The Montreal Canadiens will open their home season at the Bell Centre after playing their first five games of the 2009-2010 season on the road.
The early-season road trip brought many discussion topics to the couch managers. Hell, the press still cares and debates about what will happen to Sergei Kostitsyn! The guy's in the AHL ... time to move on!
So, despite losing defensemen Andrei Markov and Ryan O'Byrne to injury, losing 7-1 to the Vancouver Canucks, despite losing their last three games of this road trip, and—finally—despite being ranked the 29th penalty-killing unit of the NHL, the Canadiens managed to win two of those five games for four points in the standings. That's a tie for seventh place in the Eastern Conference before tonight's games.
The regular season and the finger-pointing season has now started. Especially the second one.
After five games, the candidates for the ''I have so many fingers pointed at me right now!'' award: Carey Price for his Vancouver game, Andrei Kostitsyn because it's ''in'' to blame him, Hal Gill for his -3 and 11 PIM, and Maxim Lapierre and Max Pacioretty for their absence.
I know I have not mentioned a couple others—pick your own winners and go ahead, blame them.
For me and a few others, I see the glass half-full. I did not expect a good start, and I believe the team will suffer a lot until the new year.
The team has four points, which were won by none other than Carey Price and the new players on the roster. In two of five games, Price played well enough to steal the win while the Gionta-Gomez-Cammalleri trio gave a couple of options to head coach Jacques Martin. We still are waiting for Cammalleri's first goal of the season, but his presence is positive on the ice. I still think he will have a good season and score his 30 goals.
Winning a game is big for the Canadiens right now, and will be for a couple of months. Each win will reduce the amount of points the team will have to recover in the final rat race towards the playoffs.
And right now, the Canadiens will host the next six games. Will you cheer or will you boo?
You will be the sixth player on the ice for the next six games. Think before booing.