In the midst of a five-game losing streak, many fans and analysts in Montreal have already hit the ''panic'' button.
With five straight losses, any fan base should be worried about their team. But in this early stage of the season, proclaiming Max Pacioretty as a bust and casting off Bob Gainey's moves as terrible is stupid, simply put.
Excluding the blowout in Vancouver, the Habs have been involved in four hard-fought games where they generally gave the opposition a run for their money.
In the past two games against Ottawa and Colorado, Jacques Martin's squad was able to limit the other team's scoring chances while increasing their own. For two games in a row, the Canadiens have been beaten by hot goaltenders, namely Craig Anderson and Pascal Leclaire.
What fans should also keep in mind is that in general, this is a brand new team that is still searching for an identity. Also, Jacques Martin has yet to fully establish his system.
While Carey Price hasn't been bad so far, he needs to be better. The young net-minder needs to provide the big saves when his team needs them, especially since the Habs have been involved in very close contests.
With an extra save or two in the past two games, the Canadiens could very well be looking at a record of four wins and three losses, instead of a rather dismal two wins and five losses.
The biggest concern so far, and the most realistic one, is their own play in the defensive zone. The few turnovers in the Habs' back end have led to goals, specifically Kyle Chipchura's cough-up during Saturday's contest, and Andrei Kostitsyn's failed cross-ice pass against Vancouver.
If this aspect can improve, and it figures to with the arrival of Marc-Andre Bergeron, the number in the Habs' win column is sure to increase.
Perhaps, the biggest positive in the young season has been the play of the top line, as well as the play of Tomas Plekanec.
Mike Cammaleri, Scott Gomez, and Brian Gionta have provided a stellar brand of hockey that is a nice change of pace from the inconsistency of Alex Kovalev in past years. Not only has this trio been stellar, but they are dangerous every time they step on the ice.
Many have been impressed by Brian Gionta so far, but Scott Gomez has impressed me the most. I had never really realized how fast he is, or how deftly he could handle the puck through the neutral zone.
Tomas Plekanec is rebounding nicely from an off-year; and is forming some nice chemistry with Andrei Kostitsyn; as is evidenced by his goal against Colorado where Kostitsyn skated to the half-boards from behind the net; and unleashed a lethal cross-ice feed that found Plekanec's tape as he was streaming in to the slot.
While many fans have already hit the "panic" button, there have been too many signs of encouragement to already label this season as a year to forget.
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