Great news from practice yesterday, Max Pacioretty was skating with the team. This comes less than a week after undergoing an emergency appendectomy that was supposed to keep him out for about a month. Pacioretty skating doesn’t mean he’ll be playing this weekend, but we should definitely see him earlier than initially expected. This is the same guy who, after the Chara incident left him with a broken vertebrae and concussion, was ready to play less than 2 months afterwards. Max Pacioretty IS Wolverine.
I know, we’re only two weeks in, but this team looks much better than last season’s. The new management’s motto “No Excuses” appears to really be sticking with the players. It was especially evident in Tuesday night’s loss to the Senators. Down three goals entering the third period, the Canadiens came out firing in the third. Had Craig Anderson not been spectacular, the Canadiens could have made a game of it. Bottom line is that the effort was still there in a situation where it wouldn’t have last season.
Not only does the team appear to be better, but it’s one that’s much more exciting to watch. Last year, the Habs were 16-15-10 and were shutout 5 times at home. That type of home record is unacceptable considering the price that fans pay for tickets, beer, and food. New coach Michel Therrien has made it a priority for the team to be more difficult to play at the Bell Centre, and this new focus has really shown in the team’s first 4 home games.
In other news, Canadiens fans don’t seem to know how to nickname the rookies Galchenyuk and Gallagher. Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard both of them be called “Gally”. Apparently, their teammates have started calling Gallagher “Gally” and Galchenyuk “Chuckie”.
Bravo Bergevin, Bravo
PK Subban’s holdout ended this week when he signed a 2 year / $5.75 million dollar contract. The new contract is one Bergevin can be very proud of. He banked on Subban’s itch to play and was right. I can picture Subban texting his agent right after the Habs won in O.T on Sunday and telling him to just get it done.
Rumours had surfaced last week that Bergevin wouldn’t budge on his offer of 5 million for 2 years. It was the first time since negotiations began last summer that we had heard any figures whatsoever. When I heard the offer I thought Bergevin was absolutely nuts to think Subban would agree to that low of an offer. Kudos to Bergevin, Subban eventually gave in.
The contract is a good one for a few reasons. Firstly, when it expires, Subban will still be a Restricted Free agent. The contract also expires at the same time as Gionta’s, Kaberle’s, and Markov’s, meaning that the team will have a lot of cap space if Subban deserves his big contract.
This is the second great contract that Bergevin has negotiated in his short time at the helm. This summer, he signed Pacioretty to a very cap friendly $27 million 6 year extension. It’s refreshing that the team now has a general manager that is making smart long term decisions, rather than throwing money around in an effort to save their jobs like Bob Gainey and Pierre Gauthier repeatedly did during their tenure.