.
Young guns: The young studs were lighting up the West. P.K. Subban went from having one point to having eight points and becoming the league leader in points for a defenseman. The G E G – Galchenyuk, Eller and Gallagher – showed how valuable they are to the team and the Habs will definitely need them to be successful for this long season.
Le Pas Bon
Glass guy: Max Pacioretty is showing that he is made out of glass. He has already missed a couple of games with a wrist injury and he left the game in Winnipeg with a lower body injury.
Desharnias vs. Briere: The Montreal faithful already want one of these guys to go. The two have similar style but I think Desharnias just doesn’t have the experience and he will be the odd man out very soon.
In the end:
All in all, this was a successful road trip. It started out rough but finished strong. A team isn’t a team without highs and lows. A true team builds character through rough times. In the end, it came from a loss; and that, folks, was how the West was won!
Cover Photo By: The Canadian Press/Darryl Dyck