The Montreal Canadiens have finally found a way to play that doesn’t include relying heavily on their Vezina goaltender Carey Price. Bergevin’s offseason moves have paid off (so far), Galchenyuk looks great playing center, and the team is dominant (except when they were outshot against the Leafs in the season opener, of course).
The main point of interest going into the 2015 playoffs was the reliance on Carey Price. The Habs were compared to the future Leafs due to a lack of shots for, and a large shots against. The team has turned it around, with shots against the opposing goalie that have risen from 30 in 2014-15, to 34 six games into 2015-16. The Canadiens have been able to score a larger margin of goals each game, a boost from 3.02 to 3.8.
The Canadiens’ dominance was on display Saturday night, outshooting the struggling Red Wings by a margin of 20-4 in just the third period. The Canadiens went on to win the game 4-1, improving their unbeaten streak of 6-0-0 on the season.
The signings of Thomas Fleischmann and Alexander Semin at a total of $1.8M has made Marc Bergevin look brilliant. Semin has been unable to find the back of the net, but has looked good with two assists and a deke Saturday night that could have been in the top goals of the season if it weren’t for Petr Mrazek’s right pad. Thomas Fleischmann has also lived up to the expectations of a third-line winger, posting two goals and one assist playing alongside David Desharnais and Dale Weise.
Six games in and the Habs leadership group is producing at a great rate. Max Pacioretty has six points already, while Tomas Plekanec, David Desharnais, Brendan Gallagher and Alex Galchenyuk each have five points. Subban and Markov are producing offensively as well, each with four points. Finally, the Habs have a good offensive core that can support Carey Price.
It might be early to scream olé, but if they continue their dominance, the Montreal Canadiens could very well be the top team in the league by April. The Habs’ next game is on Tuesday, a true test of how well they can fend off a strong Western Conference team in the St. Louis Blues.
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