Friday, September 27, 2013

The Proposed Forward Lines

With the foregone conclusions of camp playing out in real time, we have now had a chance to read about line combinations and see them in action. Therrien hasn't changed much, but a couple of additions and action on late season feedback has led to at least three lines that seem set in stone. There are things to like and dislike about each:

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Making Your NHL Club

There was probably a time in the not too distant past where training camp really was a legitimate opportunity for a young prospect to take a run at a roster place. Years of accumulated commitments, collective bargaining agreements and roster regulations have changed that for the young hopefuls. Nowadays, a young player being invited to an NHL camp only needs to take a quick browse of the CapGeek website before lacing the skates to know how the Vegas odds makers are handicapping his chances of success.

After Game 5 of the preseason, in which Therrien iced an almost identical lineup to last year's edition of the Habs, we can reflect on how training camp has gone and why at the end of it we won't see the slowing veterans turfed by energetic youngsters by whom they were significantly outperformed.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The First Cut Is The Deepest:

The Reaction To Leblanc's Demotion

Louis Leblanc was cut from Canadiens camp yesterday. You may have heard.

Tempest in a teapot  is what comes to mind as descriptor for what came from the announcement that a player with a marginal chance at helping the Canadiens on the 4th line after an abysmal season would be given some time in Hamilton before getting another NHL minute. But, putting aside the irrational and oddly broadcasted feelings of his girlfriend (tennis star Aleksandra Wozniak), the reaction to cut across all quarters is much more interesting than the real implications for Leblanc.

To understand why this might be interesting at all, one has to put back some of the context.