Three Players Who Are Far Better Than We Thought
The Montreal Canadiens lost their sixth game of the season on Saturday night to drop their overall record to 3-3-0. That’s fine, but compared to last year’s squad it is almost miraculous.
At this time a year ago, the team had just won the sixth game on their schedule, emphatically stomping the Detroit Red Wings. However, it was their first win of the year after five mostly lopsided losses in games where the Habs could not muster any offence.
We have seen that same script a couple of times this season as well. The Habs losses to the Red Wings and Washington Capitals came on nights where you were pretty sure who was going to win the game after seeing a handful of shifts.
The Habs gave up 25 shots in the opening period against the Red Wings, and were unable to get near the Capitals goal to create much offence in that game.
But those losses were sandwiched around impressive wins over the Toronto Maple Leafs and Pittsburgh Penguins. The Canadiens also easily handled the lowly Arizona Coyotes, before dropping a game to a tough Stars squad.
Overall, the results have been better than expected. After a 32nd place finish last season and the realization that this team would be using four rookies on the blue line, expectations were quite low. The fact the Habs have already defeated the Maple Leafs and Penguins was more than many anticipated when the season began.
Part of the reason the Habs have been able to win a few games that they were not expected to, is because of some unexpectedly hot starts from individual players.
Who has been performing better than we thought early on this season? Let’s take a look at three players that have stood out to start this season, even though not much was expected of them.