Defensive juggle before the home opener

According to the Montreal Canadiens website Yannick Weber has been assigned to the Hamilton Bulldogs. This doesn’t really come as much of a surprise.

With the home opener a few days away it would seem likely that the Canadiens will likely call up the recently signed Marc-Andre Bergeron.

There was a time that I looked at the defensive core and thought to myself that it could look promising. It really seems like it was long ago but in reality we’re talking a couple of weeks. Back in the days when the anticipation for that first game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the team that was gonna intimidate and push us around.

Today I’m slightly confused. I’ll explain myself a bit further on my confusion… but first about Bergeron.

What do we expect from Bergeron??

Have you asked yourself that question? I have been.

We’ve seen how the wheel turns, how fans and media alike will look at a team, look at their talents and assess if the team “will do” or “should do” well. And further… if a player will do or should do well.

And as this wheel turns something happens. Expectations are built. Expectations are forged on many factors and some of these factors include the talent that we see in some of our players… on their past performances…etc.

What do I expect from Bergeron?

Can he replace Markov in this lineup?? NO!!!!!!

But I think Bergegon will definately help the team. In my mind he’s got 3 things that the defense has been lacking a bit.

  1. He’s a pretty good skater. He should be able to get up and down the ice fairly well….
  2. He’s a decent passer. Marc-Andre should be able to move the puck quickly to his forwards on the attack. Markov was the team quarterback in this respect.
  3. He’s got a big shot. I expect to see Bergeron on the power play… they’ll try to set him up for the slapper. Hopefully the team will be able to lure a few more penalties out of their opponents in the coming games.

Now on my confusion….

It just seems to me that there’s alot of “koolaid” out there… alot of hype at times about our prospects. I watch media reports on TV, I listen to talk radio and I read stuff on the internet and it seems like some of our young guys have been built up as being ready to have an important role on this team.

I’ll start by saying that I drank some of this “koolaid”… and I want to step back… step back and take another look with no hype.

There are 3 players who have played in the first 5 Canadiens games who I will mention because they all made a similar impression. All of these players could use more seasoning or are still learning what it takes to be in the NHL. In no way is this even intended to be critical of these guys because they’re talented young players.

All of Max Pacioretty, Matt D’Agostini and Yannick Weber made an impact right away when they came in last year. I believe they showed great talent, potential and a glimpse of the players they can be in the Canadiens lineup.

But all these guys are young. They all have little experience playing in the NHL (D’Agostini currently has the most with 57 games under his belt) and in their development it’s altogether understandable that they will probably play in Hamilton and get more experience.

Part of the problem that I see is that some people have already pegged them in pretty significant roles on the team. Now there’s nothing wrong with it if it works out, but if it doesn’t work out then what???

Who steps in to take their spots?

Do you or can you even send them back to Hamilton?

There’s also another guy… Sergei Kostitsyn, who was pegged as a regular in the lineup. Didn’t quite work out that way and if he indeed has some maturing to do, then Hamilton with Guy Boucher is a good place for him to be…. all skills aside.

What am I getting at?? I don’t believe we’re deep enough up front. And on defense being without Markov and O’Byrne has been a problem…. and has thinned our depth on the backend.

BUT…. I believe that this upcoming series of games at home will be benificial and we’ll hopefully see some things get ironed out. Tighter defensive team play….etc.

That’s it!!! That’s my rant for today!

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