Rabid Habs

Postgame: Wow. Habs Win 10-1

The Montreal Canadiens may never lose again.

Okay, that’s not true, but they have won five straight games after a 10-1 blowout of the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night.

If you read this column regularly (thank you), you’ll know I typically go through every Habs goal and tell you what happened. For reasons you’ll probably understand, I’m not going to do that this time. There were a lot of them. First, here’s the scoring:

Byron (7): Galchenyuk, de la Rose Breakaway

Deslauriers (1): Froese, Carr One-timer in front of the net

Byron (8): Galchenyuk, Mete Partial breakaway

de la Rose SHG (1): Deslauriers Two-on-one

Hudon PPG (4): Galchenyuk, Weber Short-side shot from the faceoff dot

Byron (9): Galchenyuk, de la Rose Wrist shot

Gallagher (13): Plekanec, Hudon Breakaway

Benn (3): Deslauriers, Carr Slapshot

Carr (1): Froese Breakaway

Shaw (7): Danault Wrist shot

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about some specifics:

Paul Byron

“Unsustainable” this. “Fourth line guy” that. Paul Byron has to be a coach’s dream. Can play anywhere in the lineup in any situation. Oh yeah, and he’s a legitimate scoring threat. With wheels like his, scoring chances can develop at his own blueline, like we saw on his first goal. He just needs to chip the puck out and use his world-class speed to burn defenders. What a night for the greatest waiver pick up in Habs’ history. Thanks Calgary!

Max Pacioretty

Looking up and down this score sheet, there’s only one forward you won’t see. Max Pacioretty was the only Canadiens’ forward to go pointless against Detroit. The captain did have three shots against the Wings and came into Saturday’s game with three points in his last two games. It just seemed to add insult to injury for a guy who is noticeably working harder. I’m not going to harp on the one forward that didn’t get a point on Saturday. He didn’t have a bad game. Probably one of the weirdest happenings of the year so far.

Divisional Dominance

As bad as Montreal’s start to the season was, their divisional play may have kept them in the running to make the playoffs. With the win over Detroit on Saturday, the Canadiens boast an 8-1-1 record against Atlantic division teams. Unquestionably the weakest division in the NHL, the Atlantic is still there for the taking, with the exception of the top spot held by Tampa Bay. Unfortunately for the Canadiens, Boston beat Philadelphia 3-0 today, so they didn’t make up any ground on the Bruins.

Still, divisional games are too important to drop, and the Canadiens have only left three points on the board while playing their biggest rivals.

Powerplay

It’s pretty enigmatic, isn’t it? The Canadiens’ man advantage either scores or looks embarrassing in the effort. With Hudon’s powerplay marker, the Habs have scored a powerplay goal in each of the last three games; two of which were without Weber or Drouin. Like I said last time; don’t ask how, ask how many.

Goal Differential

Using goal differential to discuss players is ridiculous. Using it to assess teams makes some sense. Coming into the game, Montreal sat at a minus-17. One nine-goal-difference later, and Montreal finds themselves in single digits; minus-eight. It’s not the biggest of deals, but it certainly makes the climb back to success look a lot less insurmountable.

The Fourth Line

I’ve been pretty critical of Nicolas Deslauriers and players in the same genre. I don’t think there’s room left for them in the game; however, I may have painted Deslauriers with the wrong brush. The scouting report seemed to say he was just a fighter, but there might be more there. For starters, I don’t think he’s a terrible skater. And he seems to enjoy finishing his checks in a legal manner. He’s an energy line guy who finally broke through on a night where everyone got into the scoring act (sorry Max). Daniel Carr is proving that he was left in the minors a little too long (never a bad thing), and Byron Froese just happens to be the second best “Byron” on the Canadiens. This line, not necessarily this particular configuration, has taken a lot of flak this year. It seems like that may be changing soon.

Montreal has more wins than regulation losses for the first time since the season opener against Buffalo. Things are going well for the Habs, but they’d be the first to tell you that they’re not out of the woods yet.

Their next step in the road back comes on Tuesday when the Blues come to town.

Until then, take care.

Go Habs Go.

Follow Ian on Twitter @BoisvertIan, and follow @RabidHabs for more updates! 

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