The Habs kicked off the month of December this week. Jacques Martin's squad was looking to keep its tight grip on the Northeast Division's No. 1 spot.
Amidst some controversy in the back end the Canadiens walked to the beat of the same drum that saw them succeed in October and November.
Let's start this week's wrap-up with a scoreboard review for those of you that were too busy Christmas shopping the past seven days.
Wednesday, December 1st
Thursday, December 2nd
Montreal Canadiens 5 @ New Jersey Devils 1
Saturday, December 4th
San Jose Sharks 1 @ Montreal Canadiens 3
It was a week that saw Taylor Hall and the young-gunning Edmonton Oilers visit the Bell Center. A very successful first outing for Tom Renney's crew as the Habs blew a two-goal lead to finally lose the contest in overtime.
The story was a little different against their Achilles heel, the New Jersey Devils. The Habs came into the Meadowlands like a bat out of hell, exploding with two quick goals as the lowly Jersey Shorers anxiously await the injured Martin Brodeur's return.
San Jose came to town on Saturday for a 2:00PM version of Hockey Night in Canada. Montreal shut down one of the most dangerous lines in the NHL. With Joe Thornton, Dany Heatley and Patrick Marleau blanked, Canadiens gatekeeper Carey Price made some key saves to earn yet another first star on home ice.
Subban in the House
Jacques Martin's doghouse that is. Monumental mistakes were made by the rookie blueliner in the Canadiens overtime loss against the young Oilers on Wednesday.
As the Canadiens traveled to New Jersey on Thursday, Subban found himself on the outside looking in as the coaching staff opted to go with fellow offensive defenseman Yannick Weber in his place.
A move many found a little too risky since you wouldn't want to affect your hotshot defenseman's confidence level. The results said differently as the Canadiens settled down and allowed a minimal two goals in two games.
The message that Martin wanted to send to Subban was a very simple one: Know your limits.
It's no secret that the Toronto native has a great deal of talent, especially while leading the rush, but it is necessary for him to understand that he must play a solid defensive role before even thinking of providing run support.
Leaving his position unattended on the power play while a win is within Montreal's grasp is something that cannot happen. Martin simply wanted to ensure his young D-man would understand the principle. Nothing more, nothing less.
Making a big deal out of the situation would only make matters worse. The level of professionalism that Subban has exuded since the beginning of his trip to the skyboxes is very impressive for a player his age.
He now knows how to avoid these little visits to the Bell Center loges. Offense sells tickets; defense wins championships.
Write that down.
Notable Notes of Notice
Since we're wrapping up the week every Sunday, I'm introducing a new segment to the column. Notable Notes of Notice will be recapping everything from what Michael Cammalleri had for Lunch to on-ice performance.
- Yannick Weber did an absolutely amazing job of replacing P.K. Subban, jumping on the opportunity by playing solid defensively and earning two assists in the process, and twisting the coaching staff's arm at the same time. Decisions, decisions.
- Mathieu Darche continues his solid play, as he seems poised to score over 20 goals this season. Pairing him with dangerous danglers Lars Eller and Benoit Pouliot seems like it's paying off.
- Roman Hamrlik has been a pleasant surprise as well. His 14 points (two goals and 12 assists) leads all defensemen on the squad and his plus/minus currently stands at seven—not too shabby.
- Carey Price is still leading the league in terms of All-Star voting for goaltenders. If you haven't done it already, make sure you visit vote.nhl.com and fill out your own ballot!
- Habs legend Guy Lafleur officially played his last game at the Bell Center as the Old-Time Canadiens beat the Hall of Fame squad 15-8 on Sunday afternoon.
- The franchise officially turned 101 years old on Saturday. Very ironic as it sometimes seems they're giving Hockey 101 lessons to the opposition this year.
- After visiting with his medical team, Andrei Markov found out he will be out of action until the end of the year due to him re-injuring his knee against the Caroline Hurricanes a few weeks ago.
Here's what's on tap for the Canadiens this week.
Tuesday, December 7th
Ottawa Senators @ Montreal Canadiens
Friday, December 10th
Montreal Canadiens @ Detroit Red Wings
Saturday, December 11th
Montreal Canadiens @ Toronto Maple Leafs
There you have it. Two inner-divisional games, two original six matchups and three rivalry matches. What a week it will certainly be!
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Until next time, you stay classy Hab-hounds.