Notebook - Oct. 26, 2010
The future is bright: Even in these early stages of the 2010-11 season, it’s easy to see that fan-favorite P.K. Subban is showing some major improvements. With solid performances in the Canadiens’ last two wins, it would seem that the rookie defenseman is rapidly zeroing in on all the little things that make him a force to be reckoned with on the ice.
“Someone will always find something to say about my game, whether it’s that I’m not producing enough offense or making mistakes on defense, but I can’t listen to any of it – I just have to play my game,” said Subban when asked about finding himself so frequently in the spotlight. “I just show up everyday and try to do my job as best I can. As long as my teammates and the organization continue to have faith in me, I’ll continue to feel good about my progress with the team. It’s nice because we’re winning games right now, but the great thing is – we’re not even playing our best hockey yet.”
Getting synchronized: With five wins in his first eight starts and the Canadiens taking an early perch atop the eastern conference rankings, it’s safe to say that Carey Price is proving to critics that he belongs in Montreal. But as impressive as he’s been since the start of the season, the young netminder is quick to pass the credit on to his teammates.
“It’s no secret that we have a great defense. We spent the first few games getting synched up and lately we’ve been enjoying an amazing collective effort by all playing the same system and the same game,” noted Price, who recorded his first shutout of the season Saturday against Ottawa. “It’s a league that anyone can win in right now, so I just want to keep playing as much as I can, stay in my groove and prepare for tomorrow night.”
Eller all around: On Monday night, playing in his seventh game with his new team, Lars Eller recorded his first point as a member of the Montreal Canadiens. His great hockey sense and creativity on the ice hasn’t gone unnoticed by his teammates, and veteran Mathieu Darche made it clear that he had nothing but praise for the young Dane.
“When you find yourself on the third or fourth lines, it’s important to be able to play well defensively. Lars has a good head on his shoulders and isn’t afraid to ask questions,” explained the veteran left-winger of his teammate. “And as you might of noticed from his hit on Peter Regin when we played Ottawa, he doesn’t back down from a physical game either. He’s only going to keep getting better and it’s always a great thing to play with a guy like that.”
Far from the finish: While the Canadiens might find themselves first in the Eastern Conference after an impressive start to their season, they’re well aware that this is no time to take their foot off the gas. While there may be 74 games left to battle through, Maxim Lapierre can see his team is on the rise, and is looking forward to every minute of it.
“Sure it’s fun to be first right now, but in the grand scheme of things, we’ve only played eight games. It’s reassuring to see where we’re at, but with the level of competition between teams being as tight as it is, we have to push to get every point we can,” noted Lapierre who currently leads the Habs in penalty minutes. “We’re trying to do all the things we were doing well in the playoffs – giving ourselves the opportunity to come back in a game, and not resting on our laurels if we have the lead. We’re growing as a team, game by game, and that’s our ultimate goal.”
Justin Fragapane is a writer for canadiens.com
Good things come in threes
Numbers Game - Oct. 25, 2010
Notebook - Oct. 25, 2010